Have you ever wondered how the April 2020 bond election compares to previous LSR7 bond elections? Here are a few graphics to help you see the big picture.
Whoa! The 2020 bond issue is nearly as much as all of the previous bond issues combined!
Maybe the previous bonds did not cover as much in capital projects. Plus, there's that thing called inflation... Right?! NO...take a look at the summary slider below.
Clearly, what will be on the ballot this April is an important decision. Time to dig into the details of the upcoming proposals included as part of the April 2020 bond. What is $224M in debt going to cover? Here's a start:
This graphic may leave a lot of questions unanswered. For example, who came up with the estimates as to how much money was needed for each capital project? Where are the details, bids, etc. to back up the proposed monetary numbers?
And, what about the proposal for Prairie View as the site for more Early Childhood; when it was deemed unfit in the past few weeks by an architectural crew? What happens to that money that the district is asking for as part of the bond?
Also, why is there such a large amount of projects grouped together in one vote? What happened to the new high school everyone was interested in building? How many other things is the district ignoring and why the rush?
Are all of these projects absolutely needed right now? Or did the advisory committee careen out of control with "wishlists" created by each school administrator?
Could this be evidence of a huge lack of fiscal responsibility at the helm? Was Dr. Carpenter qualified to lead this scoping effort?
Most importantly: when do the voters get to reign in the spending and exert some control? April 7th is an important opportunity for the community to make their voices heard. The question remains - have we settled back into blissful complacency? Can we trust the district to spend wisely or do we have to handle this ourselves and perhaps ask them to be more specific and take more time gathering information for a good, solid plan?
If the community does approve the bond issue, does this community trust the administration to oversee 224M in construction projects? Who amongst the administration at SLC will be held responsible should contractors fail to perform? Do any of these employees have the experience to manage this type of oversight? Do any of them have the time to allocate to these jobs?
The other thing to consider is just because this is a no-tax-increase bond, in order to pay to staff the new facilities, the district is depending on an increase in revenue from taxes over future years. That's a bold move by LSR7, especially with the tax breaks given to new businesses popping up everywhere all over the city. What happens when the revenue isn't quite what is expected? The district will then have to ask for a tax increase. Lee's Summit's tax rate is predominately high, to begin with. How high can they possibly go without driving taxpayers to neighboring cities?
Lee's Summit citizens have not voted down a school district bond election in the past, however, this community has been continually disappointed by poor decisions and bad management of the board and administration for the past several years. Given the enormous and unprecedented amount of 224 million dollars in bond projects, it will be interesting to see how the voters support this proposal on April 7.