Archive for Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ELECTION CENTRAL: USD 464 bond issue fails by about 100 shy of 2-to-1 margin

Election 2011

Election 2011

April 6, 2011

Tonganoxie USD 464 voters soundly said no to a $26.9 million bond issue Tuesday.

The bond issue, which if passed would have funded a new intermediate school as well as high school and elementary school upgrades, failed with no votes taking about 62 percent of the votes, 1,111-629.

A group opposed to the current bond issue, The Committee for the Kids, organized in the final weeks before the election with the message that the district needed a new elementary school but should not use the proposed plan.

Proponents of the bond issue, the Quality for Kids campaign, contended that renovations at the high school were necessary for security purposes in addition to overcrowding at the elementary school.

The last bond issue, which funded a new middle school and upgrades to the high school and elementary school, passed in 2004. The last bond issue before 2004 was in the late 1980s when a new junior high — now part of the high school campus — was built.

Comments

1012561 3 years ago

Thank you, to everyone who took time to educate themselves and vote yesterday! Now it is time for our community to get more involved and come together with we feasible plan to get the Elementary school plans together so we can get it built.

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Kota51 3 years ago

This bond issue was just too vaguely worded. We are past the days when taxpayers are going to give blank checks to school boards to spend however they wish. We need a feasible, economically sound plan to get the elementary school done without attaching "nice to have" stuff to it. Write the bond issue with clear objectives and no vague wording and many of us who voted no will vote yes next time.

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Padfield 3 years ago

I accept your reason for voting against this bond issue, it is valid and responsible. However, I don't think that this was the same line of reasoning that all 1,110 other people used yesterday.

I looked at the fact that this bond issue did more good than harm; and the plan, when compared to the likely situation of a future re-draft, was going to cost, worst case scenario, about the same amount. It doesn't make sense to me to vote this down. Same money, maybe less, and more improvements to the district. I hope that you guys are right and we get this elementary school for a pittance... but, we just lost the state aid and costs are going to go up. I think we just cut off our nose to spite our face.

Will I vote for the next bond issue that raises my taxes the same amount but doesn't improve the district as much? You bet! Because the most important thing is improving that elementary school.

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zod21 3 years ago

What exactly do you mean by "just too vaguely worded"? What does "economically sound plan" mean to you or anyone? Do people need to know square footage? Exact costs of every desk, chair and dry-erase board? This argument is disingenuous at best. People in this town need to turn off Rachel Maddow and Glen Beck and look around and see what this community needs, not recite talking points of the Republicrat party.

And school boards are elected, so if the money's being spent unwisely, elect new school board members.

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thinkagain 3 years ago

I agree Kota51 if the bod wasnt so vague maybe it would have passed.

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kirchoff 3 years ago

I'm curious as to what was vague? I'm new to the community (will be moving there this summer). When I read the documentation on the district web site I understood where the money was going. I'm just curious what more detail everyone wanted to see.

Thanks.

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Kota51 3 years ago

What was on the district website and what appeared on the ballot was not the same wording. The wording on the ballot was specific about the elementary school, then continued with vague wording that sounded like it would give the school district the authority to spend the money on basicly whatever it wanted to. That's why I voted no.

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kirchoff 3 years ago

Interesting. I agree the ballot should have been more specific. It should have followed in line with the documentation on the district web site. Especially since the ballot is official record of what's being voted on. Hopefully, in the future the wording on the ballot will be more specific. I've voted for bond issues before but it took me a while because the item on the ballot was nearly two columns on one page.....very specific.

Thanks for the insight.

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Old_Vet 3 years ago

The following is from the ballot as required by Kansas Statute and the county clerk. http://www.leavenworthcounty.org/home.asp

Shall Unified School District No. 464, Leavenworth County, Kansas, (Tonganoxie) issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $26,900,000 to pay the estimated costs to construct, furnish, and equip a new elementary school make improvements to the District's high school facilities; make improvements to other District facilities; and do all other things necessary and incidental thereto all pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 10-101 et seq., K.S.A. 25-2018(f), K.S.A. 75-2315 et seq. and K.S.A. 72-6761, all as amended?

I am not sure what more you want? Example: To spend $56, 209.55 on 2x4x8 lumber, to spend $21,009.23 on pex plumbing pipe, etc, etc. The ballot would be 500 pages long. What really happened yesterday? The elderly will not recognize the communitys needs, they do not want taxes raised for any purpose. Many did not have to work yesterday and voted enmass to reject the ballot. I new proposal for 15 million to only build a new elementary school would not pass. This demographic is adamantly opposed to any increase.

