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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Marshall school board opts to place bond issue on April ballot

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Marshall school board met Tuesday, Nov. 10, to certify results of the Nov. 3 election in which a bond issue for building a new elementary school failed to reach the 4/7 majority necessary for passage.

And they voted to put the issue on the ballot again in April.

Citing progress made in vote percentage and a well-run campaign led by Wayne Crawford and John Angelhow, the board decided to capitalize on a sense of momentum and try again.

The issue got about 51 percent approval, the highest rate of four failed bond issues in the past decade.

The April election is the last chance for the district to benefit from federal economic stimulus funding that would reduce interest costs on the bond.

The details of the ballot issue question will be reviewed before the board officially places the issue on the ballot. The vote Tuesday was intended to establish intent to proceed.

Crawford attended the meeting and gave the board a brief assessment of the campaign, noting some of the strengths and weaknesses of the effort.

He said he was very encouraged by the number of people -- especially school staff -- who worked for the campaign, but he regretted that more effort wasn't put into generating higher turnout.

He noted that about 8,000 registered voters did not cast ballots, adding that he believes reaching those people might have tipped the scales in favor of the bond issue.

In other business, the board voted to end its contract for the property on South Odell Avenue that would have been the site for the new school.

The contract with the property owner was contingent on the results of the election, and because the issue failed, the board decided not to pursue purchasing property at this time.

The process of seeking a site will start again, with a call for offers issued soon. All property owners will be required to submit written bids.

More information to follow

Contact Eric Crump at marshalleditor@socket.net


Comments
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Or that trailers on the playground just to make room for everyone is a good thing?

It's never going to be a good time to raise taxes or take multimillion dollar loans. Some times are just less-bad than others. Rather than just idly saying no and point out problems, everyone should be offering solutions and trying to compromise. If people would work half as hard at trying to make it work as they are at defending why it won't we'd have a new school by now.

-- Posted by thebirdman on Tue, Nov 17, 2009, at 11:26 PM

To ieatsuperglue: Learn what? That they should be satisfied with school buildings that were built in the 20's and 30's?

-- Posted by OldOwl on Mon, Nov 16, 2009, at 3:57 PM

Will the the school board ever learn?

-- Posted by ieatsuperglue on Sat, Nov 14, 2009, at 3:37 PM

Well, wouldn't you know, Missouri Statute 115.635 (6) says it's an election offense punishable by imprisonment of not more than one year or by fine of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine to:

Ask for, receive, or take any money or other reward by way of gift, loan, or other device or agreeing or contracting for any money, gift, office, employment, or other reward, for giving, or refraining from giving, his or her vote in any election.

As long as the reward isn't for voting a certain way, I still think it's a good idea.

-- Posted by Kathy Fairchild on Fri, Nov 13, 2009, at 7:59 PM

Old Owl: I'm with you - it's much more upsetting that people didn't vote at all, than if they voted against the issue. That's really all I ask of people - that they VOTE, even if they don't vote the way I do.

-- Posted by Kathy Fairchild on Fri, Nov 13, 2009, at 4:53 PM

thisguy: I think the idea of discounts for presenting a voter sticker is a GREAT idea. If we can't get people to the polls with idealism, maybe we can appeal to their pocketbooks. Either way, I'm all for it and I think the people who are on the committee ought to look into it.

-- Posted by Kathy Fairchild on Fri, Nov 13, 2009, at 4:48 PM

Suggestion for make-up of the outreach committee--- mirror the community. Ask, did/those the committee look like our community and student body?

A prudent (wo)man would have a back up plan.

-- Posted by CWilli on Fri, Nov 13, 2009, at 3:31 PM

here comes the roller coaster, and after my comments i cant wait to see how long until oneofmany and mr. crump and mrs. fairchild blaze my words right off here, but oh well.

i opened my property tax bill the other day as well and yea, it went up, considerably and my issue with this is we are getting nothing for this increase except to make up for lost revenues in the county, no school, no nothing. i want a new school for my children, badly and i would pay the increase, lets get that out of they way first. but i also see other sides and know those concerns are not all malicious and negative. yes i wish they could build a bigger school for the money, but i do not have the ability to figure the cost to know if that is possible no matter which firm plans it. another thing is location, so we cant agree on that, well your not going to achieve that, people dont agree...its proven and reproven everyday, middle ground is an urban legend and will not exist, especially if there is money and or children involved. so the real question is why aren't people voting? why is it that every article on this paper have the same people bombarding the responses? and you do realize eric, kathy and oneofmany that some people have great ideas that do not have the confidence or even the time to go to these meetings and awe the masses. i, am one of them, i have the confidence but i cant get to the meetings, and this is my only outlet, noone on the committee and i called three different ones returned my call this last time and while it didnt sway my vote it did disappoint me.

