Now is the time to submit your questions on Prop P

By MIKE ANTHONY

Nearly six years after voter approval of the Mehlville School District’s Proposition P, it’s no secret that many residents have unanswered questions about the districtwide building improvement program and its cost.

As some may recall, this newspaper in October 2000 endorsed Proposition P, stating, “The Call wholeheartedly and enthusiastically urges Mehlville School District residents to vote ‘yes” on Proposition P.

And without question, district voters in November 2000 made the right choice when they approved Proposition P — a nearly $68.4 million bond issue funded by a 49-cent tax-rate increase — as Mehlville students will benefit for years to come from the wonderful improvements provided by Proposition P.

But a final budget revision approved last December by the Board of Education raised the Proposition P budget to $89,137,440 — a roughly 30.3-percent increase — more than $20.7 million over the nearly $68.4 million building improvement program envisioned in 2000.

That fact alone continues to spark questions about Proposition P and its implementation. Recognizing this, Board of Education Vice President Karl Frank Jr. tried for roughly a year to establish an independent panel to review the districtwide building improvement program. His efforts paid off in June when the board voted unanimously to establish the Proposition P Review Committee.

The committee, comprised of a cross-section of the community with diverse talents, conducted its first meeting Friday night. At that meeting, committee members reviewed their charge and began to lay the groundwork for carrying out their task, which includes soliciting written questions from the community.

Questions about Proposition P can be submitted to the panel by e-mail at PropPreview@mehlville.k12.mo.us.

Questions also can be submitted by mail to interim Chief Financial Officer Brent Bell, who is serving as the district’s liaison to the review panel.

Those questions can be mailed to: Mehlville School District, Attention Brent Bell CFO, 3120 Lemay Ferry Road, St. Louis, Mo. 63125.

We encourage residents to take this opportunity to submit their questions about Proposition P to the committee.

We are confident that the panel will exercise due diligence and fulfill the duties it has been asked to perform.

We look forward to the completion of the panel’s work in hopes of finally putting Proposition P to rest.