As the November election nears, Burbank Unified officials have another election on their minds — the $110-million bond measure on March 5 that needs 55% voter approval.
During a special school board meeting Monday night, officials discussed creating a bond campaign to get out the vote.
In August, school board members tried listing the bond measure on the citywide, all-mail ballot for Feb. 26 and April 9. But state law requires tax-related measures to be placed on ballots with polling stations, leaving them with no option but to place the bond on the March 5 ballot or wait until November 2014.
The March 5 date concerns school officials because the bond item is paired with the Los Angeles Community College District board of trustees election. Because this is not a hot-button issue, they are concerned that voters may not turn out in sufficient numbers.
The bond would fund an extensive to-do list for repairing school roofs and improving technology and plumbing, among other things.
“With the holidays taking place in November and December, we really have a very small timeline,” said Burbank Unified Supt. Jan Britz of the bond campaign.
District officials plan to host town hall meetings moderated by school board members at all three Burbank middle schools and at the Buena Vista Library in November and December.
Longtime Roosevelt Elementary teacher Linda Walmsley suggested that the school board also hold town hall meetings at the Burbank Board of Realtors, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce and at a senior residential area.
School board President Larry Applebaum said creating an effective campaign that would be in full swing after winter break — complete with phone banks and supporters knocking on doors — is a challenge.
“I don’t feel that we can feel good about it passing if we haven’t done everything we can to elevate the awareness in the community,” Applebaum said.
PTA Council President Barbara Miller said school groups have expressed support for the campaign during meetings.
A staff-wide campaign kickoff on Nov. 13 will inform school principals of what’s ahead.
The public kickoff possibly will come in the first two weeks of January, Applebaum said, ahead of sample ballots being mailed to residents sometime in February.
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