By: Ernie Wren
Happy Valentine’s Day! It was so great to see so many people at The Burg’s special Valentine Day Dinner this past Saturday. They sold out of tickets! I hope everyone takes time to shop locally when possible.
There are some great events coming up in town that I’m excited about.

The annual Family of Christ Lutheran Church fish fry dinner will be held on March 8th, so make plans to hit that drive-through early!

The Southern Boone YMCA is hosting a “Healthy Kids Day” on Saturday, April 20th, from 10am to Noon, featuring the Boone County K-9 program, Family Boot Camp, gymnastics, and much more. Spring is almost here, so make plans early!

Now that we have finished the recent city vote, let’s take another quick peek at the school proposals vote coming up on April 2nd, 2024. First up is the $11.6 Million no tax increase bond issue for the high school expansion construction project. The funds from this bond issue will be dedicated to an expansion construction project that will address various needs at the high school. Key components of the proposed project include:

• New Vo-Ag Wing: A state-of-the-art vocational and agriculture department.
• Additional Classrooms: Construction of two new art classrooms and a new family and consumer science classroom.
• Roof Repairs at the High School: Replace the roof of the original 1991 high school building.
• Parking Lot Improvements: Creating a new parking lot and drive east and north of the high school building.

I am particularly pleased that after having funded the recent sports improvements, we are addressing the Vo-Ag needs and additional classrooms. With the larger size cohorts of students moving up from lower grade levels, this expansion is vitally needed. The roof replacement of course will save us money by addressing issues before damage occurs. The bonus is that this bond issue is made without increasing taxes with current bonding capacity.

Question two seeks to increase teaching salaries in the district. This will be accomplished by adjustments to the school district’s debt services and operating property tax levies. It will also not raise the current tax rate. The proposal is a levy transfer of 20 cents from the debt services fund to the operating fund. It will allow us to better attract and retain high-quality educators by increasing salaries for teachers and staff.

With cost-of-living adjustments made, Missouri consistently ranks in the bottom ten states in regard to teacher pay. This is no reflection on the district, as it is doing what it can within allowable parameters.

As a current teacher in the district, I may be a bit biased, but I see firsthand the amount of time and commitment from the district teachers and staff. With these efforts being funded with no increases to the tax rates, these are good investments for our district. (Sources: School District FB page / USfacts).

President’s Day is this coming Monday, so here’s a quote from Missouri’s President Harry S. Truman: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”