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Divided City Council Supports Prop U for Schools

The vote on a resolution to support the School District of University City's $19.4 bond issue split 4-1-1.

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. 

Holston Black Jr. January 29, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Councilman Glickert indicated he was confused about whst the school board was requesting prop. U for, and that's why he was going to abstain like the mayor. After a thorough explanation he voted NO. I am confused as to his rationale.
Cindy January 29, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Thank you to the council members who voted yes to support Proposition U - a No Tax Rate Increase bond issue to support top-notch education of our community's children. Schools are a top selling point for a community. Good schools make strong communities. Thanks for voting for the good of our city.
Kim January 29, 2013 at 06:57 PM
I'm sorry to see that Mayor Welsch abstains on education. I would have liked to see some more leadership from her.
Douglas Andrews January 29, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Mayor Welsch's abstaining is just another indicator of how she is out of touch with the city . April 2014 can't come soon enough so we can vote her out of office!!! She tried to change the city motto to " neighborhood to the world" which goes to show she cares more about tourists than u city citizens! What a joke her tenure has been!
jeremiah jones January 30, 2013 at 02:37 AM
This was an opportunity for Mayor Welsch to recognize the efforts made by the hardworking educators of the University City Public Schools. That she took a pass was simply unconscionable. What a slap in the face to public education.
Tracy Gritsenko January 30, 2013 at 06:59 PM
I couldn't agree more!! What is good for the district is also good for the community. If you want less people moving out and more moving in ... IMPROVE THE SCHOOLS. In the current economy we will see less people willing / able to pay for private education and more people willing / able to move. The same follows for those families looking for a new community to call home. Improve the schools, support the district, and U City will be headed for even greater things. The Loop recognition is awesome and brings people in "to visit" but what about strengthening and building the community that lives here??? Thank you Terry Crow, Arthur Sharpe, Byron Price and Paulette Carr for keeping U City's future (and chldren) at the forefront - this is leadership we need.
Carl January 31, 2013 at 08:47 PM
I am shocked that Mayor Welsch and Council Member Glickert could not support a no rate increase bond issue?

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