News Story

Doctored Video Promotes Authentic Tax Hike in Northern Michigan School District

Cars passing school made to look faster as narrator talks safety

Mesick Consolidated Schools has posted a video promoting a property tax increase the district has placed on today’s election ballot. Some of the money would be used to move elementary school students off the state highway that is Mesick’s main street.

But before posting the video, the district altered it to make the cars shown passing the elementary school look like they are going faster. This appears to be a pre-election scare tactic.

The district, located in Wexford County, is asking voters to approve a 5.5-mill, 30-year tax increase to pay debt service on a new bond.

Mesick’s video, about 3 1/2 minutes long, was altered in two sections. The result is to make the cars passing the elementary school appear to be going faster, while a narrator discusses safety concerns that might arise from having a school located on a major road.

In the first instance of artificially sped-up cars, a narrator gives this pitch:

“On May 2, 2017, the community of Mesick will be asked to vote on a bond proposal that, if approved, will help prepare our students for continued success in the future. A voter-approved bond would help Mesick Consolidated Schools focus on safety and security for our students, technology improvements districtwide and opportunity for all our students and our community. ... An approved proposal would eliminate our elementary students being on a major highway by consolidating into one building.”

In the second instance, the commentator states, “Also the opportunity to move our elementary students off a major northern Michigan highway to improve the safety both inside and outside the building cannot be overlooked.”

Mesick Superintendent Scott Akom did not return an email seeking comment.