Archive for Wednesday, June 13, 2012

USD 464 board looking at bond issue for $30 million elementary school

Tonganoxie USD 464 central office.

Tonganoxie USD 464 central office.

June 13, 2012

A roughly $30 million bond issue could be on the ballot for local voters in November.

The Tonganoxie USD 464 School Board expressed its interest in looking closer at an option presented at Monday’s meeting to put before voters.

HTK Architects presented preliminary proposals, one of which would provide for a kindergarten through fifth elementary school near Tonganoxie Middle School with an estimated cost of $30 million.

The current elementary school would be a mixed-use building. Some potential uses to be explored for the current elementary school if a new school were built: overflow classrooms for future growth needs in the district, shared space with City Hall, possible library needs, a community center, board of education needs, district special needs cooperative, parks and recreation, possible community college classrooms and virtual school.

Capacity would be 1,200 students for the six grades. Under the configuration, the middle school would become a 6-8 building. Currently, TES has kindergarten through fourth-grade classes and TMS is 5-8.

Current population is 715 at TES with ideal capacity being 616. At TMS, current population is 572 and ideal is 625. And at the high school campus, current population is 572 with ideal capacity being 800.

Other options presented at the meeting:

• Adding classrooms to the current elementary school and making handicapped accessibility upgrades to bathrooms in the current school. Also, adding eight classrooms — two on each wing — at TMS. Capacity would go to 682 at TES and 825 at TMS.

Estimated cost: $7 million.

• Building a grades 3-5 intermediate school near TMS for roughly $15 million and making the aforementioned upgrades to TES.

Capacity would be 616 at TES, 650 at the intermediate school and 625 at TMS.

Estimated cost: $17 million.

The board next will meet July 9. If the board approves a resolution for the bond issue at that time, it would allow enough time for the measure to be put on the November ballot.

Voters said no to a $26.9 million bond issue in April 2011 that would have provided expansions at all three USD 464 campuses. Board members have said the current bond issue discussion needed to be focused solely on an overcrowded TES.

Resignations, hirings and terminations

The board accepted resignations and approved contracts for 2012-13 at Monday’s meeting

Resigning were Barb Gurss, TMS physical education teacher; Jessica Johnston, THS art teacher; Susan Kuzmic, THS assistant softball coach; Pam Lamb, THS family and consumer science teacher and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America sponsor; Lee Matzeder, THS head softball coach; Rachel Padfield, seventh grade assistant volleyball coach, Andrea Putthoff, bus driver; and Kim Woodall, TMS assistant track coach.

The board also approved contracts for Kimberlyn Angelo, TMS band/vocal music teacher; Spencer Dale, THS assistant volleyball coach; Tara George, THS family and consumer science teacher; David Hall, THS assistant girls’ basketball coach; David Hillmon, eighth grade boys’ head basketball coach, THS assistant football coach; Courtney Nicholson, TES teacher; Rachelle Pauly, eighth grade girls’ assistant basketball coach; Jared Schultz, TMS physical education teacher; Kim Swearngin, FCCLA sponsor; Preston Troyer, THS half-time business technology/half-time physical education teacher; and David Walker, THS girls’ assistant basketball coach.

In addition, the board voted not to renew the contracts of Heidi Kate Andre, TES art teacher, and William Gibbs, math teacher for sixth through eighth grades.

Hires, resignations and terminations were approved with approval of minutes, bills and treasurer’s report. The agenda items passed, 6-1, with board member Kathy Baragary voting against.

In other business, the board:

• Approved, 7-0, enrollment fees for 2012-13.

• Approved, 7-0, TES and TMS handbooks, with a bullying addition to the TMS handbook.

• Approved, 7-0, 2012-13 student accident insurance with Student Assurance Services for $11,393.

• Approved, 7-0, the 2012-13 Parents as Teachers agreement for $17,300.

• Approved, 7-0, authorizing superintendent, board clerk and auditor moved to authorize the superintendent, the board clerk, and the auditor to make the necessary transfers to the special funds and transfer the legal maximum amounts provided by law to the contingency reserve fund, the capital outlay fund and any of the special funds from the general fund and supplemental fund subject to receipt of the district’s final state aid payments.

Comments

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

With so many people out of work and with the unemployment rate rising to 8.2% nationally now seems like a very inappropriate time to spend millions of dollars on building additional buildings for the school. Education is not about buildings it is about learning and character building! There will come a time for buildings and expansion after our community attracts economic growth and jobs! Placing this on the ballot does not mean it is going to pass unless community support is built-simply throwing it together-will not get it! The last successful bond issue had been organized and community support was built for over a year. Pastor Lamb and others reached out to the conservative community and gained support. With this economy and the lack of time this will never fly just more wasted architecture planning money.

0

Bernie_G 2 years, 6 months ago

Dennis, There is a need, the elementary school has conducted physical education classes in the hallways. Lunch starts at 10:30 so they can process all the kids through the cafeteria. The art teacher just left because she doesn't have a classroom. Again, it shows you have no experience at public administration.

Tonganoxie Mirror, The bond as I understood it was for 66% of 27 millions dollars. The bond would then be for 18 million dollars because the state will pay for 34% of the building. I may be off but this is what was explained to me by one of the board members. Could you please clarify the following: "A roughly $30 million bond issue could be on the ballot for local voters in November." Is that statement true or false?

Thank you.

0

Bernie_G 2 years, 6 months ago

The unemployment rate in Kansas is 6.1%. The unemployment rate in Leavenworth county is 7.0% with the city of Leavenworth carrying most of that 7.1% and the county estimated at 5.3% to 5.5%.

Exactly how does the national average matter in this case?

The proposed school bond would be for 18-19 million at about 1.75% interest for 20 to 25 years. (Interest rates at all time low) which would cost 22,100,000 million at the current rate 1.75 over 25 years. State will fund 9,000,000 million of the cost.

Wait 4-5 years and the 34% state copay will probably be repealed so we'll have to fund the entire building 27 million. But in 4-5 years building costs will probably rise 10% or even 15%. Now we're at 30-32 million. When factoring in the interest rates that could be anywhere from 5-8% then we're talking about 53 million dollars at 5% over 25 years.

So the Dennis plan will cost us 53 million dollars if we wait 4 years. The proposed bond if passed in November will cost us 22 million dollars.

0

hricane23 2 years, 6 months ago

Education IS about learning anc character building. BUT, education IS also about buildings. Consider this from the U.S. Dept of Ed...

