Letters to the editor, yard signs, forums, fundraising and a determined political action committee. Those are the factors many living and working in Stephenville believe was behind the Election Day victory that will soon lead to $24 million in renovations to Central and Chamberlin Elementary campuses.
“The political action committee, formed separate and apart from SISD, played a crucial role in the passage of this bond election," Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd said. "Their tireless efforts in getting accurate information to the public, and in getting folks out to vote made a significant and positive impact. The outcome of their efforts will benefit students in our school district for decades to come, and for that we are extremely grateful.”
The Vote for SISD Bond political action committee (PAC) hit the ground running as soon as SISD board of trustees voted to put the facilities improvement package on the May 12 ballot and continued to rally voter support through Election Day by placing last minute phone calls reminding citizens to vote.
From registering voters, weekly meetings and disseminating campaign signs and T-shirts at every opportunity, the PAC remained steadfast.
"In my opinion, the PAC made the difference," Debbie Hummel, SISD assistant superintendent of business and finance said. "By law, the district can only deliver facts and answer questions. It cannot advocate, but the PAC can."
A total of 2,916 ballots were cast in the bond election, 1,973 "for" and 943 "against" the measure.
Dr. Robert Fain served as treasurer for the PAC, tracking monetary and in-kind donations throughout the campaign.
Fain said the PAC raised $12,630 in donations from March 7 - May 3. Final documentation had not been submitted at the time of this report.
Fain also tallied expenses, primarily for advertising materials totaling $3,700 during the same time period.
SISD also incurred some election expenses including those related to placing voting machines at each of the district's six campuses during early voting.
Over a six-day period, 18 temporary election clerks worked campus polls, according to Sara Caudle, county elections administrator, who said SISD will be billed a little more than $16,000 for their services, cost of holding the election and equipment fees.
The SISD board of trustees will canvass election returns at 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 21.