Rally in support of Proposition P draws 1,000 to Mehlville High gym

By MIKE ANTHONY

A rally in support of the Mehlville School District’s Prop-osition P in October 2000 drew about 1,000 people.

The rally for the passage of Proposition P begins this in-stallment of the Call’s review of the history of the Proposi-tion P districtwide building improvement program.

Voters in November 2000 approved Prop-osition P, a nearly $68.4 million bond issue funded by a 49-cent tax-rate increase.

However, a final budget revision approved last month raises 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.

The eighth installment of the Proposition P chronology, based on Mehlville documentation and published accounts in the Call, picks up Oct. 7, 2000, with the rally at the Mehlville High gym at which the 1,000 people in attendance learned the ballot measure was receiving bipartisan support from area elected officials and candidates.

“… For the first time in the history of the Mehlville School District on a bond issue, we have bipartisan support of all Demo-crats and Republicans in this area,” said Dan Fowler, chairman of a citizens’ group that is promoting Propositon P, the Citizens to Protect Our Investment, which rented the gymnasium to conduct the rally.

“I just want to thank everybody for being out here and I’m happy to be here with all of my colleagues in a bipartisan way to help this effort. Let’s go out and win this, door to door, person to person, and all I can tell you is this: The Cardinals are going to win the World Series, the Rams are going to win the Super Bowl and Mehlville’s going to win this election,” U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-south county, announced to a cheering crowd.

Also attending in support of Proposition P was Gephardt’s Republican opponent in the Nov. 7 election, Bill Federer of Oak-ville. Among other Proposition P supporters present were state Sen. Anita Yeckel, R-Sunset Hills; state Rep. Joe Treadway, D-Lemay; state Rep. Carl Hendrickson, R-Concord; and state Rep. Joan Barry, D-Oakville.

Also endorsing Proposition P is County Councilman Jeff Wagener, D-Oakville.

• Oct. 19, 2000 — The Call endorses the passage of Proposition P, stating, “The Mehlville School District late last year embarked on an unprecedented effort to involve the entire community in making recommendations about the district’s future. The result of that citizen-led effort is Proposition P, a nearly $68.4 million bond issue voters will consider Nov. 7. The Call wholeheartedly and enthusiastically urges Mehlville School District residents to vote yes on Proposition P.”

The Call’s endorsement of Proposition P noted that the nearly $68.4 million bond issue would be funded by a tax-rate in-crease of 49 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. For the owner of a $100,000 home, the cost of Proposition P would be about 28 cents a day — or the price of one gum ball a day out of a gum ball machine.

“We believe passage of Proposition P is critical to the future of the community. Proposition P is a conservative, affordable proposal that’s an investment in the future of our children, our schools and our community,” the endorsement stated.

The chronology continues next week.