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Superintendent News & Views-November 5 School Election Update By David Hill, Gladbrook-Reinbeck Superintenden

October 17, 2019
Reinbeck Courier
City and school district elections will be held across Iowa on Tuesday, November 5. In the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Community School District, voters will select four candidates to serve on the Board of Education and will vote on a special ballot measure as well. Four of the seven Board of Education seats at G-R will be decided in the November election. Incumbents Matt Wyatt, Susan Kerns-Petersen, and Lisa Swanson have filed papers to run for re-election, and Donovan Devore has also filed nomination papers. Anne Boyer has opted to not seek re-election. In a recent SUPERINTENDENT NEWS & VIEWS column, I shared with you that the Iowa legislature has extended the statewide one-cent sales tax for school infrastructure until 2051, requiring the passage of a new Revenue Purpose Statement before a district may access the funds that will be generated starting in 2031. At their September board meeting, the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Board of Education decided to move forward with this process by bringing to our patrons a ballot issue regarding the allowed uses of the one-cent sales tax. Several other area districts are holding similar ballot measures in this election, and we’ll see ballot measures just like this one all over the state of Iowa between now and the expiration of the current law. Provided below in a “Question & Answer” format is information regarding Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s Revenue Purpose Statement ballot issue and the process prescribed by state laws for our district to continue to use these funds beyond 2031. If you have any other questions after reviewing this information, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at (319) 345-2712 or by email at Or, you may wish to attend the Informational Meeting that we’ll be holding on Wednesday, October 23 at the Amvet Hall in Lincoln at 7:00 p.m. in order to as questions in person. WHAT IS A REVENUE PURPOSE STATEMENT? It is a ballot issue that describes the allowed uses for the 1-cent sales tax in the State of Iowa that is dedicated to all Iowa school districts. This one-cent sales tax is known as SAVE (Secure an Advanced Vision for Education). Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s current Revenue Purpose Statement – originally passed in September 2009 – received overwhelming support from district patrons with 84.552% of voters casting a YES vote.  Now that the Iowa Legislature has extended the sales tax to last until 2051, a new Revenue Purpose Statement is needed.    WILL THIS RAISE MY TAXES? The outcome of this vote will absolutely NOT raise your taxes - regardless of whether the YES or NO vote prevails. The one-cent sales tax is already being collected statewide and the legislature has now extended the one-cent sales tax until 2051.  The sole purpose of the Revenue purpose Statement is to describe and outline the uses for which the one-cent sales tax may be used at Gladbrook-Reinbeck. WHAT DO WE CURRENTLY DO WITH THE ONE-CENT SALES TAX REVENUE? Over the past 10 years Gladbrook-Reinbeck has used SAVE revenues for just about every type of infrastructure expenditure allowed by law.  Here are some examples: Replacement and Repair of Roofs Installation of Energy-Efficient Lighting Improving Building Security (including secured access doors & security cameras) Daycare/Preschool Improvements (additions and major remodeling at Daycare Centers in Gladbrook & Reinbeck, installation of new water main and sprinkler system at Crayon Corner in Gladbrook) Purchase of School Buses and Vehicles Transportation Repairs (repairs over $2500 may be paid from SAVE) HVAC Improvements (including boilers) Parking Lot, Driveway, and Sidewalk Improvements Student Computers and 1-to-1 Devices as well as Teacher Computers Back-End Technology Infrastructure Athletic Facility Improvements Flooring Improvements, (including gym resurfacing, classroom flooring replacements, and installation of stair treads for increased safety) Asbestos Removal IF THIS BALLOT MEASURE IS APPROVED BY VOTERS, HOW WILL THE DISTRICT’S USE OF THE ONE-CENT SALES TAX REVENUES CHANGE? For the most part, I would expect the district’s spending of the one-cent sales tax revenues to look very similar to the types of uses listed in the previous question: to maintain and improve district facilities, equipment, and infrastructure.  Our current Revenue Purpose Statement (which expires at the end of the current SAVE legislation) was written with the same goal in mind as the newly proposed statement: to allow maximum flexibility for the school district.    One possible change may be the consideration of some larger projects that would require bonding against future revenues.  The approval of a new Revenue Purpose Statement now would allow the district to bond against future revenues from the one-cent sales tax through 2051 if necessary for more expensive projects.  Some projects that may require bonding include the demolition (or partial demolition) of the former school building in Gladbrook, and accessibility improvements such as the installation of an elevator in our 7-12 building and other accessibility features in all of our buildings.    WHY IS THIS NEEDED NOW?    This isn’t absolutely needed now, but it is needed sometime before the current SAVE law expires and the new, extended SAVE law begins on January 1, 2031. You’ll see ballot measures just like this one all over the state of Iowa between now and that date.    A new RPS is needed before a district can structure revenue bonds against SAVE revenues that will be generated on or after January 1, 2031.  So, the approval of a new Revenue Purpose Statement may be needed before any very large, expensive infrastructure projects can take place in the district. The Gladbrook-Reinbeck Board of Education believes that the demolition (or partial demolition) of the former school building in Gladbrook may be one such large expense that may require bonding.  The demolition of the Gladbrook building (and any other very expensive facility projects) may be delayed if the RPS doesn’t pass.    WILL PASSAGE OF THE REVENUE PURPOSE STATEMENT REQUIRE A “SUPER-MAJORITY”? No.  A simple majority (50% +1) is needed for passage. WHAT WILL GLADBROOK-REINBECK DO IF THE REVENUE PURPOSE STATEMENT IS NOT APPROVED? It is possible that the demolition of the former school in Gladbrook and any other large infrastructure-related projects such as an elevator may need to be put “on hold” until a new Revenue Purpose Statement is passed.  Iowa law requires a minimum of six months to elapse before another Revenue Purpose Election can be held. If the Revenue Purpose Statement considered by voters in November is not approved, either the same or a revised RPS can be brought back to our voters. If the Board of Education wants to avoid the cost of holding a special election, they may opt to wait two years until the next regular school election.    WHAT IF I HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?    If you have any other questions after reviewing this information, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at (319) 345-2712 or by email at  The same questions and answers that you read above are also posted on our website. As I receive questions from district patrons, I may add to the “Q&A” document for further clarification. You can find the online “Q&A” at For those that would rather ask questions in person, you are invited to attend our Informational Meeting being held on Wednesday, October 23 at the Amvet Hall in Lincoln at 7:00 p.m. This meeting is not intended to be a candidate forum…simply an opportunity to learn more about the ballot measure for the Revenue Purpose Statement. I encourage your feedback on this column, along with any questions you may have. You are welcome to visit my blog at  where you can read all of my columns and leave comments if you wish. You are also welcome to follow me on Twitter, where my handle is  @DavidRobertHill. 

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