Archive for Thursday, November 10, 2005

Bond issue chairman questions turnout

November 10, 2005

An intense, yet people-friendly, campaign to promote the Basehor-Linwood school district's bond issue ended without the result sought by committee chairman Wynne Coleman.

But, like school Superintendent Jill Hackett, Coleman indicated she was pleased with the honesty and thoroughness of the campaign.

Coleman, a Basehor resident, led the charge to promote the bond issue to voters. Her 40-member committee hosted more than 30 public meetings.

District officials routinely praised Coleman for her work in the campaign, her first foray into spearheading a political movement.

She sat down this week for a brief question and answer session with the newspaper.

Q: What do you feel were the strengths/weaknesses of the bond issue campaign?

A: It may be too early to really say. ... We haven't had the opportunity to process things as a group. At present, I believe we did take the necessary steps to accurately and thoroughly present all aspects of the bond issue to the public. The bond committee served to solidify the improved relationship between patrons throughout the district.

Q: If another bond issue is proposed, do you feel the majority of volunteers will once again work to promote that question?

A: Each individual must make that decision for him/herself. I would anticipate, though, that the current (group) of bond volunteers would work again because they believe in the district and our children.

Q: Less than one-third of the district's registered voters turned out at the polls. What work was done by the campaign committee to register voters and to encourage them to vote? Where do you believe that message may have gotten lost?

A: Voter registration information was available everywhere, and committee volunteers made telephone calls, went door-to-door and were present at a good majority of community activities including sporting events and civic meetings.

I don't know yet if I can say, "the message may have gotten lost." Some people in our community may have speculated it would pass and, for whatever reason, decided just not to vote. This will be something (the District Advisory Council), the board and administrative team will begin to process when we meet again in January.

Q: The bond issue lost in all three voting precincts. Did the campaign committee assign enough people to go door-to-door to visit with potential voters?

A: Until we get the chance for everyone to get back together, I'd have to say it's too early to know.

Q: More people voted in favor of the bond issue on advanced ballots than against. Would you encourage the school board to put forth a mail-in ballot -- a measure the board considered before deciding on a standard election -- on a future bond issue?

A: This has been a group process from the beginning and such a decision will have to be a group effort by the DAC, the school board and the administrative team.

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