Schibig to be in background for campaign to pass tax hike

COMPASS II Facilitating Team Co-Chair Jim Schibig says if the Mehlville Board of Education places a tax-rate in-crease on the November ballot, he will participate “in the background” in the campaign to get it passed.

Schibig told the Call his role has changed as the Facilitating Team co-chair for COM-PASS II — Charting the Oakville-Mehlville Path to Advance Successful Schools — since the team in June presented the school board with a plan containing more than $107 million in proposals to make Mehl-ville a high-performing school district.

A tax-rate increase of 94 cents is required to fund all of the proposals.

“I’ve been doing this for almost four years now, and the purpose of COMPASS, as far as I’m concerned, is community engagement,” Schibig said. “I’m encouraged by the support we had, and I think it might be time for somebody younger to step forward and take the ball and go. I think it’s extremely important that COMPASS continue.

“Now with regard to the tax levy, if the board decides to do that, I would be actively involved, but I would much rather prefer to be in the background doing things than being up front.”

Schibig, a longtime district employee and former Beasley Elementary School principal, was recruited in 2007 to co-chair the COMPASS community engagement effort.

His fellow co-chair, insurance agent and former school board member Dan Fowler, said recently he would not be an “active participant” in a COMPASS campaign this fall because he wants to return to private life.

While Fowler has expressed concern that a full 94-cent tax-rate increase proposal might not succeed in November, Schibig said he is “very much encouraged” by the direction the district is headed.

“I will be actively involved. You just won’t see my name as much, that’s all,” he said. “My role being up front as co-chair has changed, but my involvement with the district has not. I will continue to be ac-tively involved with whatever direction the district chooses.”