Link... http://www2.ed.gov/offices/OESE/archives/inits/construction/impact2.html

  • In a District of Columbia study, students in buildings in poor conditions had acheivement scores 6% lower than those in "fair" buildings, and 11% lower than those in "excellent" buildings.
  • A study in 1996 in large, urban high schools in Virginia found that student achievement was as much as 11% lower substandard buildings compared to above-standard buildings.
  • A 1982 study concluded that heating and air conditioning systems appeared to be very important, along with special instructional facilities (science labs or equipment). Proper building maintenance was also found to be related to better attitudes and fewer disciplinary problems.
  • Research indicates that air quality inside a school may significantly affect students' ability to concentrate. Evidence suggests that children 10 years and younger are more vulnerable to than adults to the contaminants found in some school buildings, i.e. asbestos, radon, formaldehyde.
  • Other studies have found correlations in regards to the impact of poor buildings on the teachers' performance.
  • A study of overcrowded schools in New York City found that students in such schools scored significantly lower on both math and reading exams than did students in less crowded schools.
  • Additionally, overcrowding and heavy teacher workloads created stressful working conditions and more teacher absenteeism.

While not cited in this link, there are also studies that show the effect of natural lighting on learning, and many other factors, as well. I will concede that you could probably find some studies that suggest the opposite, but I think you'll find more evidence that yes, better facilities equal more learning/ better attitudes/ stronger performance on standardized testing/ less absenteeism/ less disciplinary issues/ etc.

0

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

While that is true the timing is critical and building public support is important or it is just a waste of taxpayer dollars on planning and time.

0

hricane23 2 years, 6 months ago

And to those who think, "I went there, and it was good enough for me..." If we consider that 18 is the minium age to vote, and we assume that the average age of a 6th grader is 12, then no one voting in November has attended the grade school since 2006.

Since then, we've opened the Middle School, and moved 5th and 6th grade out of the grade school. Still, the grade school exceeds the ideal capacity by 100. What was fine for you 10+ years ago is not going to be fine for the children of 3+ years away.

And it's already too late for a lot of the kids in the grade school now. A new school won't open until maybe 2015. This year's 2nd graders will have one year in the new school. This year's 3rd and 4th graders will be in the middle school, but at least they'll be able to benefit from the overcrowding that will happen in that building if we don't take care of the grade school mess now.

My point is... As Bernie_G said in response to a prior article, this isn't something we "WANT", this is something we "NEED". And the financial benefits for doing this now, as opposed to waiting again, are a silver lining. I don't want to pay more, either, but I don't want to pay twice as much later down the road.

0

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Learning the difference between needs and wants is important. This economy is not good and attempting to squeeze additional 30 million for buildings without community support seems impossible.

0

nspd2 2 years, 6 months ago

I agree in principal that there is a need for a bigger and better elementary school. However, with the economy today placing an increase in our taxes at this time, I am not convinced is a good idea. I am normally one who votes for anything for the kids in our community. I however did not vote for the last bond measure the school district wanted as I saw a lot of waste and unnecesary(sp) items in that project. Until I can be assured that is not the case in this bond issue I can't support it either. I am also against projects for the school district due to the lack of respect certain staff members have shown to the citizens of this community, and until that can be resolved then they will have a rough time getting my vote and the vote of many others that I know as well in this community. Including some on the city council. So if you want my support your going to have to jump through some tough hurdles and hoops to get my support.

0

Big_Dan 2 years, 6 months ago

At the Board of Education meeting the option accepted for the Superintendent to pursue further planning was to build a new elementary school. The cost of the project was spread across several areas, construction, roads, infrastructure, and design costs totaling 30 million dollars. 2-3 million would be outside the scope of state assistance and would require work with the city regarding special assessments. So we’re looking at 27 million dollars that is part of the states recognized costs, of that, 34% is paid by Kansas. That leaves us a bond of 18 million. Our current tax levy for education is one of the lowest in the area, upon approval of the bond our mil levy would move up to be nearly equal to our surrounding districts.

TES is overcrowded and most would agree that that is not in dispute. The dispute is on how we address the issue which will have ramifications for years to come. The staff at TES has done a remarkable job up to this point with finding room for classes, accommodating students with disabilities, and working between buildings to get the curriculum and guidance to the 5th Grade which is in TMS. We have had a class or two in the hallways and lunch scheduling is problematic, but the staff has done its best to minimize the impact upon our students.

The old school is a good building and has many years of service left. We have been looking into different uses and how it can best serve the community. Our city needs additional space and storage for records; we have a recreation commission that needs space for its offices and activities. Our own district offices could relocate. There are other city and county agencies that may benefit by this. We could share the costs and save a considerable amount of money. If in the future, 8-10 years from now we need more room we can rehabilitate the old school to extend its life another couple of years to provide space.

As a member of the board I assure you that this is not an easy decision, that the current economic climate has been considered as well as the impact. The best stewardship of our tax dollars basically demands a tough decision be made that will benefit this community. I agree with the patron named Bernie that looking past next month or next year is the wisest thing to do. It would be a nightmare if we tried to wait another four years and interest rates, costs, and state assistance were all inflated to twice our current projected costs but that is a distinct possibility.

Over the past three years this board has overseen the reduction of spending by over two million dollars. We have held our mil levy steady over that time and have worked with the staff to save where savings could be found. I assure you we have not taken this decision lightly and we were unanimous in understanding the cost savings of building what we “NEED” now and saving the tax payer millions in the process. Thank you for allowing me to serve,

Dan Hopkins

0

12345 2 years, 6 months ago

Dan, thanks for the well thought out response. I appreciate that somebody is thinking these decisions through. I have some input I'd like you to consider.

1) Why can't a wing be added to the current middle school to move say 1-2 grades there and do this with a very small, short bond issue - or better yet, increase the budget with a 20 year plan to do small additons there every five years and pay for it out of the general fund. I think you'll find all kinds of support for that here.

2) If you're going to get out of the old building - sell it or bulldoze it. By all means get it off the discticts asset list so they don't have to maintain it. If you're going to maintain it, what's the point of moving out of it? That to me makes it look like the district is building for the sake of building, not for smart growth.

3) What revenue projections are you using? Growth in Tongie isn't much right now, and enrollment at the school has decreased slightly the last few years. High gas prices may keep these conditions constant for the forseeable future - has anyone considered that we might be done growing for a whle?

4) Comparing our mill levy to other districts says nothing. Eudora has two vacant schools and they finally bulldozed one - this is costing them lots of money. And what for? Where is Eudora growing right now?