The district will be forced to purchase or lease trailers and place them at either the elementary school or the middle school, or both. Our kids will get the best in modular education. Our other associated costs will increase, heating, maintenance, etc to support these inefficient buildings. The above will probably result in higher property taxes to cover this requirement for a higher operating budget.

It wasn't a good plan, but the alternative is so costly we won't be able to afford it either. The fed just released its figures on inflation and worries about rising interest rates. I fear that in two years we'll be asked to pay for just an elementary school at 26 million for what we could have gotten for 18 million today. I think we as a community just flushed millions down the toilet.

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Kota51 3 years ago

"make improvements to other district facilities" ... What improvements to what facilities? With that wording they could have decided to add 2000 seats and astroturf to the football stadium and been within their authorities given in the bond issue. Bottom line, too vague. We don't vote for what is on signs or district web pages. We vote for what is on the ballot. And shooting personal attacks at voters is not likely to sway them toward your viewpoint.

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kirchoff 3 years ago

Old_Vet, good point on the inflation. I agree with flushing money down the toilet. Sorry Kota51, but there looks to be sufficient information for "yes" vote. I would have voted "yes", but my wife and are bringing two toddlers with us and like the sound of improvements being made. I get that the elderly don't want to see taxes going up and I'm sure a lot of them are on fixed incomes. When I look at the growth figures and projections and what's happening in the area....Tonganoxie is only going to grow. And with younger families too. Googles big announcement will only bring more companies to the Wyandotte area which will bring families that want to live in a smaller community to Tonganoxie.

Well, I can type and talk about this all day probably. I'll be watching what the school board does next. I would hope things that need done get done.

Thanks all for all the comments. Since I'm very new to the area and on the tail end of this issue, the input is very helpful.

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only1 3 years ago

Welcome Kirchoff. We need more youth with outside influences. Tonganoxie is in a great location, but we need more vision to continue to develop as a community. Voting this bond issue down won't help bring in more families that are looking for the best for their children, but I'm not giving up. It will get done, but unfortunately, at a much higher cost to us all.

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kirchoff 3 years ago

Hi everyone. With all this going on did everyone see the story about the THS Science Olympiad team. Very awesome!!!

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1985 3 years ago

Old Vet you nailed it perfectly. Kota 51, I do agree the wording could be cleaned up a bit but honestly the wording had very little to do with the margin of defeat.
Old Vet ( and if you are one - thank you very much for your sacrifices to give us the opportunity to vote on issues like this) we supporters need you as a spokesperson to the older residents of this terrific but painfully lagging community.
The next bond issue will have to be 75 million to keep up with costs and upgrades that will have to be made as we keep putting bandaides on gaping wounds. EVERY building will have to be upgraded in 5 years. ALL of our facilities are either outdated or within 3 years of requiring major ovehauls.
Kota 51 - great idea on the upgrades for 2000 seats and well back in 1985 it was called astroturf - it is now called field turf. Basehor, Piper, Bonner Springs and virtually every school of our size has gone to field turf. Far less expensive than maintaining a grass field. Forward vision of the positives is what we have to have for this entire community to move forward let alone our school system. The school system is the largest employer in any town our size. It is the lifeblood of the community and the focal point of potential new residents. We are not going to be able to attract new people to Tongie when our motto is "Move here - we keep our taxes low and our students in trailers" Forward thinking would show (like Basehor, and oh does that just pain me to say that) that by attracting more quality families to town, the tax base will broaden, more sales tax dollars are brought in along with more jobs, and the burden will become less on you Elmer, Kota, and your fellow no voters. Wyandotte County used to be the brunt of jokes for years and now with forward vision, it is the most talked about county in the sate and gets national attention. Sadly we are the brunt of the jokes from all the surrounding communities.
We are the Royals - stuck in the memory of the good times in 1985 and hoping things will improve but unwilling to move forward and then complain why things do not improve. Elmer you are the biggest mystery. You have land that has been for sale for years out in the area of our Middle School. A fantastic place for a subdivision - within a mile of a new school. You could make an absolute fortune, send your grandchildren to a great college, and not have to be worried about taxes. Who knowingly and willingly will move to Tongie when they visit their childs potential classroom - Trailer 5? Not even the 1985 Royals who played on astro turf.

