Archive for Wednesday, October 24, 2001

School bond issue election just around corner

October 24, 2001

The countdown has begun.

It's now just two weeks before patrons will vote on the Baldwin school district bond issue.

With only 14 days left before Nov. 6, the bond campaign committee is working even harder to talk to voters about the proposed $7.9 million general obligation bond to construct a 3-5 elementary building and renovate and add to Baldwin Junior High, Vinland Elementary and Marion Springs Elementary.

Alison Bauer, bond campaign committee co-chair, said the 70 committee volunteers have been meeting with local civic organizations, publishing and distributing informational brochures and calling voters to answer as many questions as possible.

"We want them to be as informed as possible," Bauer said.

To also help get the information out, the district scheduled three meetings over the past two weeks that outlined the proposed bond issue.

Supt. James White said even though the meetings were publicized in advance, there wasn't as good a turnout as he would have hoped.

"I'm not really sure why," White said. "I suppose that could be an indication people feel they understand what the school district's asking for, that's it's pretty plain and simple and there are not many questions.

"But the fear I guess I have is that somehow we're not getting the information to people who don't understand what the election is asking them to support," he said.

So that's why the campaign committee isn't letting up anytime soon.

"We need to continue to try to get the information to the patrons and we need to try to answers any questions voters may have that continue to linger," White said. "The best opportunity for success will include highly informed voters, so that's what we're hoping to do the final two weeks."

Bauer said some of the questions and concerns the campaign committee had heard included whether the bond issue includes equipping the new school, which it does, if MSES and VES would close in the future, which they won't, and if the mill levy would increase, which it won't.

"If anyone is still undecided, we'd like them to call a committee member or the district office and ask questions," she said.

It is important, she said, that people realize the school improvement plans were thought through over a period of time before being decided on.

"We feel like the school board carefully researched the issue," Bauer said. "There are a lot of people out there and we won't be able to please everybody, but this is the best approach the district could take to solve the problems."

Despite the lingering concerns, White said he had heard a lot of positive feedback.

"The patrons I've visited with are very supportive," he said. "The bond issue seems very well supported."

He said a lot of that is a result of the campaign committee's work.

"I think we have a very strong bond campaign committee and they've done a nice job getting the information out," White said. "I can't tell you how much I appreciate their efforts."

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