Mehlville School District better off because of Prop P, Fowler says

To the editor:

Proposition P, a 49-cent tax-rate increase designed to fund a nearly $68.4 million bond issue that was approved by voters in November 2000, may be the most important and productive tax measure ever for the Mehlville School District.

To date, Prop P has funded three new school buildings — including a new middle school — major reconstruction projects and technology for the district’s 10 elementary schools, three other middle schools and two high schools.

In fact, the new auditorium at Mehlville Senior High School and the tennis courts at Bernard Middle School came from funds provided for in Prop P.

When the idea of Prop P was submitted to the Board of Education and ultimately put on the ballot for voter consideration, committee members knew it was a big deal. But never would anyone have imagined the magnitude, size and scope of work that ultimately would be done.

I recently ran into former conservative school board member and former state Rep. Walt Bivins and told him he should be proud of his vote to place Prop P on the ballot as it ensured its passage.

Because of the refinancing of bond-like certificates at lower interest rates, the amount of money available for projects has far exceeded the original estimate of how much revenue the 49 cents would generate.

A case can be made that the additional monies should have been returned to the taxpayers, but I would contend that our community and schools are far better off and provide our children with the opportunity to get a quality education.

How would Mehlville have fared without Prop P? The answer is not very well, for sure.

There is no question that blunders were made in the beginning when Prop P was implemented, but that has been successfully turned around and our community should be proud of the great facilities Prop P funded. The Mehlville School District is definitely a better place as a result of Prop P.

Daniel S. Fowler

Oakville

Editor’s note: Daniel S. Fowler served nine years on the Mehlville Board of Education. He also served as the chairman of the Citizens to Protect Our Investment committee, which advocated the passage of Prop P, and as co-chair of the COMPASS I — Charting the Oakville-Mehlville Path to Advance Successful Schools — and COMPASS II community-engagement efforts.