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Breaking down Chamber

school bond issue conceals
A process for
long-term issue for
Columbia Public Schools
was conceived in three
phases. Voters approved
$120 million bond issue that
will appear on the April 6 ballot.
In addition to this money, the
district will also use $18 million
new high school, a new
elementary school, building
improvements, construction,

phase one in 2007. However, left over from the previous bond. air conditioning, technology
phases two and three have The proposed bond and interest and fees
been combined into a single issue would be spent on a associated with the funding.

$97.5 million Group’s leaders decline to

reveal committee, process
nNew 1,800-student high school, By Patrick Sweet process.
including the necessary technology,
The Columbia Chamber of
On Jan. 15, the chamber’s
board of directors voted to
furniture and athletic fields. $75 mil- Commerce has nearly 1,170 “establish an Endorsement
members, but only six were Task Force to review and
lion (includes $18 million from bond issue approved in 2007) involved in recommending make recommendations to the
which candidates the cham- board of directors for possible
Additional gyms/physical education space at Hickman and Rock ber would endorse in the City
Council election.
endorsements in the upcom-
ing April election,” according
Bridge high schools. $7.5 million Nobody wants to reveal who to minutes of the meeting.
five of those six members Those minutes did not specify
New elementary school. $15 million were.
For the first time in a his-
whether the vote was unani-
tory that spans more than 100 Chamber Chairman Byron

$14.8 Million
years, the chamber endorsed Hill of ABC Labs appointed the

$10 million council candidates: Bob McDa-

vid for mayor, Gary Kespohl
for the Third Ward seat and
six-member task force. Cham-
ber board member Randy Coil
of Coil Construction chaired it
n Roofing, window replacement, mor- Air condition schools still without
n Daryl Dudley for the Fourth and thus far is the only pub-
tar repairs and interior renovations air conditioning and replace boilers at Ward seat.
Not all the chamber’s mem-
licly known member.
Chamber president Don
(ceilings, flooring, electrical, plumbing 10 buildings bers feel they were represent- Laird said Wednesday that
and heating) at 17 schools n Air conditioning: Field, Ridgeway, ed, though, especially because
the endorsement process hap-
members of the task force
do not want to be known and
n Roofing: Cedar Ridge, Field, Gentry, Rock Bridge, Lee, Midway Heights, pened behind closed doors. that Coil would be the one
Lee, Mill Creek, New Haven, Shepard New Haven and Two Mile Prairie ele- Vicky Riback Wilson, a for- to release any names. Coil,
mer state representative and though, referred all comments
Boulevard, Two Mile Prairie and West mentary schools; West and Jefferson now a fellowship coordinator to Laird.
Boulevard elementary schools; Doug- junior high schools for the MU Fellowship Office, “(Laird) is the mouthpiece
had been a member of the for the chamber,” Coil said
lass, Hickman and Rock Bridge high n Boilers: Rock Bridge Elementary;
chamber for more than 25 Thursday. “I’m going to leave
schools; Lange Middle School West and Oakland junior high schools years. But she dropped her that up to Don on what he
membership, she said, because releases.”
the chamber was not trans-

$7.5 million $8.2 million parent about the endorsement Please see Chamber, page 6a

n Computers for
classrooms and labs;
n Costs associated

with bond fund-

Radar cameras’
network infrastruc-
ture improvements at
21 schools
ing, including $1.2 million in bond
insurance and a contingency fund
of $7 million for interest during
limits still disputed
By Kiki Schmitz $100 fines. Corcoran said
construction (if assessed valuation complaints have come from
remains flat or become negative) JEFFERSON CITY — A “non-residents using the road
proposed crackdown on as a cut-through.”
Read more about the bond issue and speed radar cameras has Corcoran’s bill has drawn
brought a division between comparisons to similar pro-
see a timeline of previous bonds. state and local regulations posals regarding red-light
Page 3A. into the open. cameras. Columbia passed an
Legislation proposed by ordinance allowing the use of
What you will see on the ballot Rep. Michael Corcoran, D-
St. Louis County, would regu-
red-light cameras in August
of 2006, but Toni Messina,
late the installation of speed City of Columbia public rela-
“Shall The School District of constructing, improving, extend- ping new gymnasiums at exisiting radar cameras by allowing tions director, said the City
Columbia, Boone County, Missouri, ing, repairing, remodeling, reno- high schools. their use only in school, work Council has not discussed
issue its general obligation bonds vation, furnishing and equipping “If this proposition is approved, and construction zones. the possibility of using speed
in the amount of $120,000,000 for new and existing school facilities; the adjusted debt service levy of the Corcoran said his home- radar cameras in Columbia.
the purpose of completing, without making roofing, heating, air con- school district is estimated to remain town of St. Ann is the first Without state-sanctioned
limitation, constructing a new high ditioning, ventilation and general unchanged from the current debt
municipality to use radar guidelines regarding these
school; acquiring and developing improvements in numerous build- service levy of $0.8019 per $100 of
sites for and constructing a new ings; acquiring technology for the assessed valuation of real and per- cameras to enforce speed technologies, a few legisla-
elementary school facilities for district; and constructing and equip- sonal property.” limits. Since early March, tors questioned whether city
the city has relied on radar ordinances pertaining to
cameras to issue speeders Please see radar, page 6a

