State Representative proud to have GVSU in his district
State representative Roger Victory held his office hours at Murray’s Restaurant here in Allendale on Friday morning, offering his time to his constituents. GVL / Hannah Mico.
When most people picture public office hours for a politician, they imagine a very formal experience. The politician is dressed in business attire and surrounded by a giant press team to make sure nothing negative is said. Office hours with 88th district State Representative Roger Victory, however, were an entirely different experience.
Held at the local Murphy’s breakfast restaurant in Allendale, Victory’s office hours were more similar to old friends catching up over coffee.
Victory is the representative for the residents of Allendale, Georgetown, Tallmadge, Wright, Chester, Coopersville and Polkton townships in Ottawa County. Though Victory serves more than just Allendale, he is glad to have Grand Valley State University in his district.
“In Lansing, I’m proud to say I get to represent Grand Valley, because Grand Valley has become a model of success of how a university needs to be run,” Victory said.
One of the aspects of GVSU that Victory said he is most proud of is its retention rates. The university has one of the highest rates in the state.
“When we invest in Grand Valley, we’re investing in the state of Michigan and its future,” Victory said.
The retention rates of GVSU students, along with the efforts of Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration, have helped Michigan make a lot of progress in the last few years, Victory said.
“Four years ago, literally the state was being blown away and now I feel the state has found its way,” he said.
Some of the issues that Victory hopes will be addressed during the 2014-2015 political season in Michigan deal mostly with early education. Specifically, Victory said he hopes Michigan can continue funding for the early childhood development plan.
“That has proven itself as one of the best return on investments, getting those dollars there,” Victory said.
Right now there are a number of children trying to get into the early childhood development programs, but there are just not enough spots for every child, he said.
Victory also would like to look at changing some schools in local districts from traditional to year-round school schedules.
“The loss of knowledge in those summer months is great, and it takes about two more months of remediation to bring them back up to speed,” he said.
The year-round school policy isn’t something that Victory wants statewide, but he does want to see it implemented in several school districts in the area.
The change could lessen the burden that the loss of knowledge places on taxpayers in Michigan, he said.
Snyder also mentioned plans for early childhood development in his State of the State address last week, which Victory said he was very impressed by. He added that he was most surprised by Snyder’s call for a national balanced budget constitutional amendment resolution on behalf of the state of Michigan.
“That’s leadership taking on a leadership role,” Victory said.