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Superintendent Kevin Case shows what kinds of construction is anticipated for various schools if a proposed bond is passed in the November General Election.

The Emporia Public Schools Board of Education announced a postponement of the upcoming USD 253 bond election originally scheduled for Sept. 5 Wednesday evening.

The question will now be moved to the Nov. 5, 2019, General Election Ballot. The delay was caused when required publication guidelines for the bond election fell short of legal requirements due to a legal publication error by The Emporia Gazette. USD 253 is now working cooperatively with the county election office and bond counsel Gilmore and Bell to ensure the district meets all statutory publication deadlines required by law.

“I was made aware of the error about 9 o’clock Wednesday morning,” USD 253 Superintendent Kevin Case said. “What we then needed to do was make sure we were able to get the law interpreted by the bond counsel. The basic two issues were the differences between a print copy and an online copy. We met the letter of the law with the online copy, but we did not meet the letter of the law with the print copy to have 21 clear days in the publication before the election.”

Required bond information was received by The Gazette in accordance with set deadlines, and was published for two weeks, but the notice did not run in its entirety.

“We wanted to make sure the election results were not contested due to a technical error related to the publication and notice,” Case said.

The bond election was originally set to be a mail-in ballot; however, the district was able to reach out to the county election office in time to ensure mail-in ballots were not sent out.

“We have been telling people — preaching, if you will — that the ballots are going to be mailed on Friday and that they’re going to see them in their mailboxes on Saturday or Monday,” Case said. “People should know now that the new, Nov. 5 election will be a walk-in ballot; it will be with the general election where we vote for school board members and city commission.”

At the school board meeting Wednesday evening, there were questions surrounding the Maynard Early Childhood Center facility project and incorporating it in with the bond. Case hopes this extra time can help clarify any questions voters have on any part of the bond project.

“We feel really good about the information that we’ve been sharing and the community meetings we’ve had,” he said. “I think we had everyone geared up for the vote, and obviously it’s disappointing, but our job is to make sure we do things the right way.”

Case also said he hopes the momentum surrounding the bond election will continue in the coming weeks, and encouraged those still wanting to learn more about the project to use this extra time so they can be prepared to vote on Nov 5. A website has been set up to learn more about the project at www.usd253.org/bond.

“We believe this is a really important issue,” Case said. “It’s an investment in our students and our community. We didn’t want there to be anything involved in this process that would cause any doubt about what we’re trying to do. We want to make sure we’re transparent and that we do everything we’re supposed to do in the way we’re supposed to do it. We also want to continue the collaborative relationships we have with all of the parties involved. We realize this is an unfortunate situation, but we also know that we’re going to make the best of it because our kids deserve it and our community deserves it.”

(4) comments

KB Thomas

Will errors and omissions insurance cover this problem?

KB Thomas

This was a great move because the bond issued was not going to pass. In the 54 years as a Real Estate Agent I have never seen a more disconnect between the rich and economic reality. The economy for ordinary people is in the dumpster as their incomes has been unfairly adjusted 14 times by the government for folks on fixed incomes, while rich folks with assets are going up. 50% of people have less than 1000 in the bank.

athertok

Wait, I keep hearing the president talk of how great our economy is, even calling it the greatest ever. Which is it KB... things are great when supporting the president, or. the economy is in the toilet when we are talking about supporting our local schools?

SnowGypsy

The economy is doing great in the USA, not so much in Kansas taxpayer supported endeavors - they are bleeding us dry! Kansas doesn't want competition for existing businesses thus the reason Kansas is in a hurt. Supporting the local schools? Raising taxes to do it? Better yet, look for ways to save, cut salaries and benefits, etc. like happens in real world businesses where they can't just pick pocket the taxpayers. Sadly, wages are depressed here, so maybe the real interest should be in how to bring good jobs to Emporia, clean up the neighborhoods and expand the tax base rather than continue to load more burden on the current taxpayers. If President Trump can secure the border, that will go a long way in supporting a living wage in Emporia.

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