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JOE 3 years ago

1985 YOU SAY MORE PEOPLE BROADENS TAX BASE AND IT IS NOT A BURDEN ON TAX PAYERS. THEN EXPLAIN AFTER BUILDING ALL THESE SUBDIVISIONS THEN WHY HAS OUR TAXES WENT UP EVERY YEAR?

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zod21 3 years ago

Here's a better and more salient point: Name a community in the area where the taxes have gone down.

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only1 3 years ago

Love it 1985... I wish more people recognized that entering Tonganoxie is like entering the 1980's. So much room for improvement, but unfortunately, I'm in the miniority. I've talked to several people who agree with you and me, so why don't more of us speak up? My wife actually agrees with me, but she is afraid of offending certain people by agreeing with me in public. Ludicrous, but absolutely true. I don't understand why SOME of the older generation thinks it's ok to bully people and make them feel bad for wanting this community to progress, but it happens. The next time this bond issue comes up, I plan to go out of my way to get people like you to come out of the woodwork and stand up for the future of this community.

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Joe_KS 3 years ago

I've never been more disappointed in my community. What a giant mistake! The next time a bond issue comes to light, it will cost far more, gain us far less, and be without the 25% funding from the state. Is that really what this community wants?

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Old_Vet 3 years ago

1985, Thank you for the kind words, I don't have the energy to lead a crusade among my peers. I am in my late 70s and struggling to keep up with technology. It is simple to see that our future is our children. We have a good board which has been transparent in all this. They have been available for comments and provided leadership throughout. This bond was partly a referendum on the last bond. I will be interested to see what the board of education does. Will we have a mobile home park on 4th Street? Those building are expensive to heat and cool, expensive to maintain and cost money to purchase or lease. I bet our mil levy increases to cover these costs and we won't have a vote in it. The no vote was in my old opinion so stupid and short sighted that it is almost shameful. But I don't really know who to be more ashamed of? The "NO" voters or the "no they did not vote" . Thoroughly disgusted with flushing millions down the toilet.

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Kota51 3 years ago

Old Vet, you can be ashamed of me all you want. I don't care! I vote in every election and I vote my conscience. If you don't like that, tough. This is about democracy. I don't criticize anyone who voted yes. That was your choice. For you and others in this town to try to shame and devalue the votes of others is disgusting.

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Old_Vet 3 years ago

Kota51, Flushing millions down the toilet because you disagreed with the wording on the ballot? It is that kind of reasoning that astounds me. The alarming thing is that most of the "No" voters were voting for their taxes to be raised without much input. The district is going to have to raise property taxes to pay for modular buildings, inefficient heating and cooling of those buildings, their installation, their maintenance, etc, etc, etc. The increases will be a few dollars less than the bond levy, but they will happen. Your shortsightedness is a detriment to this community. The character of our community is in peril. We have met the enemy and he is us.

"A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user." Theodore Roosevelt

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zod21 3 years ago

Glad to hear your conscience is OK with this community's children being taught in leaky mobile homes.

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hricane23 3 years ago

Old_Vet,

Thank you, sir, for all of your support and insight over the last few weeks. I thoroughly enjoyed having you on "our" side, and to this day, can't agree with you more.

And thank you to all of the other supporters who've taken the time to bring the facts to light. Unfortunately, misinformation and apathy beat us. And yes, there was just plain, unadulterated misinformation.

I've heard plenty of reasons to have opposed the bond, and the vagueness of the ballot has got to be one of the more curious ones. If you are skeptical enough to actually believe that the District was looking to trick us into getting field turf, new uniforms, or whatever else your conspiracy theory-filled mind can come up with, well, then there was never EVER any chance that you would've voted "Yes". I will not believe that you were on the fence and that the phrasing of the ballot suddenly brought you some great clarity to push you against it. It's an excuse. You were looking for reason, and you found one.

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Kota51 3 years ago

You can believe anything you want to. I don't care. See ya at the next election.

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artichokes 3 years ago

Think back to 2004 - a smaller community and a slightly smaller school system by 282 students (according to the 2004-2005 and 2010-2011 stats on the district website)…yet the patrons responded to the need of our students by passing a $25.3 million bond by a vote of 2,319 to 1,613 to add a new building and upgrades. Those numbers are interesting when you compare them to the 2011 bond voting results. We had 26.87% voter involvement – where are all these parents of the children at the elementary school? There were over 4800 patrons who didn’t vote…that is a key driving force behind why this bond didn’t pass. Why didn't they vote? If they were concerned about higher taxes - they would have gotten out to vote 'no'.

