Archive for Wednesday, October 29, 2008

District contemplates bond issue, survey company

October 29, 2008

A bond election for the Tonganoxie School District could involve a company that provides survey services and informs districts about whether the public is in favor of a bond issue.

The second monthly meeting of school administrators, teachers, fellow committee members and officials to discuss space issues in the district was Monday in the Chieftain Room at Tonganoxie High School.

Rick Nobles of Patron Insight, a company in Stilwell that offers patron research services, spoke to the committee of roughly 20 people about his company’s product.

“We get information from all patrons, not from the 10 percent who love you and the 10 percent who hate you,” Nobles said.

It’s that other 80 percent that need to be gauged in determining whether a bond issue would have a chance of passing.

The district is evaluating whether to proceed with another bond issue. In 2004, a $25.3 million bond issue passed successfully and with it came Tonganoxie Middle School and renovations to the elementary and high schools. Although the middle school alleviated space issues at TES, formerly K-6 and now a K-4 school, the elementary school again is feeling a space crunch and that will continue as the population increases, officials say.

At Monday’s meeting, Superintendent Richard Erickson said the district should, at this point, be shooting for a November 2009 election, if it’s thought the issue would likely pass.

Nobles said his company currently is working with the Leavenworth School District to pass a $52.8 million bond issue. The fate of that issue will be determined Tuesday.

Nobles said Patron Insight services likely would cost the district $12,500.

That would include phone surveys of patrons. Each phone survey would be 60-85 questions and would take roughly 15 minutes to finish.

Patron Kevin Faulk, who was at the meeting, said lengthy calls could be a deterrent, as he said he likely wouldn’t continue the survey if it were going to take 15 minutes.

The importance of making sure the committee continues to grow was a hot topic at the meeting as well.

People in attendance said it was vital for them to get the word out and invite more and more people to the meetings.

Nobles noted the importance of the committee.

“Committees win elections,” he said. “We’re going to be there to counsel you and guide you with campaign management.

“On the research side of things, our accuracy is pretty good. And to back that up, clients we’ve worked with … two elections last April, we called within 20 votes of the percentage.”

The next meeting to discuss space needs in the district will be 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24 at the Chieftain Room at THS.

The next regular school board meeting will be 6 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Tonganoxie Middle School library.

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