Knost, Mehlville Board of Education pull a fast one, reader says

To the editor:

I certainly have no problem with Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost reporting the fine accomplishments of the teachers and students of the Mehlville School District and applaud them for their excellent results.

I do, however, take exception to his statement: “Recent facilities improvements include the district’s first auditorium, a tennis complex for student and community use and a solar panel energy project offsetting utility costs at five district schools — all being accomplished without a bond issue or tax increase.”

Although it is true that no new bonds were issued and no property tax was levied, the taxpayers of Mehlville are paying $6.5 million dollars for these facilities and had no say-so in the matter.

Dr. Knost and the school board pulled a fast one. The work is being funded by certificates of participation refunds that the district issued during Proposition P, the $68 million bond issue passed in 2000. This issue did not include for an auditorium or tennis courts.

Rather than retiring the $6 million savings and reducing the debt that the taxpayers are on the hook for, they took it and built an auditorium and a tennis facility. In addition, on the same night that the board approved an increase in the personal property tax rate on the citizens and businesses of Mehlville, it approved the $500,000 expenditure on the tennis facility.

Dr. Knost may wish to give the impression that these facilities are built at no expense to the taxpayers, but this is simply not the case. Whether you approve of these facilities or not, rest assured, these facilities didn’t come without a cost.

Jim Murphy

Oakville

Editor’s note: Mr. Murphy is the father of Mehlville Board of Education member Kathleen Eardley. He also serves as president of the Tesson Ferry Township Republican Club.