if traffic is an issue and a concern, and it is a reasonable concern then have it layed out and answered. there is back access to that land, why couldnt it be used for bus drop off and faculty access? leave bus 65 for parents? would that ease the traffic burden? these questions need firm answers, not reassurement from our city that "they are prepared to look into it" look into it and figure it out! traffic was one of the main questions asked and i would bet that if that was somewhat resolved might have turned a few no's to yes's. but back to the main question...what do ytou have to do to get people to vote? i have some ideas, how bout we talk to applebees, mcdonalds, subway...the other food establishments and work up a deal....bring in your "i voted" sticker and get a discount, something free? this isnt bribery it is rewarding people for doing there duties. and though it is sad you have to, you do. i dont know, just some thoughts...hope they help someone

-- Posted by thisguy on Fri, Nov 13, 2009, at 11:39 AM

I'm not upset with the people who voted against the bond proposal as that was their right to vote how they saw fit. I AM upset with the people who just did not vote at all! Over the years, many, many good people have fought and died for our country and to guarantee US citizens the right to vote. Even so, most eligible voters elect to stay at home rather than to exercise a right people have died protecting. Go figure!

-- Posted by OldOwl on Fri, Nov 13, 2009, at 11:11 AM

Good Grief, not again!

-- Posted by kmt202 on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 10:38 PM

This floor plan has been been in the planning for many years. Faculty and staff have given input. I doubt that most people who are knowledgeable about educating children would agree that we should just "build a box and divide it into classrooms." I would think the design is to allow expansion at the end of each section (in case the citizens of Marshall wait another one hundred years to build new schools). Again, these architects design schools for a living. They are in touch with what schools require to accommodate the educational needs of the twenty-first century.

Greg House, thanks for your insights. You made some excellent points.

-- Posted by oneofmany on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 7:39 PM

It is so easy to sit behind a computer and say "it should be built someplace else", "they should find another plot of land", "now's not a good time to build. build it when our taxes go down.", "they should listen to the public. they never listen or get our opinion."

It's so easy to throw out those statements and ignore facts.

Fact 1: They did seek large land opportunities. IF, you have land suggestions, please offer them BUT listen to the reason why that suggestion may not be feasable. They did suggest a plot of land to the North and the public voted it down. Now they suggest land to the South and that wasn't good enough either.

Fact 2: Ten years ago when prices and taxes were cheaper, we voted down the school bond issue due to the same reasons we see today. Now we are ten years down the road, in a deeper need for the building and now prices and taxes are higher. See a pattern? If we wait, the prices and taxes will get higher and we will miss our chance at stimulus money.

Fact 3: They did ask for the public input and responces. They held open meetings where they discussed the plans and asked for input. Now they are asking for it again. How much more time does the school board need to give the public for input and suggestions? We have until April. Noone can say now that they did all of this at the last minute. That excuse is a cop out.

Fact 4: Sedalia built an entire high school to accomidate 3 grades for around the same price. The school district has restrictions on the amount of money it can borrow. We can suggest a bigger building, more grades and borrow more money to complete it....but that is just not possible.

This is important to our town, our communities, future business and population growth and our students education. This last Sunday (I think), the sedalia paper interviewed teachers in the new high school and they sang praises about the opportunities the new school offered the students....the students folks. That's what this is all about. Can we stop asking what will I get out of this and look at the opportunities this will offer our students? Free your mind.

-- Posted by Greg House on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 6:43 PM

aikman8: You are "waiting to see your changes?" What you should be doing is anything BUT waiting. Get involved, if you aren't already. Don't just stand there DO SOMETHING! And, oh, uh, did you vote?

-- Posted by Kathy Fairchild on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 6:14 PM

I believe the new Sedalia Smith-Cotton HS cost 28 million. That houses 3 grades. I have been in it--it is nothing fancy, pretty basic. Locker rooms are needed for other events to use the school. Look how many elementary and middle events are now held at the high school. That way basketball practices won't have start extremely early in the morning, or go very late. A plus for parents and students.

-- Posted by mu-grad on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 5:48 PM

I put a question in the speak out section if you all would please answer it if you don't mind.

