Q: What if the bond passes and the board changes its mind on what projects need to be completed?Saying that the board can “adjust the size and scope” of projects is different from saying that it can cut a project entirely, which is what we were told in our work sessions. And elsewhere, the FAQ still contains these statements:
A: There is no clear answer to this question. As a general rule, ballot propositions should be drafted as precisely as possible; at the same time, the Iowa Courts recognize that their phrasing encompasses some measure of board discretion and leeway and that inaccuracies in drafting do not always involve material matters. The particular language of the ballot and facts and circumstances at the time will be important considerations for the board.
The bond referendum provides voter approval to the District to sell bonds for many projects in accordance with the Facilities Master Plan. Operationally, the District will sell the actual bonds as approved by the referendum to fund the projects in increments with various legal requirements. These incremental sales will list specific projects for which the funds from that sale must be used for only those projects specifically within a 24-month period.
The bond language makes it clear that the purpose of the bond is to fund the remaining projects on the Board-approved Facilities Master Plan. The 10-year Facilities Master Plan is based on projected population growth provided by professional demographers. The Board will continue to receive updated biennial population growth projections. If necessary, based on those projections, the Board can adjust the size and scope of particular projects.
Q: What happens if the bond passes?(Emphasis added.)
A: We continue to transform the learning environment delivering a 21st Century classroom for our students and our staff. Air conditioning, renovations, and capacity increases to accommodate student growth continue as planned by the FMP.
. . .
Q: Will more schools close if the bond is approved?
A: No. If the bond passes, the District can fully fund the Facilities Master Plan that allocates millions of dollars to renovate schools that are otherwise vulnerable to closure. With the exception of Hoover Elementary School, the Facilities Master Plan commits to keeping all schools open.
Although the specific wording in the district’s materials has changed over time, the pattern has repeated itself: Cautious legalistic disclaimers in one place, enthusiastic doubt-free assertions in another. What to make of it all?
Continued in part 10.