Letter To The Editor: Vote YES/YES on Nov. 2

Editors Note: The views and opinions expressed in this editorial are not necessarily the views or opinions of Oskaloosa News.

The November 2 City/School Election is quickly approaching. With the number of issues being brought up by the candidates and the strong interest in this year’s election, I fear that the two ballot issues that the Oskaloosa School District is proposing are getting lost in the noise.

Voters will see two ballot questions. As a member of the Oskaloosa School Board, I respectfully ask residents to vote YES on both ballot questions.

Ballot Measure OH is a simple one. This measure deals with the district’s Revenue Purpose Statement. It is simply a statement on how Osky Schools will legally spend the monies received from the statewide school penny. It is NOT a tax increase. Most importantly, if for some reason the measure is voted down, that does NOT take away the district’s authority to use monies from the statewide school penny. The current revenue purpose statement mirrors what voters are being asked to approve, so there really are not true changes happening with this ballot measure.

Ballot Measure OI is more complex. This measure deals with the method of election of members of the Oskaloosa School Board. Currently, we have six director districts and one at-large member. However, all of the director districts are voted on by the entire school district, meaning that everyone can vote for every single district listed on the ballot. This measure, if approved, would drop the director districts, meaning that there would be no more director districts. All of the candidates would appear on the same ballot line and the top three or four (depending on the election cycle) with the most votes, would be elected.

This issue came up as in recent years, it has become harder and harder to get candidates to run for Oskaloosa School Board. As you will notice this year, there isn’t even anybody listed on the ballot in one of the director districts! What this ballot measure does is allow for anybody to run, regardless of what director district they live in. This is not a new concept, in fact several area districts, including Knoxville, Ottumwa, and Sigourney, all employ this same method of election.

What Ballot Measure OI is, is NOT a secret plan by the district to stack the board, as some have suggested on social media. To suggest such a thing is extremely disingenuous and disappointing, particularly if those suggesting such a thing were at the meetings where the Board discussed the intent of this ballot measure. Public meetings and discussions were held on this issue in July and August, with the agenda item being publicly noted ahead of time. As we have seen in this year’s school board elections, it is possible to stack the board with like-minded candidates under the current method of election.

Please VOTE in this year’s election. Good government can only happen when YOU vote. Most importantly, please don’t make our school/city elections about national politics. Our children, and our community, deserve better.

Charlie Comfort

Posted by on Oct 22 2021. Filed under Editorial, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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