Instead of spending energy bullying the ‘no’ voters about how uneducated we are, how we lack vision, how we're uninformed, how we're…well, you get the point …spend that energy wondering what you could have done differently to get more than 670 people to vote yes! We are a larger community – more young families have moved in since 2004…families who moved here knowing the situation at TES (the hut and mobiles aren’t new) yet there were O N L Y 670 yes votes. Clearly, not even all the parents at the elementary school and employees in the district could get behind it…people who directly benefit from it passing!

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Pinpoint 3 years ago

Artichokes - Thank you so much for stating your opinion. I could not agree with you more. I am so very tired of being told that I am uneducated, uncaring for future of Tonganoxie youth, and have no clue to what is going on in the communiity because of my oppositon to the bond issue. Yes, I do have a college education, children in the school district, and have lived in the community over 10 years ... and yes I still opposed the bond issue. However, I , like everyone else only have one vote. No one should be belittled because of voting their choice.

I applaude all that voted, regardless of their positon on the bond issue. I find it very sad, especially in these times of a poor ecomony and large government, that people due not take the initive or time to vote their opinion. It only goes to prove the statement the that the major issue facing all governments is not the opposition as much as it is the apathy of its citizens.

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zod21 3 years ago

Why did you vote against it?

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kirchoff 3 years ago

This thread has more posts so I'll add to this one. Hey Mirror can we consolidate news articles. :~)

It would be helpful to know what other reasons caused people to vote "no". Here's what I've heard so far.

  1. vague wording on ballot
  2. tax increase

Have I missed any? I'm sure I have.

On the district web site there was good documentation. I think it could have been organized a little better. There needs to be a "How does this affect me" document/presentation. There was, kind of. But it was meshed into the main powerpoint. Even though there was a lot of data in the powerpoint, one thing I would have changed is the tax increase based on home value. Instead of listing only 3 rows broken out by $25K, I would have put 7 or 8 rows separating them by 10K. Less math to do in your head to get to your home value.

Start with an "executive summary" type presentation. 2 slides...tops. Then a "why do we need this" presentation. 5 slides Then a "what are we going to do with the money" presentation. 10-20 slides (possibly another with more detail, if need be) Then a "how does this affect me" presentation. 5 - 10 slides

Make these separate documents so it's clearly defined where to find the information you want.

Now, let me say...all this information was on the district web site in various documents. When I looked at it I just didn't get a feel of it flowing very well. Does anyone have any inclination what I'm talking about?

Thoughts?

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zod21 3 years ago

These are excellent points. I think the pro-growth people did a great job in providing information and attempting educate people, but they didn't really connect emotionally with the community. This is especially necessary as the anti-elementary school forces seemed to respond to the emotional and the visceral more than the logical or rational reasons for building a new elementary school.

Also: When so many people are weirded out by wrong-headed fears that their government is going socialist (or, more accurately, more socialist), maybe yard signs using the same color scheme as the Chinese flag could have been redesigned. Just a thought.

One thing is clear: No one in favor of building a new elementary school for our community should give up. Take the criticism -- valid or not -- and try again. The grade school facilities are an embarassment to Tonganoxie. It is shameful that our kids are taught in mobile homes with leaky roofs. I guarantee you any young people who want to move to town will be more concerned with the quality of the schools than they will be with taxes.

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Dale Woodyard 3 years ago

zod21, You have many interesting theories, however, none are well founded. You ask why one voted no. I throw the question back and ask why didn't more vote yes? The no vote as for myself was based on a distrust of current (not past) administration. Furthermore, I don't feel the plan was sound and had the potential of costing more to fix problems in the future. Many of the no votes came from people who have childeren in the district and have been here for 10 years or less. Seems to me that breaks the mold of what the yes vote likes to paint our side as. A new elementry school does need to be built. Few say that it does not. The problem is the bond and the way the school is operated does not and did not fully focus on the children.

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only1 3 years ago

"Many of the no voters were young people with children". Many or some? I would disagree with "many", but regardless, I'm interested in hearing why you distrust the current administration. I've never seen an administration that has more interest in the community than the current administrators,especially at the elementary and high school level. Former administrators at both schools were caught in very unethical practices and disappointing acts and the current one's are always looking to help a community member in some way, especially with "Team Tongie". Tonganoxie is lucky to have administration that cares about kids and families.

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Dale Woodyard 3 years ago

My grade schooler no longer attends TES. Bottom line the administration does not care about the children and in my child's case disabled children, nor are they even willing to try to understand and deal with disabilities. If they did care so much they would set up offices in the Mobile Rooms and allow the childeren they care about inside the main building. It is time that people start to see though the blissfull smoke that is blown around.

