The Marshall Public Schools Facility Committee adopted a name for its fund-raising arm and reviewed its promotion efforts during a meeting held Monday evening.
A number of name options were suggested during the brainstorming session, ranging from plain to catchy. Among the considerations made by the board were that the name should be recognizable, but not necessarily overly catchy.
"We're not slick," member Sharon Mills said.
Member Clay Mead was among those who noted the public was familiar with the group as the Facility Committee, having heard about its activities for a year and a half.
"I feel there should be some continuity," he said.
In the end, the group decided to go with the Facility Committee for Better Marshall Schools.
Committee Chairman George Clemens said he is working to secure a treasurer for the committee so formal fund raising could begin. He said he hopes to have someone in the position in the next few days.
In addition to naming the fund-raising committee, the group also selected its theme for the campaign. Mills gave credit for the work to a group of teachers who appointed Ginger McGraw as their spokesperson.
McGraw explained the "Building Opportunities" had been chosen as the theme, with the word "building" serving as both a noun and a verb. She said work is being done to incorporate the theme into a logo which will show cartoon children constructing a brick wall. Words on the bricks will convey the subtheme "for our kids."
Promotion ideas discussed
With a theme in place, the group went on to discuss ways to educate the public about the district's plan before the April election. The committee is currently considering a letter campaign to civic groups, a speakers bureau, a question and answer sheet and an informational video.
McGraw presented a draft copy of the letter to be sent to civic groups. The one-page letter outlines the plan and reasoning for it and asks for the group's endorsement. She said it was the same method used to secure support for the Marshall Public Library 12 years ago.
The speakers bureau would be utilized to deliver in-person information to groups who request it. Mills said the bureau would consist of committee members who would go to meetings and talk about the facts of the bond issue.
The question and answer sheet is an ongoing project begun by Marshall Superintendent of Schools Joe Aull. The list has already grown to 16 questions and Mills said more are being formulated.
For the video, the committee has enlisted the help of Rich DePaoli. DePaoli, producer of the local television show "Marshall Now," said the video could be a "salesman in a box," delivering the exact same pitch at every presentation.
The video would be shot in a documentary style and narrated by a member of the committee. Committee member Scott Hartwig said he had been in contact with representatives of Time Warner Cable's Channel 10 to show the video. Hartwig said as long as the film is informational and not political, Time Warner is receptive.
"Hopefully that will show the people who aren't really exposed to the schools some of the aspects," he said.
DePaoli said as the father of a newborn daughter he will donate his expertise to the project, with the committee covering only material costs such as the tape used and gas for traveling expenses.
"I'll consider this an investment in her future," DePaoli said.
Tax credit available
Recognizing a potential argument against the bond issue, Committee Vice Chairman Dale Zank provided the group with information about a property tax credit program available to seniors.
Zank said he had heard people argue against the bond issue because of the strain it will put on some lower-income seniors. Recently, he became aware of a credit available from the state of Missouri for these seniors that would negate the argument.
"While we can't give legal advice, we can refer these folks back to this form," he said, referring to the application for the credit.