Archive for Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Bond issue campaign to have new focus

February 19, 2003

John McArthur, Basehor-Linwood School District financial advisor, uses the old Fram commercial to describe the district's position concerning the proposed bond issue.

"Pay it now or pay it later," McArthur said Tuesday, Feb. 11, during a bond issue campaign meeting at Glenwood Ridge Elementary School.

In January, voters rejected the $29.9 million bond issue, 997 to 695.

However, last week, the Basehor-Linwood School Board approved placing the same package before voters during the general election April 1.

The funds would pay for the construction of a new Basehor-Linwood Middle School on County Road 2, and renovations to Basehor, Linwood and Glenwood Ridge elementaries.

Currently, the state would pay 34 percent, or $10.2 million of the bond issue cost.

McArthur reiterated comments Tuesday night that he made during the previous bond campaign.

"Just look at (previous bond failures)," he said. "It would have been cheaper with more square footage."

School district superintendent Cal Cormack said the campaign focus should be "we can't afford not to do this."

The Tuesday night meeting rounded up the usual suspects: essentially the same campaign committee during the previous bond issue forms the current volunteer staff.

Volunteers met with school district officials to discuss strategies Tuesday night. And one of those strategies is to be more people oriented, more one-on-one with potential voters.

"One-on-one, door to door is always the best way," McArthur said.

But another focus of the campaign committee will be getting more people to the polls: approximately 700 less people voted in January than in 1997, the last time a successful bond issue passed in Basehor-Linwood.

A boom in residential growth in the school district is causing school attendance levels to reach near capacity, school officials said.

School district figures indicate Basehor, Glenwood Ridge and the combined middle/elementary school facility in Linwood are all at 90 percent capacity.

"There has been more moving in than moving out," said Don Swartz, school district director of operations.

Advance voting for the bond issue begins March 12.

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