5) There's lots of people that think there are things much more important than buildings that need fixed in the school district. Bullying is still a big issue and needs work. Personally I'd rather see the disctricts resources spent on improving the quality of education here, not just building new buildings.

0

Big_Dan 2 years, 6 months ago

12345, allow me to explain my decision and provide feedback for each of your questions:

1) Moving one or two grades to the middle school creates some unique problems regarding supervision, curriculum and staff development. It also just delays the real problem, lack of adequate facilities. The budget is already stressed and we are committed to repairing the roof at the high school. Those costs are nearly half a million dollars in the next couple of years. We have some other major expenses coming up that will continue to stress our budget. Some of the projects in the future include the asphalt parking lot at the HS, restrooms at the elementary school, upgrades at the elementary school to gain compliance with the Americans with disabilities act, and scheduled work on the old wing of the high school. We may have to include the purchase of more modular trailers for TES to include infrastructure to support those units. We cannot raise the budget any further; school boards can add up to 30% of their general fund by using the local option budget. Ours has been near max for some time as a result of cuts in state aid from Topeka. It was designed that way to give the state more control over local spending. If the state were to increase our general fund then we might be able to work some other options but we are not expecting increases from Topeka in the foreseeable future.

2) We’ve been approached by many in the community that want to utilize the elementary building as a community center/city hall/ etc. We are exploring those options and the possible costs associated with that option. You are probably right in that it may be cost prohibitive.

3) Enrollment has remained steady, give or take a few students. We have had several students move in after 20 September which were not counted. This year’s kindergarten pre-enrollment is indicating a large class. We also use projections from the local governments regarding growth. The Leavenworth County Development Corporation has issued some numbers regarding growth at the Legends complex, new jobs, and families moving to the area. It is more an art than a science in my opinion but they have been relatively accurate. Even if we stay steady we are over capacity by a 100 students in a facility that requires a lot of attention.

4) Showing the mil levy of other communities is another important piece of information regarding our current situation. Having a low mil levy is attractive to small businesses wanting to relocate. Not all information provided is advantageous to the district’s proposal but I believe it to be my duty to provide all the information I have access to. It also shows that the board has been active over the years making do with our facilities and we have not been building for the sake of building.

Continued:

0

Big_Dan 2 years, 6 months ago

5) I completely agree, education starts with educators and we have a great staff. Our families, grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts and uncles are all part of the process. It takes a village to educate a child. Our schools consistently achieve excellence in the standardized assessments and more important our students are doing well when they attend post secondary education or enter the workforce. We are addressing the bullying concerns; we have just updated our District Policies and synchronized those policies with our student handbooks. We have had assemblies, guest speakers and inculcated the antibullying message in our curriculum.

In summary, I believe Bernie_G stated it best, do we commit to 22 million today or do we use temporary fixes costing millions to get us 4-6 years into the future then commit to pay 50 or 60 million to finally fix the problem. If the latter occurs then this board will be cursed for not leading the district into the 21st century. I wish this project had an easy button but for every option one group likes another dislikes and so on. We have put together what we believe is the best solution for the district, students, staff and taxpayers. We are still working on the plan and taking into consideration inputs daily to ensure that we get it to the voters accurate, honest and complete. I would like to reiterate that I do not speak for the Board of Education or USD 464, I am speaking as a citizen and as an individual board member. If you have questions I encourage you to contact your board member.

Thank you for your involvement in this process and for providing valuable feedback. I hope I was able to answer some of your questions and provide you with why I support this project. Regards, Dan Hopkins

0

12345 2 years, 6 months ago

Dan,

Thanks for the comments. I appreciate a well thought out answer.

Unfortunately I can't support something of this scope. If the elementary school is in serviceable condition I think it should continue to be used as a school, and the extra capacity can come from small additions on to the school. This was done to the current elementary school, the oldest part of the school was added on to about four times to get where we are currently, and then the old high school was razed. A plan to accomodate modest growth over the next 20 - 30 years with a series of small additions I could really get behind. This is too big though, as we are still paying on the last bond issue.

0

hricane23 2 years, 6 months ago

I'd really be interested to see your architectural renderings of building these small additions. Will they be built over the playground? Will we build up... on top of the existing building? What will something like this cost? Remember, the plans for a brand new school include moving 5th grade back to the grade school, thereby alleviating the expected overcrowding there. With your plan, will we build enough additional space to do that, or will we simply build more additions each subsequent year?

0

12345 2 years, 6 months ago

It makes more sense to me to move 4th grade out of the grade school and do a small addition at the current middle school. I think there's plenty of room over there and the cafeteria, etc are planty big.

0

hricane23 2 years, 6 months ago

From my understanding, there was some concern about the maturity level of 5th graders being able to "co-habitate" with 7th and 8th graders. I think they've done a good job of somewhat "isolating" them, and have shown that 5th graders can handle it. But it begs the question about how 4th graders would respond to this. As a parent of a child entering 4th grade, I have my reservations of throwing her into a school with 7th and 8th graders. And Ithat's even with considering her as "above average" in terms of maturity.

0

artichokes 2 years, 6 months ago

An addition to the school would only add a few additional classrooms (when you consider the removal of the outbuildings currently in use) and doesn't solve the problem of moving kids thru lunch (kids are eating their lunch 2 hours after they arrive!!), PE and other activities in the hall.

I didn't vote YES last time, but as long as this plan sticks to JUST a new elementary school - I'm probably IN - we'll just have to see what the finished proposal looks like. So far, this bond will provide a modest building - that can be expanded in the future, allows for space at TMS, moves 5th grade back where it belongs at the elementary and will have a plan to continue to utilize the old TES for other district needs and possibly community needs. In addition, when the need arises (and the need will eventually arise), use it for K-1 if the new elementary becomes overcrowded in 10 years (or whatever time frame that may be). You really can't do a series of small additions over the next 20-30 years - you're limited by space down there. Modest growth at this point has to start with a building that you can add to and work with...a building that can take you into the next 20-30 years. Building a new elementary school now (with the benefit of state aid) allows for that growth down the line and those smaller additions. In the next 20 years, there will probably be bonds (ick - NO ONE likes to hear it or pay for them, but they are necessary) to add to TMS and THS as our district grows. Thankfully, those schools have the space to grow on their current campus - TES just does not.

When we moved here over a decado ago from outside the area - TES could have used some serious updating compared to other schools we visited before choosing Tonganoxie. However, I'm not swayed by shiny district offices, new buildings and sporting venues - it's about teaching staff, environment and what is best for the students. TEN YEARS have passed - we've moved two grades out of TES after building TMS only to be faced with overcrowding again several years down the road. If I were to visit this district again as a possible home - I would have bigger reservations. In fact, if I had a child at TES - I would deeply consider another school - not because of the teaching staff (we've had great teachers thru the years -sure a few sour ones here and there - it happens) - but because what is happening there is UNacceptable.

