North Lamar ISD trustees on Monday postponed both a bond election and school board election scheduled May 2 until the Nov. 3 general election, a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Action took place during a sparsely attended meeting at the administration building with trustees spread out across the front of a large meeting room that once served as the sanctuary of a church. Only school officials and a sole media representative were present in the audience.
North Lamar ISD has Sheila Daughtrey and Stephen “Red” Holmes up for reelection, along with challengers Chad Bird, Jack Hoskins Jr. and Clint Spencer, and it is looking at three separate proposals for a bond election, totaling $49 million. The package comes with a tax increase of 20.39 cents for a total tax rate of $1.1739 per $100 of property value.
“I hate to ask North Lamar voters to come up with more money right now when they don’t know if they are even going to have a job,” trustee Elisha Preston said when board president Jeff Martin asked trustees to voice an opinion.
“I know we need this (bond election) desperately for our kids, but for the safety and well being of our North Lamar families, I would say it needs to be moved to November,” trustee Kristi Trammell said.
Stephen “Red” Holmes, Joel Sanders and Bo Exum each expressed similar sentiments.
“To me it’s a no-brainer, but unfortunately it is necessary to postpone,” Sheila Daughtery said before making a motion to postpone the election. After a second by Exum, the motion passed unanimously.
Proposition 1 of the proposed bond election, for $29,980,000, is to build a PK-3 grade campus on 35-acres north of the high school on property owned by the district, make improvements to Parker Elementary School, adapt Everett Elementary as a fourth- and fifth-grade campus, and demolish both Higgins Elementary and Bailey Intermediate schools.
Proposition 2, for $1.2 million, is to purchase 10 buses to replenish the fleet.
Proposition 3, for $17.735 million, goes toward improvements at Stone Junior High and North Lamar High School, additions to the high school band hall and district-wide technology improvements, athletic improvements call for a resurfaced track along with field improvements and synthetic turf for the football field, baseball stadium and softball stadium as well as indoor athletic facility improvements.
On March 18, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation suspending provisions of the Texas Election Code to allow political subdivisions to delay local 2020 elections.
“I strongly encourage local election officials to take advantage of these waivers and postpone their elections until November,” the governor said in a press release.