Consultant: Biggest threat to WL school referendum? The WL school board
Ahead of asking voters to renew a 37-cent property tax referendum in November, West Lafayette school board forced to address the elephant in the room: Can they get along enough to convince voters?
After some small talk to get to know West Lafayette school board members Wednesday night, Jeff Dehler, a consultant hired by the district to help usher a renewed, 37-cent property tax referendum to a third consecutive victory, said he came away fairly sure all seven school board members were on the same page in one, fundamental sense.
They all agreed that the ballot question – one that would raise a little more than $7 million a year, or roughly 18% of the corporation’s annual budget – was necessary a year ahead of the expiration of a similar measure that won an amazing 94% approval in 2017. They all seemed on board to vote Monday night to put the referendum on the Nov. 7 ballot.
That was key, Dehler, head of DehlerPR, said during a three hour-plus school board work session.
But Dehler wanted to talk about elephants.
As in, the elephant in the meeting room at the former Happy Hollow Elementary.
“You know what things have been like at school board meetings lately,” Dehler said. “I’ve been filled in about what things have been like at school board meetings lately.”
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