In an attempt to find another funding source, Hammond’s Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. is doing a full court press to renew College Bound.
The program was established to complement other scholarship sources and to increase Hammond home ownership, deflecting about $2.5 million of casino revenue taxes annually from other municipal uses.
The McDermott administration reports 1,226 participants since inception, and 533 current students enrolled over College Bound’s seven years of existence. How many have graduated?
Has this administration provided an open view on this program? What is the average award? Has home ownership increased? The graduation rate? Are administrative costs exceeding six figures a year? Is someone benefiting from these cost? Has the program received an independent audit, assuring cost and application fall within reason? None of these questions have been answered or addressed by the mayor.
- Chuck Rocek, Hammond