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zod21 3 years ago

Great. Answer a question by asking another. All right. How was it unsound? How did it not focus on the children? How would financing the school now cost more to fix problems in the future? I mean, it will now, certainly. Basing a vote on feelings over facts is irresponsible.

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hricane23 3 years ago

Zod!

You asked "How was it unsound?" Let me throw it back at you, "What sound does it make?" You asked "How did it not focus on the children?" I answer, "Why didn't more children focus on it?" You asked "How would financing the school now cost more to fix problem in the future?" My answer is "How much much more will it cost to finance the future now during the past problems while school... um, you're unsound."

Teeheehee.

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1985 3 years ago

No voters let me give you a real sense of what you said " no" to besides a few tax dollars. Before I mention everything that will not be taking place let me remind you that your taxes have gone down the last couple of years due to declining values so the proposed tax increase would bring you apprx. back to the tax level off 2008. Old Vet you need to run for Congress. Like he points out, we are going to get a mill increase to pay for portable classrooms.
Many people in the construction industry have been searching for steady work for some time. Hmm wonder if anyone could have landed a job? 75 new workers into town everyday. Hmm wonder if they would eat lunch at any of our locally owned eateries? 75 new workers hmm wonder if any would have moved to Tongie to be closer to work as they see progress? Hmm, wonder if real estate people would have a major selling tool with new schools going up. Hmm wonder if your biggest investment, your home, would maintain or increase in value? Hmm wonder if some teenagers could land a summer job ? Hmm wonder if those 75 workers might need to buy gas at Caseys?
You saved 200 dollars but how much did it cost you to save that? You pay more in cell phone taxes and TV a year than this investment.
Reaction from the student population was and I quote "No suprise, noone other than the people in school care, can we move " That attitude permiating thru our students is not condusive for academic enrichment. Artichokes - I do agree entirely. Pathetic showing for both sides really. Marketing efforts need to be greatly adjusted. The money spent on signs and mailers was not effective. The urgency and major community impact was not presented strongly enough. Hire a couple of people that are willing to go out and present the facts, willing to ruffle some feathers, and willing to fight for this community as a whole. I nominate Old Vet and myself. Someone please help me out with voting procedures and laws Do votes have to be cast at the designated locations? Voting booths at the schools as the 400 cars waiting to pick up kids every day, appears to be a simple solution.

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Joe_KS 3 years ago

Yes, you have to vote in your precinct, or by advanced ballot.

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1985 3 years ago

Kota 51 - sad you are so bitter. Huricane 23 - keep pouring in the good comments. Kota - please go back to typing your message on a typewriter, take it to the editor, and hope it is one that he/she sees fit to print.
Old Vet I would be honored to buy you lunch - upper 70's and passion for the future. That is just awesome. Emailing in your views - did you ever dream that would take place when you were 60 years old. So pumped some can see further than their tax statement. Pinpoint - yes the apathy in adults is being passed down to the kids. The lack of interest by most makes those of us who do have a passion for something look crazy. Still would be interested in hearing why the no vote though.

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kirchoff 3 years ago

(Kirchoff's wife) My husband is trying to find out the logical reason why this did not pass. Kota51, you stated that you voted with your conscience. Could you explain why you conscience did not like the bond issue.

I just have to say that it appears that this was an emotional vote by many people. Is there a reason why so many appear to have a grudge against the school system or bond issues? It appears obvious that the facilities need updating and the district is growing. So what do the No voters need to vote Yes on a future bond issue?

On a personal note, I've taught in a mobile classroom. It is not fun. My students often felt embarrassed to be going to class in a mobile unit and lacked pride when other schools visited for sporting events and other competitions. It is also expensive and difficult to regulate the temperature in the classrooms and the sound of the heating and cooling systems is distracting.

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1985 3 years ago

Kirchoff's wife - How effective can you be as a teacher in a modular? Please inform those who will be carping to you about not doing enough for their child. Pinpoint - please expand. I personally would have a difficult time explaing to my children that no, I do not wish for you to have an upgraded school. I want you to be in a crowded classroom. I want you in 50 and 60 year old facilities.
Question for everyone. How many other school districts house their top administrators in a tin shed? 12,000 cars a day drive by our BOE office. Our top decision makers are in a metal building that was used as a garage for auto mechanics classes.
First impressions of the community are the schools and our top people are in a shed. Fancy new digs are not a prequal for great ideas and decisions. Great ideas and decision makers will continue to drive on by and bypass our community though.