-- Posted by Gal66 on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 4:53 PM

Before the school district tries to kick this horse again they should try coming up with a building plan that is a less wasteful. Why must they keep trying to get the taxpayers to vote for something pretty instead of building something useful? Three pods, one for each grade level is just ridicules. Just build a box and divide it into classrooms. KISS! Keep it simple stupid.

Can anyone please tell me why 3rd thru 5th graders need locker rooms? Do they really need to start dressing out for PE in third grade? Keep in mind that the cost of a new school is the main reason the frugal voters of Marshall keep saying no. I just don't believe if they could build for twice as many grades 6 years ago that it cost twice as much today to build half as much. That would put inflation at 400% in those six years. My extra value meal doesn't cost $20+. A gallon of milk doesn't cost $12+. It looks like Obama's 6 million dollars is going into the architect's pocket and we still have to pay the $20 million. The district should tell the architects what to design or fire them and hire someone who can build it for less. Until they wake up and do the right thing, I'll continue to vote NO! It's not me voting no for kids, it's those who support such wasteful spending doing that! Get it together before April or we still will have no new facilities.

-- Posted by marshall lifer on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 4:32 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
The federal stimulus funds are specifically for reducing the cost of interest and will, according to district officials, significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to pay the bonds down.

Where in Marshall is there enough "centrally located" land available to build this school? We dont live in a major metropolis, we live in a small town, our options are limited. People have written that we should wait a few years, but the prices of construction arent going down...either is the price of land, and of course we will be handing our stimulus money to another school. I dont care if they put the new school 10 miles out, at least it would get kids/teachers out of ancient trailers! Will everyone be happy when all of the playgrounds are filled up with trailers and the kids dont have a place to play outside? We need to have some town hall meetings and invite people out to banter back and forth. This may just open some peoples eyes up.

-- Posted by ALM on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 3:49 PM

There have been two major renovations of the old buildings since the early 90's. New windows were put in, heating and air conditioning were installed, roofs were fixed. I don't remember how much money was spent on those buildings at that time, but it was a lot. We also need to remember that overcrowding and the use of trailers to address that problem is still a concern.

I LOVE the idea of Souls to the Polls. Sign me up! I'll be glad to drive voters to the polls.

-- Posted by oneofmany on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 3:03 PM

To quote General Robert Lee, "A prudent man (woman) would have a back-up plan". The School Superintendent, Board members and Mr Crawford were approached with the question at the last campaign meeting at Bueker School "...what is plan B". The back-up plan as stated then "... we will place it on the ballot in April".

The question surfaces again, "What is Plan B if the Bond Issue does not pass?"

The couthouse is being restored for $3 Million. Can 4-5 schools be restored for 3-6 million? Again, what is PLan B?

I agree with Mr. Crawford, an effort by the Board and school officials is needed to Get Out the Voters. Go door to door- introduce yourself and ASK for the VOTE--Stand on the street corners and ASK for the VOTE---Call peolple election day and tell them to go vote, or go get them to vote--- Have a SOULS to the POLLS campaign. AND, do not discount non-property owners. For their monthly expendiures will increase sooner than our taxes.

Yours in service

-- Posted by CWilli on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 1:06 PM

I really don't know how many people own 25+ acres inside or near the city limit. I imagine that would be a limited group.

-- Posted by oneofmany on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 12:35 PM

I agree that new land, in a more appropriate area, would be a great thing. I also agree that the BOE should use alternative methods than what they've already tried to find that land. There is a draw back to being more 'aggressive' as people have said. If the BOE is more aggressive prices go up. It's simple economics. If I have something that may only be worth $20, but I know that guy over there really, really wants it, I'm selling it for $50.

While I'm in favor of giving the district anything they ask for (believe it or not they're doing what they believe is right and necessary) I know that I'm probably a minority and see the value of saving tax money where ever and when ever possible. (re: buying cheap land, where ever it is)

-- Posted by thebirdman on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 12:20 PM

FYI...the previous bond issues involved land in the north end of town, People complained about that and it failed. You can't please everyone!

-- Posted by oneofmany on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 12:05 PM

A wise man once said to me...if you don't vote you can't complain. I took that to heart and no matter the weather or how I feel, this registered voter gets out there and votes!!

In addition, I hope the school board looks into who did what for other school districts. Maybe a new architect and construction firm are in order. Here is a question I don't know the answer to, sure we can only get $20mil from the stimulus...but can we get more at a different rate? Since it seems people want a bigger school.

Ditto to who ever said for the school board to get out and seek out property. FYI, not everyone reads the paper or listens to KMMO. Here is an idea, send out a letter to everyone in the area (registered voters would be a start) asking if they have land for consideration. A little effort goes a long way.

