Bond committee getting the word out
From online videos to disposable telephones for calling potential voters, members of a nonprofit committee are spreading the word about the Feb. 9 Quincy School District bond measure.
The group – Citizens Supporting Quincy Schools – raised about $12,000 for its pro-bond efforts. While school district money only can be used to publicize facts of the proposed bond, the private group is allowed to advocate for passage with funds it raises.
Ballots for the $108 million bond have been mailed to registered voters within the school district boundaries. Completed ballots must be postmarked no later than Feb. 9, or can be delivered to the county courthouse by hand or put into the election drop-off box at the Quincy Public Library by Feb. 9.
Voters are placed on the Grant County Elections Office “inactive” list if they have not voted in the past two federal general elections, and they will not receive a ballot in the mail, said Dedra Osborn, certified elections administrator. That could be due to moving from the county or if a voter has passed away, she explained.
However, people who have just turned 18, people who have only recently moved to the county or people who have recently registered in Grant County are not affected by the federal voting requirement. If a person has moved within the school district’s boundaries since the last election, they should contact the Elections Office at 754-2011 to report their new address.
Committee member Tricia Lubach, who also is a school board member, said more than half of the committee’s funding has been spent printing flyers and mailings with graphics, in addition to $950 for newspaper advertising. Another $400 was spent to purchase a list of registered voters and $640 went for telephones.
She said it hasn’t been decided if the committee will spend the rest of the money. However, Lubach said initial responses from citizens have been positive.
“We’ve had wonderful support from the community,” she said. “Everybody’s doing this (committee work) on their spare time.”
The group includes parents and other community members as well as district employees campaigning on their own time.
The videos are on the school district’s Facebook page. One of them is an overview of the bond, describing what each school would receive in renovations or additions. It includes the projection that enrollment districtwide will increase by 20 percent in the next five years. That video also is available at www.qvpr.com.
A second video focuses on the crowding problems at George Elementary School, where half the students attend class in portables.
School Superintendent John Boyd said the district’s informational campaign has been well received.
“The feedback I’m getting is very positive,” he said. “We’ve really tried to blanket the community with communications so people understand (the bond) and can make the best decision for them and their family. We want the facts out.”
A total of 60 percent “yes” votes is needed to pass the measure. If that happens, it would cost property owners in the school district $1.89 per $1,000 of assessed value. That means the owner of a $200,000 house would pay $378 the first year, with the rate dropping as the 20-year bond is paid.
The district is trying to get its message out in a variety of ways, including putting large informational boards in English and Spanish in the high school lobby during sports events. Boyd also has been speaking to civic groups.
“For me, it’s been fun to connect with all these groups,” Boyd said. “It has been really fun to see the reaction of people and how much this community supports education.”
— By Steve Kadel, firstname.lastname@example.org