The St. Clair School Board unanimously voted at Thursday night’s meeting to place the Prop STC Safe and Secure on the August 2020 ballot — if it’s not successful in June.
Superintendent Dr. Kyle Kruse explained that if the $12,750,000 no-tax increase bond issue does not pass in the June 2 election the debt service levy will drop from 62 cents to 36 cents, approximately.
“What that means is if the bond issue is not successful, by the time we set tax rates in August, any future bond issue of this scope would require a tax increase back to the previous level, and that’s a more difficult thing to ask sometimes,” he said.
To meet the deadline to place an issue on the ballot, the board would need to file the request by Tuesday, May 26-, six days before the June election.
“That’s a little awkward because we can’t wait to see if the bond issue passes before deciding whether or not to put it on the August ballot,” Kruse stated.
After Kruse presented the board with its options, a motion was made by board member Craig Licklider to place the issue on the August ballot.
“We need to do as much as we can for the students because we’re going to need it,” said Licklider. “The students need it and the schools need it, so we need to make sure we do everything we can.”
If the bond issue does pass in the June election, the board will have to take legal action to have the issue removed from the August ballot.
Although Kruse is glad the board is being proactive, he’s hopeful about the June election.
“I’m optimistic and based on what I’m hearing from our community and campaign committee, people still really believe there’s a need and are supportive of the measures, but I also have questions about the voter turnout in June,” he said.
According to Kruse, low voter turnout due to COVID-19 is a main concern of the campaign committee.
The campaign committee for Prop STC Safe and Secure met Tuesday, May 12, to discuss what its next course of action will be, considering the campaign has been suspended since late March due to COVID-19 concerns.
Charlene Saling, executive director of the St. Clair Area Chamber of Commerce, and Dana Dougherty, owner of Dana’s Shaved Ice, are co-chairs of the committee.
According to Saling, during the meeting the committee discussed the ballot issue, and how the COVID-19 crisis has affected the community.
“After much discussion, the committee had decided to resume the campaign for Prop STC Safe and Secure,” she said.
Saling added that the committee knows the community is experiencing hardship, but the district is vitally important and the committee believes there are needs that must be addressed.
“We ask the community to support Prop STC Safe and Secure on June 2, and help make our school district the safest, the most secure, and the best it can be,” she said.