Committee to kick off Prop T canvassing

Mehlville School District voters will consider Prop T on Nov. 4

By MIKE ANTHONY

A citizens’ committee promoting the Mehlville School District’s Proposition T hopes hundreds of supporters will turn out Saturday, Oct. 18, for a rally to kick off the group’s canvassing efforts.

The rally will take place at 8 a.m. in the gymnasium at Oakville Senior High School, according to Jeff Clobes, a district parent and chairman of Together for T.

“I think the important thing to note on this is that it’s really a community effort,” Clobes told the Call. “We want the community to be involved and we want it to kind of bring the spirit of the community together …”

Clobes continued, “We’re basically asking for any and all community members that are interested in helping with the canvassing process to show up at Oakville High School on the 18th at 8 a.m. to take part not only in the rally, but also in the canvassing effort.”

Among the speakers at Saturday’s rally will be Superintendent Terry Noble. In addition, Clobes said local elected officials and candidates would be invited to attend the rally, which also will feature musical performances by students.

Noting that the rally will take place from 8 to 9 a.m., Clobes said some of that time will include instruction for volunteers — “how to approach canvassing and just kind of talk about the importance of canvassing and the role that it plays in the overall election process.”

The Together for T chairman also praised the efforts of Rogers Elementary School Principal Jeff Bresler, who is serving as canvassing chairman.

“Jeff is really leading the canvassing effort with both the teachers as well as the community and trying to engage both groups to get involved in the canvassing effort. This is probably the largest undertaking of our campaign. So Jeff really needs to be commended for his abilities in coordinating all of these efforts,” Clobes said.

Voters will consider Proposition T in the Nov. 4 election. If approved, Proposition T would transfer roughly 31 cents per $100 of assessed valuation from the district’s debt-service fund to the operating fund.

The measure would generate roughly $5.6 million annually for the operating fund.

Proposition T would not increase Mehlville’s overall tax rate, but would extend the district’s bonded indebtedness by 15 years — to 2029.

The transfer was recommended to the Board of Education by the Facilitating Team of the district’s public-engagement program COMPASS — Charting the Oakville-Mehlville Path to Advance Successful Schools.

Clobes, a longtime district volunteer, had served as co-chair of the district’s Facilities Planning Team, which formulated a long-range facilities master plan as part of COMPASS.

“Our theme and message is pretty simple: To maintain quality schools (and) to protect our investment without increasing our taxes,” Clobes previously said. “And that really kind of sums it up in a nutshell. Prop T is designed to kind of help us balance the budget without taking additional, serious cuts to the district. What we’re trying to do is restore the budget cuts in textbooks and supplies and tutoring, but more importantly, retain and recruit qualified classroom teachers for the district. Terry Noble’s goal of becoming a high-performing school district basically starts with the ability to hire and retain those quality classroom teachers.”

After Saturday’s effort, canvassing will continue as follows:

• From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 25.

Volunteers will meet at Bernard Middle School, 1054 Forder Road.

• From 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26.

Volunteers will meet at Bernard Middle School.

• From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 1.

Volunteers will meet at Bernard Middle School.

To obtain more information about Prop T or to volunteer, call (314) 315-2650, e-mail propositiont@gmail.com or visit

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Of Saturday’s rally and canvassing, Clobes said, “Really, with today’s economic realities, this may provide somewhat of a break, if you will, from all of the negative news that’s going on regarding the economy.

“We really want to create a feel-good event, but the message is still strong that we want to encourage everyone on the merits of Proposition T.”