I've read everything sent to me about the Phoenix-Talent School District Measure 15-171, but I can't see where the money is guaranteed to go to the school district. I would hate to see this pass only to have the money taken away from the school district for other purposes. Do you know?
— Lannette M., Medford
The answer, Lannette, is in the basic language of the measure, which reads: "Shall Phoenix-Talent Schools improve safety, security and learning environments by issuing $68,000,000 in principal amount of general obligation bonds? If the bonds are approved, they will be payable from taxes on property ... "
So the bonds, if voters approve, will be issued by the Phoenix-Talent School District. Those bonds will be the responsibility of the district — and its property owners — to repay, and the proceeds from the bond sales will belong to the district.
The Phoenix-Talent School Board also passed a resolution "to contract bonded indebtedness to provide funds to finance the cost of the Project and to pay bond issuance costs."
General information about the "Project" referenced is included in the ballot measure and a more detailed explanation provided to the Jackson County Clerk's Office, which manages elections. The project will include remodeling a large portion of Phoenix High School — in part to provide enhanced career technical education — providing seismic upgrades to all schools, increasing security at all schools, replacing old HVAC systems at all schools, expanding cafeterias at two schools and improving athletic facilities.
So, Lannette, short of a massive fraud (and the resulting jail terms), we see no wiggle room for the bond measure proceeds to go anywhere other than to the school district and toward the stated purpose of the ballot measure.
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