Basketball records OURDECISION2010 Index

available at MU site
Abby 7A
Calendar 2A
Classified 4B
since the beginning of the Comics 7A
March 14 to 21 has been
candidates Lottery
Why you’d want them:
declared by the American As a community and economic
Society of News Editors as To expand your knowl-
“Sunshine Week,” a time to edge on the MU basketball specialist with MU Extension, Jerry
shine the spotlight on the program as the Tigers play Wade spent over 20 years of his
rights of the people to open
government and freedom of
today in the first round of
the NCAA tournament. life helping communities best use MU basketball Today’s
information. Where you get the records: their resources. Now, after several Guard Michael Dixon surprised his weather
Every day this week, years as Fourth Ward city council- teammates with a new haircut
Go to the men’s basket- Today: Mostly sunny.
and once a week after, the Jerry Wade
ball site for man and over a decade on the for the NCAA Tournament. Some Temp: 67°
MU athletics Tonight: Likely late
will high- Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission, Wade think it might help his team beat
at mutigers.
light another show me the com/sports/m- first-round foe Clemson today.
gover n ment
records baskbl / miss -
thinks he is ready to lead as the city’s mayor.
html. Look for Page
a lot about
your community, state and
“archives” in
the right-hand tool bar. At Online only Opinion 2A
country. Open records help
the bottom of the archives From what he
people keep government in
page, click on “statistical Go to
check and help them better has dubbed
history” to find several cat-
understand how government n To watch a video about Hickman High School’s “One-Act Play”
egories. the five seri-
affects their lives. festival.
You can find all the Show You can also download ous mayoral Our 102nd year/#134
Me the Records at columbi- complete statistical records nTo see a slideshow about MU School of Medicine’s Match Day,
contenders, 2 sections in a pdf format at the offi- when students learn where they will complete their residency. 16 pages
George Kennedy
cial MU athletics site. Click George Kenne-
The records: the Complete version link to
n To learn about how a House committee reduced spending Thurs-
A list of all the records download the pdf file. day for some government services but failed to cut enough to cover dy details the three candidates
held by Missouri men’s bas- a projected shortfall in Missouri’s next budget. he thinks are most likely to win.
ketball players and teams How much it will cost:
in all statistical categories The information is free. 6 54051 90850 3
Columbia Missourian FRIDAY & SATURDAY, March 19-20, 2010 — Page 3A