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only1 3 years ago

100% accurate, but good luck getting some to even listen to that logic. You have to care to listen and some just don't care.

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Kota51 3 years ago

I can't talk for all the no voters. In my case the wording on the ballot gave too much leeway for the school board to shift funds around for pet projects. It's not that I don't trust this administration. It is that I don't trust any elected body that gets too much leeway when it comes to spending tax dollars. I've seen too many boards and commissions abuse their authorities over the years. Several people have said that they had the plan well documented on the district website and they did. So why couldn't the planners put clear and succinct wording on the ballot? We don't vote for what is on the district website. We vote for what is on the ballot.

As for being bitter, I'm not. But after being personally attacked for my vote by oldvet and hurricane23, I decided it was time to clearly and succinctly tell them (whoever he or she is) what I think of their beliefs in my voting. Bottom line is, I don't care what they think.

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zod21 3 years ago

If you voted no only because of the wording on the ballot, what wording would have made it acceptable to you? Be constructive. Otherwise, it just sounds like you want more oversight, more micromanaging and more government.

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hricane23 3 years ago

Kota51,

I have no idea who you are, so I can't personally attack you. I don't know your name, or at least, I don't think I do. But even if Kota51 is your god given name, I don't know anyone that goes by that. So, there's been no personal attack. There has only been discussion and comments of frustration and, in my case, utter amazement at your reasoning for your "No".

I'm curious what you expected would happen when you first posted why you voted "No". Did you think we'd all go, "Ah, yes, that makes perfect sense now! I should've voted "No", too!"

On the contrary, I see your reason as just another example of what's wrong with this town, and this country. Too skeptical of the "other" side, too comfortable with finding problems instead of solutions, too willing to blindly follow a pack, too easily influenced by misinformation and too lazy to seek out the truth.

And you do care what we say. Otherwise you wouldn't have this read message, and you wouldn't have kept responding, saying you don't care.

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Kota51 3 years ago

I do care what you say ... and what others think and say. The reason I posted in the first place was to stir the pot a bit to generate thought and ideas. Have to admit that I was a bit shocked at the attacks coming from the losing side. In my mind I respect everyone's right and responsibility to vote as they see fit. I have been voting and dealing with local, state, and national election issues for many years. And one thing I've learned in that time is that if you turn tax dollars over to elected bodies, whether they be legislatures, commisions, councils, boards, or whatever without sufficient oversight, there is a great chance that money will be wasted (at best) and misused (at worst). So I've learned that I want to see the specifics on the ballot, especially dealing with bond issues. I don't know if that is what motivated other voters, but that is what motivated this one. Not looking for a tiff and never was. Was just trying to communicate why I voted no.

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only1 3 years ago

Just curious, do you seek out all of the truths of each candidate when voting for a candidate? There are people that say the same as you do, but then vote strictly Democrat or strictly Republican. If you're going to be this skeptical of a wording on a bond issue, then I would hope more voters would see that political parties are a joke. I guess I see Tuesday's vote this way. The negatives of someone POSSIBLY wasting a few dollars doesn't even touch the negatives of this not passing. This was not good for the positive growth of our community. It was good for a few individuals and their stubborn pride and to save them $10 a month. What a victory! Congrats.

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1985 3 years ago

So far the reasons for no votes are wording, they screwed up the parking lot last time, this administration, the last adminisrtation, they could shift $ around,and no higher taxes. Please give me something that is not so vague. There is always going to be adminisrtation, the wording will never be exact to every specification, there has to be some flexibility on costs, and the parking lot ? Maybe if our kids got educated properly they could solve these issues for us in the future.
Time for us yes voters to spend our energy getting all the non voters to our side. Time to get more of the students involved in the marketing campaigns. Some people are just negative and love bringing others down, so lets not waste any more breath on those who have no intent of ever saying yes. Only 1, Old Vet, Huricane, Kirchoff ,Zod 21, Joe KS Lets get the push going now so we can accomplish what we all know needs to take place.

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artichokes 3 years ago

My vote was N O T about an increase in my yearly property taxes. I give more than that amount every year to support our students/district without a tax authority requiring me to do it. No one needs to explain their vote – period. A few 'yes' people are only baiting those 'no' voters who have other reasons besides taxes so they can belittle them with negative commentary. I’m only mentioning it wasn’t about taxes for me because I’m so tired of the rant that it was just about the taxes. Every single person I know who voted no – it had nothing to do with taxes.

