This story will be printed in the 7/7/17 print edition as the meeting completed after going to press last night.
An organizational meeting was held by the Lockwood Community Education Committee, last Wednesday evening, at the Lockwood School Administration Building. About ten people attended, all interested in launching a campaign to get voter approval to expand the Lockwood School District to include high school.
A core group of about ten very dedicated and passionate people is what is needed for a successful campaign, said Bob Reihl, who heads the Lockwood Steering Committee, and who voiced his support of the group and the cause. But, it will take more volunteers to do the work that will lead up to the November vote, unanimously called for by the Lockwood School Board, said Chad Hanson, who will continue as chairman of the Education Committee.
Other officers of the group will be Lacey Rollins as Secretary, Devin Hartley (with the assistance of his wife, Kristie) as Treasurer, Roxanne Hanson as communication director, Chelsi Seymour as social media director. The position of co-chair will be filled later after a canvasing of a list of interested campaign volunteers, many of whom could not attend the first meeting.
Hanson explained that the group will have to register with the state because it is involved in a political campaign. He said they have a narrow window in which to register, once the election has been formally set by the County Superintendent of Schools, which has not yet happened. The School Board is waiting for details regarding the proposed high school district, such as a legal description of its boundaries, to initiate the process.
The Treasurer, Hartley will oversee that process. Other basics that must be put into place include opening a bank account and getting a post office box address.
It was estimated that the committee would need a budget of about $5000 to oversee a campaign that could last for two- plus years. They will solicit contributions from the community to support the campaign.
Hanson said that they may be soliciting more contributions than that, if an idea continues to gain traction, of not asking the voters for a transitional mill levy. If the district approves the request to expand the school district to include a high school, state law allows the district to ask for a small levy to fund the cost of engaging engineers and architects to prepare designs and to determine cost estimates for a general bond levy to build the school. There is growing sentiment, said Hanson, to see if they can raise that money through contributions and possible grants, without going to taxpayers for the transitional levy. That would reduce to two, the number of elections through which the process must go.
If the November vote is successful, the district has two years in which to put a general bond levy on the ballot for voter approval. If either election fails, the proposal of a new high school cannot be brought forward again for another five years from the date of the November election.
Discussion during the committee meeting covered a wide range of topics regarding schedules, planning, strategies and events for the campaign.
To select a slogan and some general graphics to identify the campaign was also discussed. The group generally liked the slogan “Bring Our Pride Home,” but agreed to give it some thought before making a final decision. They hope to have some draft concepts available for printed materials by the next meeting, which was set for July 26, 6:30 pm at the Administration Building. They agreed to hold monthly meetings on the fourth Wednesday of the month.