On Jan. 18 a story ran in the News Tribune covering the school board meeting the night prior. Michelle Brooks authored the article and the last paragraph stated the following: "Learned that the district will designate one member to the Economic Development Board, if Transform Jefferson City's half-cent sales tax ballot measure passes Feb. 7. The reason the school will be involved is because the proposed tax incentives would adversely affect school revenue."
Adversely affect school revenue? That caught my attention so I e-mailed Ms. Brooks and requested she elaborate and clarify her statement as to how the Transform sales tax would adversely affect school revenue. Her answer? "We have had a similar discussion in the newsroom. Bob Watson, who normally covers the school board, will be working on a clarification story later this week."
Will it affect funding for the new high school(s) being discussed? If not, then what, how and why?
I am not opposed to some of the proposed projects but there are several I take issue with. Seven hundred thousand dollars to develop several plans and a study that could be accomplished by the chamber and local business leaders without taxpayer dollars? $10 million for a conference center we have already passed a tax to pay for? A conference center which the city still doesn't have a plan or location solidified, but expect us to vote for another tax to build and develop one. Seriously? Have there been any environmental studies done concerning MSP and St. Mary's before we "invest" in these sites? Not that I've seen. Signage; $100,000? Really?
My wife and I have lived here for over 21 years and have proudly put four children through the Jefferson City Public School System.
We want to see Jefferson City grow, progress and flourish, but this is not the plan to accomplish that. There are too many questions and too many "holes". It is not a strategically sound plan and the timing for a new tax could not be worse.
My family and I are voting no on this tax; but whether you are for or against this sales tax, please vote! Regardless of the weather; don't let 10 percent of the voting population decide this issue.