by Samuel Knox,
UniteNews Staff Writer
Springfield, MO—The City of Springfield will have three items on the April 4 municipal ballot. The first measure will ask Springfield voters whether to repeal the existing 5% tourist lodging tax and replace it with a licensing tax at the same 5% rate for hotels, motels, and tourist courts and add short-term rentals (Airbnbs, Vrbos). The other two measures are amendments to Springfield’s City Charter.
Voters will be asked to determine the outcome of a $220 million bond issue for Springfield Public Schools.
The school’s proposed improvements include upgrades at all schools, constructing a new Pipkin Middle School and a new Reed Academy, renovating Pershing School, and constructing storm shelter gymnasiums at six elementary schools.
There will also be decisions made on candidates running for Springfield mayor, city council, and school board.
Both African American candidates Council person, Monica Horton, for Zone 1 and incumbent Council person, Abe McGull, for Zone 2 are both running unopposed.
For the school board, incumbent Shurita Thomas-Tate the only African American candidate will be seeking a second term. She is running along with three other candidates, Judy Brunner, Landon McCarter, and Chad Rollin.
Two candidates will be elected to the Springfield Board of Education on April 4, 2023.
Since both black candidates running for city council are running unopposed, we will focus in on the importance of choosing the right school board members.
School board elections are often overlooked by voters, but they are critically important. The school board has a significant impact on the quality of education in your community, and their decisions can affect the future of your children and the overall well-being of your community.
By voting for the right school board candidates, you can help ensure that the decisions made by the school board reflect your values and priorities. The right school board candidates should have a strong background in education and understand the needs of students, teachers, and parents. They should be committed to improving the quality of education in the district and be willing to work collaboratively with other board members, administrators, and community members.
It’s also important to consider the values and beliefs of the school board candidates. Do they support inclusive policies that ensure that all students feel welcome and valued in the district? Do they have a track record of supporting equity and access to education for all students, regardless of their socioeconomic status, race, or ethnicity?
By voting for the right school board candidates, you can help ensure that the district’s policies and decisions reflect your values and priorities. You can help create a more equitable and inclusive educational environment for all students, and help prepare them for success in the future.
It’s essential to take the time to research the candidates running for school board and educate yourself on their positions and values. Attend candidate forums and debates, read their statements and campaign literature, and talk to other community members about their views on the candidates. So, make sure to exercise your right to vote in school board, city council elections and other measures on the April 4 municipal ballot., and make your voice heard.
For more information go to greenecountymo.gov/county_clerk/ for a sample ballot.