PITTSBURG — Crawford County has received roughly 1,300 ballots for the Pittsburg school district’s bond as of Thursday.
County Clerk Don Pyle was unsure how many the county received on Friday.
The ballots are for Pittsburg school district’s proposed $67.6 million bond. Ballots were sent out on starting on Jan. 8 to roughly 11,780 registered voters within the school district, which entails more than the city’s boundaries.
“There’s just a little bit of Frontenac that falls in there,” Pyle said. “We’re not big fans of those boundary lines, but we don’t draw them.”
Pyle guessed the lines had been drawn when many schools consolidated in the 1950s and early 1960s. Regardless, 173 registered voters with Frontenac addresses fall in Pittsburg’s district.
“We’d have to pay for it,” said Karen Wood, who voted against the bond. “We’d be on the hook for it too.”
Wood lives in west Frontenac where roughly 60 homes all fall within Pittsburg’s district. Wood said she successfully petitioned for her daughters to attend Frontenac schools. She was only familiar with construction at the middle school.
In the same community, Ron Albertini said he’s voting in favor of the bond. He does not have children in either district.
“I will be voting in favor of the bond,” Albertini said. “Primarily because of the storm shelter situation.”
The bond calls for construction at all six schools in the district, and would include storm shelters FEMA approved for wind at all locations.
The ballots were sent out of Jan. 8. The ballots with post marked envelopes must be received by the county clerk no later than noon on Jan. 28. The results will be known later that day.
Pyle said his office had roughly 45 calls from concerned voters about the privacy of the mail-in ballot, which requires a signature and mailing information be written on the envelope.
“We try to make sure that even folks in here counting don’t know,” he said, adding the folded ballots are separated from the envelope and placed in a pile before counting.
The mail-in ballot was chosen because it gets better voter turnout. Superintendent of Schools Destry Brown said the last election had under 15 percent voter response.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we get closer to 40 or 50 percent,” Pyle said about the 11,780 registered voters in the district.
The clerk’s office sent out the ballots and will receive the completed ballot as well. Pyle said the ballots are kept in a “safe place.”
Pyle said his office does a similar process during general election when about 20 percent of the 23,000 registered voters in the county receive mail ballots.
“It’s a little heavier load, but it’s not something we are unfamiliar with,” Pyle said about Pittsburg’s bond.
The bond, if passed, would mean a rise in property tax for homeowners within Pittsburg school district for 25 years. A home valued at $100,000 would equate to $11.81 a month. A business valued at $100,000 would equal $308.05 a year.
District maps can be viewed on the county’s website, crawfordcountykansas.org. Click on GIS/911 addressing then maps and finally school districts.
– Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.