The University City City Council Monday passed a resolution in support of the School District of University City's proposed $19.4 million bond issue.
Proposition U is on the April ballot.
Councilmen Byron Price and Arthur Sharpe proposed the resolution. Price said the students in U City deserved the best and he supported the move to improve facilities in the district.
See our previous story: School District Puts $19.4 Million Bond on April Ballot
Four members of the school board—Rick Salamon, Linda Peoples, Stacy Clay and John Clark—spoke on behalf of the measure, asking the council to approve the resolution.
The board members noted the improvement in the district in recent years. Salamon told the council that the district picked up three points in 18 months in its state accreditation scoring. He said no other district in the state had made that kind of improvement in just 18 months.
Clay, president of the school board, said he understood the decision in front of the city council. The school board serves as a conservator of public funds, just as the city does.
"We're not insensitive to the current economic climate," he said. "It is with great thought and consideration that we ask the taxpayers to ratify this bond issue."
Mayor Shelley Welsch said she was acting in her role as a steward of tax dollars when she abstained from voting on the resolution.
"Right now the city has capital needs in the many millions," she said. "That's where I need to focus my attention."
Councilman Michael Glickert said he couldn't support the measure because he didn't know what he was voting on.
"I don't see anything specific in this resolution," he said. "I don't have enough information to vote."
The resolution reads as follows:
Whereas, it is the right of all University City children to have the best possible education; and
Whereas, renewed investment will continue the progress achieved from Proposition U and continue a proud tradition of educational excellence dating from the 1920’s; and
Whereas, hundreds of parents, citizens, and friends of University City participated in the Destination University Schools Community Engagement Process, exploring the revitalization of our schools to effectively educate the children of our unique, diverse community; and
Whereas, the recommendations of Destination University City Schools, adopted and approved by the Board of Education, commits to enhanced academic achievement, in a fiscally responsible manner, with continued involvement of families and community in the replacement and renewal of our schools; and
Whereas, the City of University City and the School District of University City are currently working in partnership to provide academic excellence for citizens of our community; and
Whereas, Proposition U is a No Tax Increase Bond Issue that is the capital investment to directly fund revitalization at University City High School, Brittany Woods Middle School, Jackson Park Elementary and Flynn Park Elementary to provide 21st century schools and facilities.
Now therefore, let it be known that the City Council of University City, by this Resolution, encourages its citizens to support the passage of Proposition U to renew our great city through education, invest in 21st Century Schools, and assure a bright future for each and every University City Child.
The final vote on the measure was 4-1-1, with Councilmembers Sharpe, Price, Paulette Carr and Terry Crow voting in favor of the resolution. Glickert voted against and Mayor Welsch abstained.
Councilman Stephen Kraft was not at Monday's meeting.