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artichokes 3 years ago

Is everyone going to be happy with any bond – no. Can a bond pass in Tongie – clearly it can and did in 2004 and surprise...those voters are still here! However, the fact you are using the defeat of this particular bond issue to make generalized statements about the patrons in this district who cared enough to get out and actually vote is appalling. If you want to talk about what is wrong in this town – well, bite your tongue and turn that finger back at yourselves and realize that particular mentality is not helping! I guess because I didn’t agree with the bond proposal I should have just stayed home – um, golly gee…I’m sorry to disappoint but I have voted in every election on every issue since I turned 18 (even while away at college) and that isn’t going to change. I don't vote party lines and I make educated informed decisions based on the information available, my beliefs and what is best for my family - whether for the highest office or the local bonds. I have a voice with my vote and I fully intend to use it. I used it to vote yes in 2004 and no in 2011. If all the ‘no’ voters had stayed home – would you be basking in the glow of a ‘win’ with 670 votes? I’d hope not because pass or fail with the bond --- what speaks volumes is the silent majority of parents/patrons of this district who clearly showed a lack of support with their absence at the polls. Why some people on this forum continue to rant on and on and ON about people voting no to save $ is beyond me. Patrons who voted no – whether for taxes or other reasons – are not the reason the bond failed!

My point is - connect the dots - many of the people who voted no or didn’t vote are many of the people who voted yes in 2004 and quite possibly will vote yes again! The new bond committee needs to be concerned with why a vast majority of voters in our now larger community didn’t get out to vote! Where are all the elementary parents – why didn’t they vote? Straight out of the gate - they need to start with a new set of communication skills. Meaning, they need to encourage their supporters to be assertive (strong, clear and direct) yet responsive communicators, not aggressive (degrading or belittling others for their views, using statements like it’s obvious you haven’t thought this thru, etc.) communicators and to utilize a little active listening (it’s why God gave you two ears and only one mouth). I’m not saying all supporters need this, but clearly a few do. Benjamin Franklin once said a small leak can sink a great ship – there’s some wisdom in that statement.

The fact of the matter is the bond was defeated – the majority of voters, well those that cared enough to vote, have decided. Put on your proverbial big girl panties, accept the fact it didn’t pass, be respectful of your neighbors and stop blaming those who did vote (because many may be voting yes next time) and start asking yourself what you could have done better to get more than 670 votes!

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1985 3 years ago

Chokes as I have stated before, the showing was pathetic, I agree Roughly 25 % of voters put forth the effort to cast a ballot. Yes you are spot on, the urgency and impact of this issue was not brought forth enough. Apathy is the loudest voice in this election. That has to change or this community is going to resemble many towns in the western part of the state.
No shock but none of the non voters have made the effort to comment !

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Michael Vestal 3 years ago

Artichoke, You hit the nail on the head. Those who did not vote who wanted the bond issue to pass should have got out and voted. You have No one to blame but yourselves! My opinion only here, But I think if They (school Administration) had concentrated on the actual need (grade School) and nothing else, The Bond would have passed with No Problem. That was the Main Issue the way I understand it. The other things were just extras. All I have ever read was about the overcrowded grade school. that should have been the issue concentrated on.

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gotongie 3 years ago

Voter turnout was pathetic. Agreed. Sad to say that the public thinks that fixing the safety of the high school is an "extra". People are more sympathetic to an overcrowded elementary school than an unsafe high school. Every door unlocked during the day? No problem. They're old enough. Artichokes--do you send your children to public school or private school?

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artichokes 3 years ago

Why do you feel the high school is unsafe - because the doors are unlocked? Or because students have to walk across the parking lot to another building?

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hricane23 3 years ago

As I understand it, the high school cannot go on "lock down". There are too many points of entry. It doesn't have to be a shooter on campus, gun in a building, or anything like that. Nowadays, a high speed chase down 24-40 is enough reason for a lock down. I remember maybe 2 years ago, there was a manhunt in the area after finding a vehicle at Sonic (I think) that had been stolen by some sexual assaulter. Can we make any school 100% safe? No. But we are obligated to make them as safe as we can.

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artichokes 3 years ago

You’re right hricane – we can’t make any school 100% safe and as their parents we’re obligated to make their environment as safe as we can…however, the gray area is defining ‘safe’? Wouldn’t you agree that what is safe to one is not at all safe to another parent? Are you aware some parents feel our high school is unsafe due to the high rate of theft among students? I would venture to guess that the majority of parents and students at THS don’t deem the campus unsafe in the physical sense.

