While November’s general election day is still a few months away, we’re already focused on the election, reading or watching lots of election-related news coverage daily. We’re all knee deep in it. That’s just one of the reasons we thought this might be a perfect time to hold a Referendum Town Hall Meeting to give you a first look at a very important item appearing on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The other reason is we know that if you are one of our seasonal residents you’ll be making your way up north before long, so we want to let you know about the ballot item before you leave.
Our superintendent, Dr. Kamela Patton, will be hosting a Referendum Town Hall Meeting beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Collier County School Board meeting room of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Administrative Center (5775 Osceola Trail, right behind Barron Collier High School).
When you attend, you’ll learn about the renewal we are seeking of the tax-neutral referendum, originally approved by 79 percent of you when you voted in November 2008. You see the current referendum expires in the 2012-2013 school year (on June 30, 2013).
As Dr. Patton says, “It’s all about the kids,” and that’s why we’re seeking renewal of the referendum — to maintain stability in our operating budget during these years of reduced funding from the state of Florida.
What the referendum does is authorize Collier County Public Schools to increase our operating fund millage by up to one-quarter of a mill, while decreasing the capital millage by a like amount. It is therefore tax-neutral or cost-neutral, meaning there is no additional millage or cost to you the taxpayer — in other words, no new taxes!
Again, while we want everyone to join us at Tuesday evening’s Referendum Town Hall Meeting, if you’re a seasonal resident we’d really like to see you so you can get up to speed regarding this important referendum before you head north for the summer.
Have a question you’d like to ask about the referendum? It’s easy to do. We’re setting time aside during the forum for Q&A. We’ll be happy to accept your question Tuesday evening, but if you’d rather send it to us in advance, simply go to our home page at www.collierschools.com. Click on the “Ask the Superintendent” link which you’ll find under “Community Input Requested.” Or if you prefer, just send your question in an email to email@example.com.
We hope to see you Tuesday evening in our School Board meeting room.
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Joe Landon is the executive director of the Communications Services department for the Collier County School District.