Yesterday, the tax levy Proposition 3 went down to defeat in the Wentzville School District by a VERY small margin. It happened despite an all-out community blitz promising that kids would have nowhere to learn, property values would fall, the terrorists would win, and the lack of money would cause kittens to die of cancer. (OK, I made the last two up... sorry!)
There were signs everywhere, radio ads, mailed fliers, and I even got a personal visit from a Wentzville School Board member one Saturday morning! (Wow, was that the wrong doorbell to ring or what?!? BTW, Ms. Board Member, I'm still waiting on that promised phone call.)
Now, I don't intend on playing the "sore winner" card, since there aren't any real winners here. Heck, my kids are in this district, and will be for years, so I do have an interest in the well-being of the school system.
But I would like to say that the Wentzville School District's arrogance caught up with them yesterday. How did they expect a whole community to support their request for more money on Tuesday, when they treat half of us like ignorant pests the rest of the time?
The problem isn't that the Wentzville School District doesn't tell us what they need (District Spokesman Matt Deichmann will tell you how good a job he does.... just ask him!), it's that they don't communicate - sitting down and exchanging ideas, working through problems together... you know, "talking". If they would make it a priority to take fifteen minutes to talk to parents with district-level issues, they might have persuaded 507 of the people that voted "no" to vote "yes" (I know two of them), which would have saved them a lot of future financial headaches.
But, as it stands, I'm sure they're all scratching their heads wondering how they lost the vote. "How could just over half of the voting community not support it?" I'm sure someone is out there trying to tell them... if they'd just return the phone call.