Some parents are going to worry about every single worst case scenario in regard to safety. I’ve heard people mention Columbine, you’ve brought up the manhunt a few years back (I remember that as well), etc. However, what we need to recognize about Columbine is that if a student wants to harm another student, even in a mass event, the changes to the physical appearance at THS isn’t going to change that. They will walk right in the front door and right past administrators and Officer Adams and into the building. Think about a few instances we’ve had at TMS in regard to ‘safety’ issues…and they have one entrance. The district handled the manhunt a few years back exactly the way I’d expect them to – they did what was necessary to secure our student body.

If the district were so concerned with safety of our students – why do they let students walk blocks to the city pool? Why does it allow TMS students (as well as THS students) to walk to downtown for parades. Will they continue to allow our elementary students to go outside and wander around downtown visiting the various businesses as a class project? What about field trips? The Natural History Museum one usually has the kids outside (wide open college campus) on the hill enjoying lunch and burning off energy (all well behaved, but – good Lord – what about their safety?!?!?) Ok, I’ll admit that last comment was a tad sarcastic.

Interesting tidbit: Kyle Hayden says on the district website that ‘our schools and community offer a safe place for students to be positively involved in many activities and grown into responsible citizens’. Straight from the leader of our district – a safe place for students.

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hricane23 3 years ago

So we agree that we can't make the place 100% safe. But then you ask if I understand that what's safe to one parent, may be unsafe to another. I hope your phrasing is wrong here. I don't think you're suggesting that connecting the buildings would be "unsafe", and that you're trying to suggest that some may not consider any additional safety coming from the connection. But, I believe that having kids walking from building to building does provide for less safety. In addition to keeping doors unlocked in both buildings so that they can get in and out to class, we allow them to be exposed during the walk.

In your examples of kids walking to businesses, the pool, or out to a parade, or whatever, you're talking about supervised or parent-approved activities. These are much more "random" than hourly walks between buildings, and usually involve a few students (with the exception of the parades, but I'm not familiar with how often our elementary students go outside to watch a parade). In the case of students walking between the two buildings, we're talking about 70-100 kids, maybe more, between the two buildings, and on an hourly basis.

So, while I don't think we need the connection to stop a Columbine-like attack, I think it does provide a stronger level of security. And let's not forget that the hallway was designed to house the new modern and safe (that dang word again) science labs and a new modern and safe (just kidding) chorale room. The Administration offices were an efficient way to fill up the "hallway", and allow for the old offices to be converted to parking that's lost with the new hallway. I don't think people really grasped this, as I heard people calling it a "covered walkway" until the last days before the election.

But with that, unless I see something that's just begging for a response, this board has gotten too long in the teeth. It's probably just you and me, Artichokes, anyway! So I'm out. I hope to see you at future planning sessions for a new bond.

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kansanjayhawk 3 years ago

The kids are walking across to Sonic every day! What safety are you talking about this is just a smoke and mirrors argument that part of the project needs to be cut out and we can down size this entire plan. Then maybe a capacity increasing smaller proposal can be floated using existing facilities and not building new office spaces for administrators.

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gotongie 3 years ago

You are so right. I agree that our top adminstrators deserve to be working in the old automotive shed. Why should they get anything nice? Why show any respect to our professionals? They are a bunch of deceitful, money-grubbing, out for themselves type of people. There are much better people out there clammoring for their jobs. If new teachers and administrators coming into the district look down on us just because they are interviewed in an old tin shed, then they don't deserve to work in our trailors. I mean buildings. And as for those darn adminstrators? I say let's clean house. I'm sure there are hundreds, if not thousands, of high-quaility, certified candidates that are ready to take on the issues in Tonganoxie. I'm sure they would have done a bajillion times better on passing this bond. I'm so glad we are so much smarter than every one in charge of this district!

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gotongie 3 years ago

"Good ol' 464" is right! I'm with you, chokes! I think those lying administrators and board members were just looking out for themselves when they came up with this ridiculous plan. It was all just one evil plot to take your hard earned money. Trust no one!

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artichokes 3 years ago

I was just answering your question about whether public or private school. We are proud to call Tongie home - the town and our district.

I realize that commenting lacks 'tone', but good grief - I never said anything about lying administrators, that it was a ridiculous plan, an evil plot or anything about taking my hard earned money.

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gotongie 3 years ago

Re-read your posts. It's pretty much implied that you should have been in charge of this entire project.

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