Will of the people would be served by not putting tax hike on ballot

To the editor:

In his

, Charlie Fischer urges the entire Mehlville school board to “respect the will of this community and approve placing a measure on the ballot with a 7-0 vote.”

He states that under board policy, all members “will render all decisions based on the available facts and independent judgment rather than succumbing to the influence of individuals or special-interest groups.”

Perhaps Mr. Fischer is a little too close to the situation to exercise the independent judgment he asks from the board. Everyone knows that Mehlville’s Finance Committee is a thinly veiled tax-increase committee. It is the special-interest group to which he doesn’t want the board to succumb.

Perhaps the board should take into account the available facts found in last year’s Frequent Voter Survey, commissioned by the board and paid for by the taxpayers of the Mehlville School District.

That survey was conducted by Opinion Research Specialists and found that 58 percent of respondents said the district should be able to deliver a quality education with their current level of funding, 36 percent believed the district needed more funding and 6 percent thought the district could make do with less funding.

If you think about it, that’s a total of 64 percent of frequent voters who believe the district either already has all the taxpayer dollars it needs or is taxing its residents too much.

This survey cost as much as a new, full-time first year teacher.

Furthermore, putting this tax-rate increase on the ballot will be very expensive as the Mehlville School District will have to bear the entire cost of a special election if it is the only thing on the ballot.

Calling for a unanimous board decision is ridiculous enough, but if the board truly wishes to “respect the will of this community,” it would be better to reject placing a measure on the ballot with a 7-0 vote and try to find a more productive use of all the money it will save.