A diverse group of community members volunteered to serve on a special task force assembled by Superintendent Linda Reed to provide recommendations to ASD's Board of Education on how to proceed with a proposed bond measure and mill levy override slated for the November ballot.
"When I showed up at the first task force meeting back in March, I recognized about half of the participants from their extensive community involvement, but the other half were not familiar," commented task force member Natalie Carpenter in her comments to the Board June 28. "As I got to know some of them during the process, I was pleased to see that we were an interesting group with diverse ages and occupations. different children situations, and varying income levels."
The task force met four times beginning March 18 to review and discuss details and possible options offered by the Planning Assistance Team. The goal of the task force was to provide additional community input for Superintendent Reed on whether voters would support the proposed bond and/or mill levy override.
The group also reviewed the results of the voter survey poll that was distributed in May as well as shared comments from friends, neighbors, and business associates.
“I’m no stranger to serving on boards so I realize the importance of a task force to gather information," said Carpenter. "Volunteer board members, like the ones serving on the school board, are often already over-tasked with their board duties and scheduled meetings. A task force is helpful to perform research and provide input that may otherwise have to be guessed at or would need to be hired out to companies that may not understand our unique community make-up. More importantly, a citizen task force can provide a wider scope of input that reflects a greater segment of the community than simply the opinions of the board alone.”
Based on the information they reviewed and after thorough discussion, the task force offered their perspective on the bond and MLO to Superintendent Linda Reed, who presented recommendations to the school board on Thursday, June 28. After reviewing their recommendations, Reed presented the board with these options:
• Place a mill levy override on the November 2018 ballot.
• Postpone the bond measure until next year, giving the district more time to review options and provide detailed information to the community.
"The work of the task force has been extremely helpful to me and to the board as we go through this process," remarked Superintendent Reed. "Board members truly wanted this choice to come from the community, and with the invaluable assistance of the PAT and the task force, I think we received great advice. Postponing the bond measure will give us that extra time to reach out to the community."