I hope that every one will keep an open mind. It's too early in the game to make a decision without all the facts of the cost and what will be delivered to patrons. I do encourage the board to keep it simple and strictly about a new elementary school.

0

Big_Dan 2 years, 6 months ago

The small additions affect the budget differently, particularly years later. The additions to the elementary school and high school have required maintenance to the respective roofs at different times costing us extra money. It is cheaper to have all of it done at once than to piece meal it. A couple of years ago it cost us hundreds of thousands for a portion of the elementary school roof, this year its an older wing of the high school roof. In a couple years its another part of the high school. These costs add up and stress the general fund. We are limited in what we can keep in the contingency reserve fund so every year it is a balancing act to budget repairs. By law we have to be very careful how we transfer money from one fund to another and how we spend capital outlay funds. The elementary school is serviceable but it is a money pit, overcrowded, and frustrates many citizens around 8:00 and 3:00 daily. To build additions on to our existing structures would also require a bond to fund it. Again, we'd have multiple open bonds. I hope you will remain open to the plan and make a decision when the information gathered is complete. Thank you.

0

Big_Dan 2 years, 6 months ago

And finally, the bond issue will not be 30 million. The bond issue if approved by the board for voters to decide will be roughly 18 million.

0

Bernie_G 2 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Hopkins, Excellent information but a little too long. I was wondering why we can't build another elementary school, perhaps in the Stone Creek Subdivision. That would also solve having to bus young kids to school or have them walk to school?

0

Big_Dan 2 years, 6 months ago

Bernie, Good question, we are trying to keep our buildings limited to three. Right now we count the high school east and west buildings as one administrative group. The middle school and the elementary school are each one building with their own administrative staff. A second elementary school would increase the support tail of the district 25%. We can't afford to pay another principle, staff, food service, janitorial, maintenance, utilities, etc. I personally like the idea, wish we could afford it, but our operating budget is too tight to expand it or grow our staff. We are trying to increase student capacity to alleviate overcrowding and provide for future growth, continue to provide a great education, and maintain our current staff levels. The busing issue is a matter of state funding. We are fortunate to have a great transportation coordinator and bus drivers that have made the program work. Thank you for your input and I hope you will stay engaged in the discussion. Regards, Dan Hopkins

0

hricane23 2 years, 6 months ago

Thank you, Big_Dan, for your service on the Board, and for the insight into your thoughts and the goings-on with the Board.

"...for every option one group likes another dislikes and so on." - You couldn't say it more accurately. There is no perfect solution that everyone will agree on. Heck, even if the District won the lottery and planned on building a school with those proceeds, some people would have a problem with it!

The truth is that we will not make progress until people commit to understanding the financial aspects (the risks of waiting even a couple years vs. doing it now), understanding the needs (the current overcrowding and inability to make any headway by simply adding more trailers or building a small wing), and getting over their grudges with former or current staffmembers. I find it interesting that a person could in one sentence say that they are normally one who votes yes for anything that's for the kids in the community, but that they voted "No" on the last bond, and that they're against anything for the District because of a few certain staffmembers. It's my opinion that that's a disappointing example to our kids of how to act as an adult.

0

12345 2 years, 6 months ago

Your error is that you think that people that don't agree with you don't understand the financial aspects or are dumber than you. The fact is that reasonable people can come to different conclusions on the same topic with the same set of facts before them.

0

hricane23 2 years, 6 months ago

I NEVER said that ANYone is dumber than me. Please don't paint me that color.

I will stand by my belief that many people do not seem to be considering that this project will cost A LOT more in 3 to 5 years. Interest rates are at an all time low. Building costs are low. The State aid is expected to be removed from near-future budgets, but is in place for projects approved now.

If you believe that there is a need for the grade school, but you are tax adverse, the truth is that addressing this now will mean a smaller tax hike than 3+ years from now. If we wait until the economy is "better" (something that will always be subjective), the increase to property taxes could easily be twice as high.

If your "reasonable conclusion" is that you'd rather pay $30/ mo in 3 years than $15/ mo now, then say that.

0

12345 2 years, 6 months ago

I've been reading your posts on the school additions - both a year ago and now. You come across that way - that you thing that people disagreeing with you have bad reasons.

I don't think it will double in cost in three years. I don' think we'll lose the state aid, and I don't think interest rates will go through the roof either. I also don't think we'll have the growth expected to help pay for the mill levy, so I don't think it will be just $15/month. The last project with state aid had paid for two years of help with additional staff, then dropped the aid for that staff, so the cost would have gone up two years after everything is approved. I can only assume that's the case this time. Lastly, I am quite sure that this will cost more than $15/month for me. Keep in mind that you are looking at average house value, and there are lots of people with acreage, businesses, rental property, etc that pay a much higher burden here.

0

hricane23 2 years, 6 months ago

It stands to reason that I would think those that disagree with my views are wrong. That's the point of disagreeing! As for their reasons being "bad", I will say that, in my opinion, most of the reasons I've heard against a new school are questionable at the least, and bad at he worst. But just as you're able to come here and say that a new $18mill building is a bad idea and that we can build additions, I'm able to come here and say that is a bad plan.

Here's the way I see it... I'm for it, and you're against it. Neither of us is going to change the other's mind. We are battling for the minds of the undecided. So, yes, I will be firm and outspoken to point out what I see as flaws in the opposition's arguments. It doesn't mean I'm saying I'm smarter than anybody else, any more than it means you're saying you're smarter than anybody else.

And I, too, will pay more than the average homeowner, and am aware that local businesses will pay more than me. The tax code is the tax code. Some will pay less than the average, too. And in my opinion (again), we shouldn't maintain the way things are now in order to keep some from having a higher burden.

0

12345 2 years, 6 months ago

"As I said in my post, it's the anti-progress/ anti-growth people that bug me."

"For anyone that claims to have understood the needs, and still voted "No" for whatever reason, I fear you are now part of the problem."

"I do not believe Dennis Bixby will ever work with ANYbody with an opposing view. Dennis Bixby represents what's wrong with this country."

You said all these things.

You probably classify me as Anti-progress and anti-growth. That's actually not the case at all. Where we disagree is that small towns are heavily taxed and very dependent on cheap gas (because we are a bedroom community), and all the things we enjoy about our little town can end quite badly with high vacancy and lowering home values. Look at McLouth - their growth got shut off in the 1990's and utilities went through the roof afterwards. Right now home values are terrible there and many of the houses are very run down.

