When you go to vote in November, you'll be voting either for or against a $260 million school facilities bond. That much has been decided.
The Board of Education gave the thumbs up to staff to move forward with a bond notched at $260 million last week. The motion was passed 3-1 with board president Greg Marvel being the single "nay" vote. (Board member Paul Gardner had an excused absence from the meeting.)
Marvel's "nay" wasn't voting against the bond, which he wanted to make clear. "I'm not opposing the bond, I am opposing the dollar amount," Marvel said.
He wanted a higher number.
He brought up a bond closer to $300 million at the May 22 meeting and again last Wednesday night. At the May 22 meeting, the board told staff that the , with potentially moving that number up pending a discussion about sending out another bond survey.
The board also had that new survey discussion last Wednesday and it decided against sending out another one by a vote of 3-1, with board member Denise Jennison the lone supporter of the action.
"What we learned from the forums and our original poll is that the community needs more information about the need (of the bond)," Jennison said. "Once they get the info, they understand the need, they are supportive."
Board clerk Rachel Hurd disagreed.
"We don't need a tracking poll, we need to move forward and start a campaign and educate the community, which is what the campaign is," she said.
The district had already asking them, among other things, their feelings on a bond between $190 and $260 million. The survey came back that more than half surveyed would support a bond at that number.
"I think it's time for us to step forward,' board vice-president Kenneth Mintz said. "Yes we are ready to do this, ready to roll up our sleeves."
In his argument for raising the bond number, Marvel said he didn't feel there would be much of a drop off of support if the bond was closer to $300 million, therefore why send out another survey that would cost $14,000?
"The difference between 260 and 290 is going to be miniscule," he said, regarding support. "I want to push for a number as close to, but not over, $300 million as possible."
The other board members felt otherwise. The board told Marvel that if it decided that it truly wanted to go above $260 million, a tracking poll would be necessary. But the support of a bond north of $260 million wasn't there.
Now, with the price tag set, the board's next move is to determine exactly what will get packed into that $260 million.
The staff, along with the Facilities Advisory Committee, have identified and prioritized a list of projects equaling nearly $400 million. The board is now tasked with determining what projects will be included in that $260 million mark and what will be left off.
"Now we have to determine what is above and below the line," Mintz said.