$120 million school bond on April ballot

New buildings, technology proposed for Columbia Public Schools
By Kourtney Geers the growth curve,” Belcher said, explaining that enrollment is majority vote. projected to grow by 700 to 1,000 new students in the next five
years. If it passes
The bond issue Construction on the high school would begin June 1, Belcher
Bonds issues and property tax levies serve different func- Concerns said, and other projects such as air conditioning, roofing and
tions. Bond issues, by law, can only fund construction, renova- Concerns from the community include how the district would technology would begin on a varied basis per building need.
tions, technology expenses, furniture and equipment. Levies afford to run the new schools, grade-transition changes and the Belcher said that the funds to operate the new buildings for at
are used to finance the daily operation and maintenance of possibility of program losses. least a couple of years would come from the district’s reserves,
schools. which have been deliberately grown in anticipation of new
The $120 million bond issue proposed for the Columbia History facilities.
Public Schools would be used to improve buildings, construct A plan for a three-part bond issue, at $60 million each, came
a high school and elementary school, new gyms at Hickman to the forefront a few years ago after a report from the dis- If it doesn’t pass
and Rock Bridge high schools, improve technology, provide air trict’s Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee. This report Voters can expect bond issues to be proposed in the near
conditioning and pay for interests and fees associated with this said schools were impaired by crowding, a need for repairs and future. If any emergency construction or maintenance came
type of funding. the use of trailers. up, operating funds would be tapped, Belcher said.
Voters approved phase one in 2007. Last year, interim Super-
How it would work intendent Jim Ritter recommended combining phases two and
The bond issue would not directly lead to tax increases, and, three into a single $120 million bond issue.
according to district handouts and presentations, a property
tax levy increase is not planned to further fund operating costs
Much of the 2007 bond issue was used for: construction of
Lewis Elementary School ($18.6 million), district technology BOND ISSUE BREAKDOWN
and maintenance of facilities. improvements ($5 million), air conditioning (more than $7 A $120 million Columbia Public Schools bond issue will go to the
The bonding capacity is capped by law so that the district’s million) and building enhancements ($7 million). If the April voters April 6. The School Board has proposed a $138 million plan
bond issue cannot exceed 15 percent of local assessed valuation 6 bond issue is approved, $18 million of the 2007 bond issue for new construction, renovations and technology improvements. The
of all state and local non-tax-exempt property in the district. would go toward new construction. plan includes $18 million from the 2007 bond issue.
“We have considerable room before we reach that level,”
schools Superintendent Chris Belcher said. How the bond issue passes 2010 BOND PROPOSAL
District information says current property taxes would not The issue can be passed with a four-sevenths, or 57 percent, In millions of dollars
be affected by approval of the bond issue, but the length of time Interest and fees
the district repays bond debt would be extended. The district’s
debt service fund pays for bond debt based on revenue collected Weigh in with concerns Building improvements
from local taxation and budgeted state aid. Belcher said bonds $10
like this are typically are paid off over a 20 year period. Look for a story next week in the Columbia Missourian regarding
citizen concerns about the bond issue. If you have any you would
District’s main points like to share, please send them to education editor Elizabeth Brix-
The district maintains the bond issue is needed to implement ey at
goals adopted by the Columbia
School Board, including eas-
ing overcrowding, improving HISTORY OF BOND ISSUES
spaces where students learn, Air conditioning
The school bond issue on the April 6 ballot will be the largest dollar amount in Columbia Public Schools’
increasing the life spans and $14.8
history. The $120 million bond issue is part of a two-phase approach; voters approved a $60 million
efficiency of buildings and
bond issue in 2007. The last bond issue that failed to pass was in 1959.
reducing the number of stu- New high school
dent grade level transitions — BOND ISSUES APPROVED SINCE 1983 Technology $75
that is, phasing out junior high In millions of dollars $7.5
so kindergarten through fifth
grade is elementary school, $120 New elementary
sixth through eighth grades $60 school
are middle school and ninth $35 $15
$22.5 $23.8 $19.9 $12.8 $12.6 $15 $17.8 $19.8
through 12th grades are high $8.5
Pro-bond issue information
from the district emphasiz- 2010 2007 2004 2002 2000 1998 1996 1994 1992 1989 1987 1983
es that 164 trailers are used
right now by 23 percent of all High school gyms
students. Current enrollment $7.5
districtwide is 17, 419.

Education association questions school board candidates

Candidates talked Education Association, two
questions from the floor, and a
improve student performance
and be fair.
set by teachers. gion in the classroom; the
value of career and technolog-
teachers, not the board, should
choose whether or not they
James Whitt:
about an array of one-minute closing statement. Jan Mees: n He believes the federal ical education; how the board want a representative. A few
contentious issues. When asked for their opinion n She is not in favor of merit pay initiative is directed would handle the bond issue if
passed; and allowing teachers
candidates said they had no
problem working with a future
of tying professional compen- merit pay because there are toward school districts that
By Alix Wiggins sation and rewards to student too many variables involved are failing, and Columbia Pub- to choose a collective bargain- representative and others
and Kelly Brdicka achievement, including test in the model. There needs to lic Schools is not among them. ing, or union, representative. expressed a desire for more performance, the candidates be adequate pay for teach- He supports the traditional All candidates agreed the information on the subject.
School Board candidates responded: ers. Mees voted to table merit approach to improving the bond issue is much needed The School Board candi-
offered varying responses Jonathan Sessions: pay implementation as part teachers’ salary schedule. and would be handled respon- dates will appear on the April
on the possible implementa- n It looks good on paper, of the Comprehensive School Other topics included: reli- sibly. They also agreed that 6 ballot.
tion of a merit pay system in but until he sees an instance Improvement Plan at a board
Columbia Public Schools at a where it works in a public meeting in January.
Columbia Missouri National school setting and teachers Dan Holt:
Education Association forum approve of it, he would hold n He has yet to be in a
Thursday night. off. situation where performance
Candidates were each Phil Peters: pay is a bad thing. He would
allowed a one-minute open- n Like every other situation, like to see it introduced into
ing statement followed by four he would like to look at the evi- Columbia Public Schools as a
questions from the National dence first. It would have to collaborative effort with rules

Unresponsive man found in

restaurant later declared dead
don’t miss
By JORDIN RUTHSTEIN Haden said. The man was taken to
A 25-year-old man found Boone Hospital Center where
unresponsive early Thursday he was pronounced dead
morning in the Jimmy Johns just prior to 4 a.m. He is not
located at 1019 E. Broadway believed to be an MU stu-
was later pronounced dead, dent, and his name has not
Public Information Officer been released.
Jessie Haden said.
At 3 a.m., Columbia Police
responded to an assist fire
call at Jimmy Johns, where
they found the man. There
were no apparent signs of
trauma and the cause of
death was undetermined,