In order for Tonganoxie to stay a vibrant community, it must remain an inexpensive town to live in, but still be a nice place to live. Where we disagree is about where that line is. I think nice schools are important, but I value a school by the quality of the kids it produces, not the buildings they are in.

The grade school has some pretty nice qualities to it, the older part of the school has some very nice windows that let a lot of light in to it, much more than the junior high and high school, and particularly the new middle school. It feels like a prison over there!

0

hricane23 2 years, 6 months ago

Wow. You went to all that trouble? Still, I miss your point. Yes, I said those things. And I said them in regards to matters both regarding a school bond and regarding other things.

Anti-progress and anti-growth people DO bug me. How many times have you heard someone new to town comment on here about it not being a very friendly town? I've heard it from more than one person, and I have a neighbor who's lived here his whole life that voted against the last bond because he didn't want new people coming to town. That bugs me!

And yes, if you really understood the need for a new school, and you voted no in the last election, you're part of the reason why there isn't a new building under construction, and you're part of the reason why hricane23 and 12345 are arguing again!

And as for my comments on Mr. Bixby, those are completely separate from the bond issue, and were made in regards to his campaign for a County Commission seat. I do not believe Mr. Bixby will work with anyone with an opposing view to come a mutually agreeable solution. But again, I don't see how that's relevant...

Regardless, I can quote you, too...

"everyone else should get together and pray to Allah"

"let's just get rid of all the officers and set up traffic cameras!"

"I learned just fine in that old building on Shawnee St, and my kid can too."

You said all of those things, too.

0

nspd2 2 years, 6 months ago

There is alot of information from all concerned here, I however have not heard part of my concerns addressed. So Dan this is for you, why can the school's and the district come to us the citizens of this community and ask for more money but when the citizens of this community come to the schools they get the run around from the admistration. I agree with one premise of the re-use of the elementary school as a community center or area for groups to hold public meetings. I think that would be a great addition to our city. However I am still concerned as it seems others are here about the cost issue and the fact that we are still paying on the last bond issue that came before us and we approved. Can't we come up with a solution so that the district does not have to keep coming back to the citizens and picking our pockets every couple years. I have been told that at one time there was a proposal that was put forward to use some land south of town and build a complete facility that would house all the students with plenty of room for growth. That proposal was struck down because of transportation issues, from what I have been told. I wonder now that since you are already transporting students around town would it not have been more cost effective to only have to bus them to one location?
Again I think my biggest concern is that it seems that the district keeps coming back to the citizens and wanting more money every year. Why can't we come up with one solution that would work for the next I don't know say 5 to 10 years and make that proposal. As someone as I have stated before that is all for anything for our children, I however have been having trouble getting behind these last two bond issues, the one that failed last time and this one so far.
Respectfully Don H

0

Big_Dan 2 years, 6 months ago

Don H., I sympathize with your concerns about the district asking for more money. It is always tough to ask for money and tougher to give it up. I was not on the board during the bond for the middle school. I would have recommended a different location and did give my opinion to members of the board on what I thought was a good plan. Eight (8) years have passed since that election in 2004. From 2004 to 2009 we saw tremendous growth that leveled off in 2010-12. If the new elementary school bond is approved, construction is begun, and the new school occupied, it will have been over ten (10) years since the middle school bond election. It seems like only a couple of years ago but the time has slipped by very quickly. The only other time the board has asked for money in that span was the last bond that was rejected by voters. The polling indicated that voters did not want to spend money on the high school/administration complex and repairing the elementary school. The preponderance of voters mentioned that they would support a new building, but only an elementary school.

When the new middle school bond was passed the district was still paying on the bond from the other middle school building that is now the High School west campus. It is common in growing districts to have more than one open bond. In larger districts they may have several bonds open.

The proposed location of the new elementary school would be on the same tract of land the current middle school sits upon, 80 acres. This would reduce the locations that buses are required to load and unload students. It will consolidate some of our support activities and we’ll be able to share buildings, parking lots and equipment as necessary for major events.

Unfortunately time has crept up on us quietly and like a thief. It has been eight (8) years since the middle school bond election; it will be ten years when the new elementary school is built. Our elementary school is overcrowded, it is not fully ADA compliant, and we have security issues as well. It is time to build a new school that will carry us through another 10 or 15 years.

As we get further into the planning and gather more information we may be able to negotiate lower costs, lower rates and such. The preliminary estimate is for an 18 million dollar bond, we will work hard to try to further reduce that burden. I hope I have provided you with some answers? Regards, Dan Hopkins

0

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

The issue that not been addressed or touched upon is that the last successful bind issue was the product of over a year of planning and building community support Rick Lamb can be given much credit for passage because he reached out to entire community. Last bind issue one board member when asked why community support was not sought said they thought the hiring of a consultant to build support was more effective! They lost the election!

0

gotongie 2 years, 6 months ago

Why are you proposing a building for 1200 elementary students? Yes, you can claim efficiency, but is this a good educational decision? Elementary schools are not high schools. With 1200 kids, how will lunch be served? Will there be multiple lunchrooms or are we going to have to cycle through 300 kids at a time in one massive room? How will recess be managed? Will there be multiple gyms? A library for 1200 kids? How will traffic flow operate for 1200 students (plus the middle school)? Is there research that supports the idea of housing 1200 elementary students in one building as being successful? Personally, I have never heard of such a building. I'm just trying to understand the logistics here. I fully support a new school, and I know the population of Tongie is a hard sell, but let's be real. Let's not short the kids.

0

Big_Dan 2 years, 6 months ago

gotongie, You are correct that it isn't ideal in my opinion. Initially it was my selection and another board member’s that we consider option B. We discussed it at the meeting as well but could not find the funds in the budget to select this option. We are continuing to look at option B and researching how we can meet the operating costs.

The impasse I have with option B, building an intermediate school for grades 3-5, is that we do not have room in the budget to hire additional support staff. We looked at having one principle and two assistant principles for the buildings in option B and other staffing configurations. Over the past 3 years we've cut over 2 million from our budget as a result of funding reductions from Topeka. We have reduced energy consumption by over 30% with our partnership with Trane and we still spend a tremendous amount of money on utility usage. Our operating funds will not support an additional building unless we increase class sizes. We are nearing the recommended limit there having to shift teachers sometimes between grades to accommodate their size. The board directed the superintendent to focus on option C; I can assure you he is also relooking the other options as we prepare for the next meeting. To keep the current elementary school operating over the next couple of years will require over 700,000 dollars to fix the restrooms, make the building ADA compliant, and fix some other issues.

