School Board hears bond measure proposal

School Board hears bond measure proposalBy Patricia Farris

News Review Publisher Pam Smith, Sierra Sands Unified School District Assistant Superintendent presented a potential bond measure at the last special called board meeting Tuesday, September 28.

The stated goal is to have the proposed bond measure on the June 7, 2022 ballot.

Smith said the district looked at the possibility of a bond measure a couple of years ago. “We are again looking at that possibility,” she said.

Government Financial Strategies Representative Matt Kolker spoke about the bond and a possible engagement strategy that would include all community stakeholders in the process.

Kolker also spoke about the $50 million Measure A, which voters approved in 2006.

“About half of that has been issued,” he said. “The unfortunate thing is it was not callable, which means we could not refinance it to make it cheaper.”

Talking about a future bond issue he said the district has just under $50 million available for issuance.

“We are looking at about three or four years out from now, he said.” We assume growth of upwards of about 2-percent increase in assessed value. When we issue bonds there has to be a reasonable expectation we will spend the bond funds within three years.”

Talking about civic engagement Kolker said the goals are to bring members of the community together.

They learn something they didn’t know, they get more insight on the conditions of the schools and what the district’s plans are. They feel they have contributed; their time has been meaningfully spent.”

Four meetings are planned for every Tuesday beginning January 25, 2022. The meetings will begin with an overview of each topic.

“This is the responsible thing for the District to do,” said Board President Bill Farris. “The political atmosphere and dynamics can change at any moment, I don’t think we can allow that to control what we have to do. This gives us the opportunity to challenge our community to rise to the occasion.”

Superintendent Dr. David Ostash concluded by saying, “This is an interesting time to kick this off. I see no reason not to, this is a reasonable process. It is very timely to pursue this.”

Laura Austin photo: Sierra Sands Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Pam Smith joins Superintendent Dr. David Ostash in reviewing a bond measure proposal.

Story First Published: 2021-10-08