Measure T: Let's keep West Hills College a leader in technology; vote yes

By Ed Martin, The Leader Editor

We have a pretty darn good thing going on here in Lemoore with higher education. Many years ago, when West Hills College was based solely in  Coalinga, local students had to hop a bus or bum gas money from mom or dad to make the long drive to Coalinga from Lemoore if they wanted a community college education.

No more. Students no longer need to depend on the largess of mom and dad, but can instead ride a bike if they choose, or even walk to the West Hills College Lemoore campus. Higher education is here to stay in Lemoore, and it’s up to all of us who support the concept of a post-secondary education that we continue to improve and expand the college campus.

Such is the purpose behind Measure T, a local ballot measure which would allow the West Hills Community College District to keep pace with today’s rapidly changing educational and job training technology at its campuses in Coalinga, Lemoore, and the North District Center in Firebaugh.

On November 4, local voters will be asked to vote on Measure T, a $20 million bond measure that in the long run is designed to save taxpayers millions of dollars in reduced borrowing costs. West Hills College District Chancellor Frank Gornick says Measure T makes financial sense. Measure T bonds will be short-term; repaid in five years or less. With these low-interest bonds, funds that would have otherwise gone to make interest payments can now be used to fund technology upgrades and equipment. The average tax rate needed to repay the bond is estimated to be $9.87 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

West Hills College is currently a leader in technology in the classroom, and Measure T is meant to continue that trend as it continues to prepare its students for careers that depend on a deep understanding of technology and how it can make our society better. Students trained on the latest technology make for better employees, which is attractive to possible employers with an eye on Kings County.

We need to maintain and improve upon this jewel of a campus in Lemoore. There was a time when Lemoore students, upon leaving high school for a community college, chose College of the Sequoias or Fresno City College. Thanks to a collective vision that included a full-fledged college campus in Lemoore, our students are staying put, choosing West Hills College Lemoore by wide margins.

Let’s keep it that way by insuring that students have the technology they need to become successful. Vote for Measure T. For more information, visit the website:

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