If option C is selected and approved I would insist on the district utilizing a “schools within a school concept” to separate the grade levels into smaller learning communities. At present the design is not complete but recommended capabilities we are looking at are the following: a media center, main library, computer labs, large multipurpose room and cafeteria, gymnasium, activity rooms and multiple storm safe areas. Not all physical education is required to occur in the gymnasium and we are planning for that with activity rooms, not as big or expensive as multiple gymnasiums but multipurpose in nature. The cafeteria will be designed with the large student numbers taken into account. We don't have a completed plan, we are working on it and it is subject to change.

Your input and participation as is the entire communities is very important to the success of this project. It takes a village to educate a child. Thank you for your informed observations, they are very helpful and will help to make this project work for the entire community. Coffeyville (USD 454) has the largest elementary school in Kansas at almost 1000 enrollment. Many in their community like it, some do not. We'll have more information to release as we near our next meeting. I assure you I will continue to dialogue with the community here, via email: if you want to discuss it with me face to face I'll be happy to meet you and anyone at one of our school buildings.

Regards,

Dan Hopkins

0

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like another hail mary pass and hope the voters like it! The community support has not been built the groundwork has not been laid. If you force this on the ballot right now with all these options swirling it will fail. Take your time and do it right convince us that we need this not by condescending but by communicating. How about going in stages and spending less?

0

Bernie_G 2 years, 6 months ago

This voter doesn't want his taxes going up, but it reads to me like they have a good plan, Mr. Hopkins er;Big_Dan is explaining the plan and its pros and cons, I found nothing he wrote to be condescending or patronizing, matter of fact it was refreshing to find an honest answer for a change. I know we need more space, I'd vote YES. Also, Thank you Mr. Hopkins for answering my email question, the new school would be further than 2.5 miles so my kids in Stone Creek would be eligible to ride the bus.

0

artichokes 2 years, 6 months ago

The reason for a November vote would be, I think, to avoid additional cost of a special election and the added bonus of higher voter turnout. I think there is still plenty of time for planning, discussion and community feedback - we are well over 4 months away. It's not like it's a new idea for a bond issue and the community knows we need to DO something. I see the difference this time being the focus is where it should be - a new elementary school and different leadership in place to make sure that remains the focus.

The time for input is now - patrons need to attend board meetings, make arrangements to talk to your school board and/or superintendent to talk about your concerns and what you'd like to see in a new elementary school.

0

Bernie_G 2 years, 6 months ago

Hey Mr. Hopkins, I don't know if I agree with everything you've written but I sure understand a lot better what is going on and I thank you for having the courage to explain it online. I wish our city council would do the same and not hide behind anonymity.

Hey Kansanjayhawk, give us your detailed plan, you've been critical of everything and act like you know it all. Let's her your detailed plan? I'm curious if you have any idea what is going on. IMHO you just want the school district to kiss your butt and make you feel important.

0

Bernie_G 2 years, 6 months ago

Spelling: Let's hear your detailed plan.

0

hricane23 2 years, 6 months ago

Kansanjayhawk,

How well would it sit with you and the community if we passed a smaller bond now, and built an addition to the grade school (which would likely need to be built where the trailers and quonset hut are now, so the addition would likely have to be big enough to make up for those AND add some classrooms), and then, in 3 to 4 years came back with another small bond to make additions to the MIDDLE school, which is then overcrowded because of the big classes that are overcrowding the GRADE school now. And then, in another 3 to 4 years, came back with another small bond to build more additions to the grade school, because the minor additions we made 6 to 8 years prior are now insufficient to support the student population. And then, in another 3 to 4 years, came back with a bond to build... etc, etc.

As I understand it, the last bond issue that passed, to build the middle school, was considered by the District at that time (under Dr. Erickson's guidance) to be Phase 1 in at least a 3 phase cycle. Phase 1 was the middle school, which also opened up room in both the grade school and high school. Phase 2 was a grade school. Now, here we are trying to get phase 2 accomplished, and people are frustrated because it's so recent (8 years?) to the last bond issue. That makes me doubtful that people will jump up and down for excitement when we end up "going in stages", as you suggest.

0

clockwork 2 years, 6 months ago

First of all Bill Bixby (alias "kansasjayhawk"), if you're going to educate us all please learn how to spell. It was the last "bond" issue, not the last "bind" issue. And Rick Lamb is the reason we have to have another bond issue anyway because he and the "conservatives" didn't want to spend an additional 5 million 5 years ago to build what we are spending 25 million to build today. But let's keep building a little bit at a time. And now, when people are out of work, is the time for new construction. And let's give credit where credit is due. Dr. Erickson is the reason the last succesfull bond issue passed and it took 5 years to plan and build consensus, not 1 year. But you wouldn't know that because you didn't attend one meeting during the whole process. I hope people who are interested in supporting Tonganoxie's greatest asset, know not to vote for you for county commissioner.

0

clockwork 2 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Bixby, quality schools is the number one driver of economic development. That's ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FACT 1. If Tonganoxie aspires to compete with other communities for quality commercial business, then Tonganoxie needs to have better schools than those communities. You mentioned earlier about bringing the businesses and the people first, then building the schools. You show your total lack of understanding of planning and economic developement. When there is a need, it is important to not only address the immediate need but also plan and build to accomodate future needs. Businesses are looking for progressive communitities which have the ability to provide the newest facilities with the latest technology and an excellent quality of life to attract the best possible work force and their families. From what I have been told and have read here, I wonder how you were elected to the city council or how you could possible believe you could lead this county succesfully.

0

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

I am not Dennis Bixby but I am interested in watching out for the taxpayer in this tough economy. I do appreciate the job Mr. Bixby has done being a fiscal conservative!

0

clockwork 2 years, 6 months ago

Dennis, You might be able to fool some of the people some of the time but you can not fool all the people. There is no way someone could have every opinion exactly like you all the way back to the New Mexico study of Sunday liquor sales leading to increase alcohol comsumption. This is the arguement you personally used, so yes "Kansasjayhawk" = Dennis

0

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Wrong...but Dennis was right about that as well...i guess you just do not like conservative opinions...why do you like making personal attacks?

0

Bernie_G 2 years, 6 months ago

Big_Dan, I drove by the old school today and it does look run down. How do they fit 900 kids in that thing is magic. I'm sold, I'll vote yes on a new bond, but only if it is for the elementary school. when is the next meeting on this thing and is it open to the public. I want to make sure it is just for the elementary school and isn't going to be a temple to public education. Will the next meeting be announced, is there a committee already formed to make these decisions.

