Great Schools Group To Meet, Discuss Bond Issues - The Missourian: Washington

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Great Schools Group To Meet, Discuss Bond Issues

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Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 1:45 pm | Updated: 9:27 pm, Sat Jun 22, 2013.

With a new bond issue on the April ballot, the Washington School District’s Citizens for Great Schools Committee will reconvene Wednesday night to begin planning for the upcoming election.

Anyone interested in serving on the committee is invited to attend the meeting which will be held at the Bank of Washington’s downtown location at 5:30 p.m.

The district is seeking approval of a $49 million bond issue with a 25-cent tax increase. The board agreed last week to split the proposal into two questions on the ballot.

The first question would seek approval of a $9 million bond issue with a no-tax rate increase for wireless infrastructure for classrooms districtwide, construction of an early childhood center, an addition at Marthasville Elementary and HVAC improvements at Augusta Elementary.

The second question would be for approval of a $40 million bond issue with a 25-cent tax increase to construct and equip a new middle school on the now vacant property the district owns on east Highway 100.

Both bond issues would require a 57.14 percent majority to pass.

Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said she will discuss details of the ballot initiative with the committee Wednesday night and answer questions.

“This is really a preliminary planning meeting to get organized for the campaign,” VanLeer said. “I will be there to provide information and support.”

The committee co-chairs will be businessmen Brad Mitchell and John Freitag, who also spearheaded the citizens committee last year.

School districts, by law, cannot spend money promoting a ballot initiative. School officials can provide information and educate voters on an issue, but only a separate citizens committee can promote passage and pay for signs and other promotional materials.

Last year’s citizens committee was comprised of about 30 people, including many parents in the school district. The committee was promoting passage of a $65 million bond issue for new construction, renovation and technology improvements. That proposal was rejected by voters.

After the election, school officials reconvened the committee to seek feedback on how to best proceed.

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