558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
Time is of the essence for earning school bond support
December 17, 2012
After a great deal of research and a survey done between the Crook County School District and the Nelson report out of Salem, the CCSD School Board voted in November to move forward with the Crook County School District facilities bond.
At the last school board meeting, Facilities Committee president John Sundell said that a political action committee needs to be organized to start on activities to market the bond. He added that a political action committee is entirely for advocating, and the school board cannot market or advocate for the bond measure.
Now a month has passed, and the voting taxpayers will be faced with a decision in May. A phone survey that included a cross section of Crook County voters regarding the potential $33 million bond measure proposal had 60 percent who favored the bond, 28 percent opposed, and 12 percent unsure. A survey, however favorable, won’t carry the vote of the remaining taxpayers without some serious marketing.
The time is fast approaching, and the committee has a lot to do in a short period of time. They must not lean on the survey, but get the word out to taxpayers.
The political action committee will have to convince the remaining voters that this is indeed the best course of action. The decision to move forward follows a lot of work done by the facilities committee, and it would be a shame to see something so promising fail because of the public not having enough information.
We would like to point out that there are some important points that must be taken into consideration as voters look at this unique opportunity. People need to know that never again will they have the opportunity to keep the tax burden status quo from the previous bond from the Crook County High School bond. One of the goals all along for the facilities committee was to maintain the current tax rate of $1.03 per $1,000 of assessed value. In all probability, they also won’t have interest rates this low again. Voters must also realize that they have an opportunity to build a new school and fix the remaining schools for the price they are paying now in their taxes.
The political action committee will have to convince skeptical taxpayers that the older grade schools have many age-related issues and are quickly deteriorating. The CCSD maintenance crews have done a great job of keeping them as well maintained as they possibly can with the available funds from the district, but you can only put so much lipstick on a pig.
Some taxpayers have voiced concern about how the old school buildings will be handled. What will happen to them? Will they reduce the debt?
We believe these are some questions the district will have to answer, and they have until May to finish marketing the upcoming bond measure-which will be on the ballot at that time.
That said, time is of the essence, and May will be here all too soon.