0

Big_Dan 2 years, 6 months ago

Bernie_G,

Thank you for your support. Our next meeting is the July 9th Board meeting, 6:00 P.M. at the THS West Campus Library. We are still gathering information and reviewing material. We will be working closely with city officials, county officials, and citizens to get the best value and best solution to this pressing need. I assure you that the bond is not $30 million, we are being very diligent to protect the interests of our patrons and students. I encourage anyone interested in this issue to attend the board meeting on the 9th of July. It is a priviledge to serve this community and I thank you for the opportunity.

Sincerely,

Dan Hopkins

0

12345 2 years, 6 months ago

Dan,

In the second option it's mentioned that a new intermediate school could be added near the current middle school. If that route is taken, why do additions still need to be made at TES? It seems moving grades 3-5 would cut half the kids that are currently there from the building, giving a building with a capacity of 615 and students enrolled of about 375, right? The 7 million addition would not be required to TES, and the total project cost would be approximately 10 million.

This actually seems like a decent option, and one I floated above before the options were all listed.

0

Big_Dan 2 years, 6 months ago

12345, Option B is cheaper in capital outlay costs but it doesn’t resolve some of the long term problems that have been plaguing our district. If we build an intermediate school then we will have room in the elementary school. But we will be at almost 450-500 students with the projected size of this year’s kindergarten class. The elementary school requires work over the next couple of years to repair and upgrade the plumbing, attain ADA compliance, and conduct roof repairs on an older addition. The projected $700,000 is an estimate right now. Maintenance on the old building is taking a heavy toll on the district’s operating budget. Adding another building to maintain and staff is not an option with the current budget figures. Utility costs; electricity, diesel and natural gas have gone up appreciably over the past three years. We cannot raise our mill levy enough to cover all the additional costs and we are not going to get additional funding from the state to offset the increases with an additional building.

Capital outlay funds are different from general funds and the two cannot be transferred back and forth. If we go with option B we can’t afford to pay staff, utility and maintenance costs. If we go with option C we can make it work. Option A gets us a couple of years and we’re still hemorrhaging money on the old school. Option B gets us some space, but again, we’re looking at having to replace TES down the road and we can’t afford to maintain it. In the past three years our budget has been cut over $2,000,000 from the state and costs have risen. This has forced considerable reductions in our support staff and adjustments to our certified staff (teachers). We did get four buses this year. We still have several more buses that are fast approaching their lifecycle. We’ve implemented fees and cost shares in some programs, leased equipment instead of buying, renegotiated bonds, contracts, and purchases to get through the year. We have nothing else to cut except sports and activities and it has been discussed in several neighboring districts and some have cut middle school activities.

We have maintenance repair and replacement cost issues because the district has done several “additions” to the elementary school and the high school over the past 40-50 years. The patchwork has served us well over that time but it has become problematic now to maintain and forecast repair costs. A wing of the high school is this month getting the roof replaced at considerable cost. We put money aside for a couple of years to afford the work so we could save on interest payments had we borrowed the money. We have another roof repair in a couple years. TES is overcrowded and we can’t afford options A or B. I hope I answered your question or at least gave you insights into why I selected Option C. We’ll have more information at the July meeting. I encourage you to attend.

0

12345 2 years, 6 months ago

Dan,

None of the plans you propose involve selling or destroying the elementary school. I agree with your assesment of the school and it's conditions, but if you aren't getting rid of the school you aren't getting rid of the maintenance costs. Right?

0

Big_Dan 2 years, 6 months ago

We have meetings with the city in the next couple of weeks to discuss options and gather additonal information regarding their needs and how we can mutually benefit the taxpayers with minimal impact. We should have some information on those aspects at the July meeting.

0

hricane23 2 years, 6 months ago

Thank you, Big_Dan, for being so willing to come here and provide us with some of your insight. I hope your fair and honest information will help to inspire ALL of the public to come join the discussion with open eyes and a willingness to find a true solution. I've voiced my beliefs, and at the end of the day, I'm optimistic we can find some way to make this work, even if "my way" isn't what the majority agrees with. Let's throw politics aside, and work together to find a solution!

0

getagrip 2 years, 6 months ago

Will there be community informational meetings as there had been in the past? Or, will the information just be discussed at Board meetings. If people are reading these posts they are getting lots of different view points but need to go to meetings first hand and hear the information themselves.....then make a decision on whether to vote yes or no based on what they themselves learn, not just what other people what to write in these posts. Yes, thank you Dan for putting as much information from the Board's view point. It is very refreshing to have you as a community leader identify yourself on this forum. If KansanJayhawk is Dennis Bixby and he is claiming it is not him, then that should tell you what type of individual you are voting for in the next election. If he is truly "for the good of the people" he should not be afraid to put his name behind his views.

0

Big_Dan 2 years, 6 months ago

getagrip, We will have informational meetings but they have not yet been scheduled. We are in the process of gathering information to get a better picture of what all needs to happen. Particularly regarding the new building, how it will look, and what it will cost and what we will do with the old building if Option C is pursued. We are going to speak to the city next week and we should have a better understanding of what the city expects by our July meeting. I would like to see a facebook page for community feedback and a place to get up to date information as we progress. Information will be posted on the district web page, brochures and information papers will be published and press releases to the paper. I know I will be speaking at the candidate forums at the VFW in July and October regarding this bond and others may wish to join me. We have already had a very positive outpouring of support from many in the community who see this as a more viable plan than the last bond. Some of these community leaders have also expressed a desire to speak at some of the presentations. We will coordinate with the Mirror well in advance to publicize these events. Sincerely, Dan Hopkins

0

tongieschool 2 years, 6 months ago

I have a very big issue with the current elementary school continuing to be used for K-2. If you would really like to see the conditions that students AND teachers work in everyday, come up to the school in August. They deal with classes in the hallways, spiders that cause students to be out of classrooms all day, electricity going off all day, bathrooms being shut down for hours at a time due to plumbing issues, a playground that floods all the time, lunch times that start at 10:30, meetings that take place in the teacher breakroom which doesn't allow for teachers to get up to the book room to get books, and soooo much more. The classrooms that have the cold wind coming in and the heating and cooling systems that don't work half the time. I understand that the building is not as important as the teachers and students that are in the school, but it sure would make it easier for teachers to do their jobs if they had a newer school to do it in. Go volunteer at the school for a day or two before you say that the elementary school "seems just fine." I did...