-- Posted by Scarpetta on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 10:24 AM

wheresthelove said

"and myself and anyone who can color a box in that i can drag there will vote a resounding NO!!!!!"

So your only going to drag people that are going to vote NO!!!!!!!

You have not even seen waht the new plan will be and you have made up your mind!!!!

So I guess your one of the people that will vote NO even if it's a great idea............How Sad!!!!!

Me a person that has voted yes in all the past school bond elections has no idea how I will vote because I have not seen the plan.

-- Posted by Gal66 on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 9:16 AM

I just opened our property tax statement last night and ours are going up 30% after re-assesment. I've heard some people are seeing their's go up over 40%. I wish the school system the best but this is terrible timing!

-- Posted by puddleglum on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 8:30 AM

and myself and anyone who can color a box in that i can drag there will vote a resounding NO!!!!!

-- Posted by wheresthelove on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 8:06 AM

They need to develop a system for the public to put forth it's ideas so that they[public] feel like they are getting heard. This seems like the one fatal flaw.... everyone has all these ideas. Lets get them heard, and not just on a random blog.

-- Posted by awake on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 8:02 AM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
The bond committee held three public meetings prior to launching its campaign.

We've offered a special blog for this issue where we've published signed letters to the editor. Members of the school board and bond campaign read the letters and comments there.

www.marshallnews.com/forms/lettertoedito...

www.marshallnews.com/blogs/1464/

Also, the board discussed last night holding more public meetings, including a forum to present site options and get public input on the selection of location.

aikman8 can you tell me where the property you think the school should be built on is?

Southsiders what a bigoted statement!!!!!!

-- Posted by Gal66 on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 6:10 AM

With the economy on the rocks, unemplyment still climbing, and tax revenues dropping....is this the time to build a new school building? I wonder how much longer Missouri will be able to finance our schools before cuts come to the education budget? Are we able or willing to have our property taxes increased to pay for this?

I don't believe that not supporting this project means that I don't support our children or their education. Teaching happens in the classroom regardless of where it might be housed. I just don't believe that this is the time to enter into this type of debt. Perhaps more of our current tax money will be needed to pay our teachers and to buy the materials they need to effectively educate our children. Give it two or three more years until we see how the economy does.

-- Posted by Dave in MidMO on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 5:23 AM

I agree Give up already How many times do the people have to say NO! To this, Wonder if they will do it like the wal-mart crap just do it anyway despite what the people say.

-- Posted by Selmac8 on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 2:26 AM

once again, heeeeeeeeeeeeere we go.

i understand their desire to rush it to the ballot because of the obama free money, and i agree with that attempt ... but what are we going to hear from them?

that the same old proposed school site has been entered into a contingent contract? that they have gone door-to-door and talked to everyone in meetings and all they heard were positives? (ha!) are we gonna see another pretty woman on tv promoting this? (who really cares who she is and why should i care how she feels about it? an obvious attempt to appeal to the southsiders.)

how much more money are we going to spend for consultants on this one?

WAKE UP school board and whatever committee forms again to try to push this through. maybe you should stop preaching to the choir and actually get out of your bubble. no wonder we don't trust this school board or leadership or any in the last 10 years or so.

do we want a new school? YES. do we want it to be planned better? YES. do we want to pay 25k an acre for the land in an area that guarantees busing for a ton of kids and terrible access and traffic? NO. does it need to serve more kids than just three or four grades? YES. does it need to be more centrally located? YES.

i'm tired of hearing from board and committee members that "this was the best place offered to us". waaaaa ... waaaaa ... waaaa ... here's a solution ... besides just waiting for offers to come in, how bout going out and actively, aggressively going after land that is in a better location than what you tried this last time? it's there. you just have to be aggressive and outside the box ... a.k.a. some place other than the extreme south side.

i hear that it's either southeast or eastwood school that would be demolished or blighted if this plan went through on the next latest greatest attempt to get a school through.

angelhow and crawford are good men, good guys with a heart for this community. they have chosen to raise their families in this area, and i have no doubt at all that they are completely committed to this town. i applaud their efforts, their character, for trying to get this thing done. i just want it done right!

you have til next april for the obama free money ... how can you make the results different by then? we're waiting to see your changes ...

-- Posted by aikman8 on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 1:07 AM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
No money was spent on consultants so far. The architect and construction management firms are paid only if the bond issue succeeds.

The price agreed upon for the South Odell property was about $9,000 an acre.



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