Sedalia's Growing Pains
Now, the board hope to earn that trust by holding five public forums to discuss possible expansion plans and tax increases. The board wants voters to decide the tax increase on the February 2007 ballot, but it needs to decide which construction plan to pursue.
"What we have going for us right now is the fact that we're trying to get community input," said Superintendent Doug Ebersold.
One possible reason for voter rejection last June was the school board's purchase of land for the new high school without holding public hearings. Ebersold said the board had to discuss real estate decisions in private in order to avoid landowners raising prices. Now, the board said it can resell that land and it is willing to consider other locations for a new school.
The most expensive plan would require
$23 million to build a new high school and expand two elementary
schools. The second option would only expand Smith-Cotton High School.
Under the third option, Sedalia voters would decide every two years
whether to approve funding for the next stage of construction,
including a new elementary school.
Superintendent Ebersold also said the public can offer suggestions, including other alternatives, at the forums.
Reine attended the first two forums.
"I'm kind of leaning towards a yes vote," he said. "But, by the time I get through with these meetings, I'll probably have more of an idea of what I want."
The board must pick a plan by Nov. 22 to meet the legal deadline for putting the issue on the February 2007 ballot.
The final public forums start at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17, in Horace Mann Elementary School and on Thursday, Oct. 19, in Parkview Elementary School.