0

12345 2 years, 5 months ago

Exaggerating the conditions there won't help your case at all. The school is on the same power service as the houses by there - are they out of power all the time? How does the playground flood? It's pretty continously sloped to the west from the school. Classes in the hallway and lunch times are only caused by high enrollment in the school - leaving classes at the elementary would help keep this from happening at the new school.

Plumbing and HVAC problems "half" the time - I sincerely doubt it. All old buildings have quirks that need worked through and higher maintenance as a result.

0

hricane23 2 years, 5 months ago

12345,

I feel like if I told you it was 102 degrees today, you'd find some way to doubt and dispute me. Are you so spiteful that you can't, for the life of you, trust that ANYthing someone says in support of a new school may actually be true?

Instead of a bond issue, I reckon we should be voting on whether or not to name you Supreme Ruler of Tonganoxie. I mean, you obviously have a tremendous factual knowledge of electricity, plumbing, topography, finance, politics, psychology, education, building maintenance, and no doubt countless other skills that I'm too dumb and lazy to list. Indeed, instead of discussing this bond issue any further, we should simply ask you for your vision of the future for our town, and get to work on that right away! We will, of course, make sure to construct a glorious temple and throne for you, fashioned of gold and jewels, before we do anything to help this town. ALL HAIL 12345!!!

0

12345 2 years, 5 months ago

The thing is tongieschool didn't say anything in support of a new school at all. He/she just listed problems with the current school, which I feel are exaggerated. I'll remind you that the school district is still planning on using the building - the way tongie school talks the thing should be bulldozed.

I have kids there the same as you, and am in the school as much as any other parent. I don't find it to have major shortcomings. Half the things mentioned are a result of high enrollment, which you and I and tongieschool all agree is a problem. Lowering the enrollment would fix those problems, but tongieschool makes it sound that the only way to do that is to build a new school. The other half of the things listed sounded silly to me. If the playground does flood it could probably be easily rectified with some dirt work. If there are spiers we should probably consult a pest service.

0

tongieschool 2 years, 5 months ago

I do not feel as if what I said was in any way an exaggeration. The playground has standing water in several areas after a rain everytime. This in turn causes kiddos to slip and fall.

Also, wasn't trying to say that building a new school is the only way to go. I was only making a point to those that feel that it isn't the school that matters, but the people inside. I bet that at least once a week one set of bathrooms is closed due to a plumbing issue.

As hurricane pointed out, brown recluse spiders need to be trapped, which is more difficult when you have students all over the floors as well.

I also didn't say the power was out "all the time." There have been power issues, that is all I said. The 3rd grade hallway is always cold, a 2nd grade classroom was without air conditioning for 2 days at the end of the year and had an 85* classroom. The other issues come from the fact that the windows are all old and need replacing, if we would continue using the current building. There is a cold air draft (in winter) that you can actually see move small pieces of paper in several classrooms that comes from the windows. This of course is going to drive up the cost of heating/air conditioning in the building. Doesn't seem so cost effective.

0

hricane23 2 years, 5 months ago

I think the idea of continuing to use the existing building, including sharing it with various other public entities, is a way to appease the people that said the last thing we need is a vacant lot that big downtown. Yes, doing so would continue to incur maintenance costs, however, those costs would be shared with the various agencies that utilize the building. But as the whole issue is still in the planning stages, it may well be determined that keeping the existing building is a giant waist of money. So be it.

As Big_Dan has indicated, the existing building is a money pit, and will take significant costs to bring it to snuff, so to speak. Sure, bringing it up to snuff will cost less in the short term, but the ongoing high maintenance costs are not expected to fit within the budget restraints in the future. And as Big_Dan mentions, these maintenance costs are not "bondable" costs. It all has to do with Kansas law on how School Districts and Municipalities operate their finances. Plus, doing this will not provide any long term relief from the over-crowding.

Finally, in regards to the spiders... I personally know that one of the problem "breeds" are brown recluses. Interesting fact about brown recluses, pesticides are ineffective in controlling their population, and a KU study actually showed that recluse populations increase after "bug bombing". It turns out that killing all the other bugs turns your home/ business into a buffet for recluses! Traps are the only reasonably effective way to get them, but they are still difficult to catch. I'm not suggesting we build a new school because we can't kill a bunch of spiders. I'm saying we build a new school because the current building is crazy over-crowded, a money pit as far as maintenance costs are concerned, inefficient as far as energy costs are concerned, out of room for any expansion (except on top), and that with low interest rates, lower than normal construction costs, and state aid in place to pay for an estimated 1/3rd of the project, we will get more bang for our buck. Oh, AND there are spiders and the playground floods. In my opinion, the building has exceeded it's useful life, and we've gotten about as much out of it as we can get without significant costs and prohibitive maintenance costs in the future that won't fit into the budget (thereby stressing other budgeted items).

0

12345 2 years, 5 months ago

Do we have brown recluses at the grade school?

0

hricane23 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes. When I said that "one of the problem 'breeds' are brown recluses", I was intending for that to be interpreted as "one of the problem breeds located at the school".

0

concernedintongy 2 years, 5 months ago

This is Dennis Bixby. It was brought to my attention that kansasjayhawk was posing as me on the Mirror website and FB is actually Mike Stieben. His phone is 913-775-2772 or reach him at kansasjayhawk@hotmail.com. I have yet to form an opinion on the school bod issue but will be briefed on it later this week by a school board official. My phone is 913-369-9871 or dennis_bixby@yahoo.com if you wish to discuss it with me.

School board meetings and city council meetings are held at the same date and times so attending both is impossible. Even the Mirror cannot do that with Shawn as the only reporter. I did openly oppose the last bond issue because of all of the bells and whistles for the TMS and THS. I hope to learn more about the latest proposal this week.

0

12345 2 years, 5 months ago

Dennis, There is no user kansasjayhawk that I can find. There is a kansanjayhawk who has multiple times denied being you, but folks claim that he is you still.

http://www.tonganoxiemirror.com/users/kansanjayhawk/comments/

0

hricane23 2 years, 5 months ago

12345 is correct. Kansanjayhawk has denied all accusations that you and he are one in the same.

0

concernedintongy 2 years, 5 months ago

I cannot control what people think. Especially in this forum where few people share their real name. I do find it strange that if someone were to write a letter to the editor, it would have to be signed by the author and then confirmed before it could be printed. Here in the "Blog-us phere" you you can say anything fit or unfit to print and assasinate anyone's charicter and it is "OK?" I think this community is better than that.

I know what I said and what I did not say.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.