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Club Information
Making a Difference Theme    

Mike McKay
2017-18 Club President

We meet Thursdays at 12:00pm

University Club
1360 Melrose Ave.
Iowa City, IA 52246
Map

 
IC Noon Rotary Stories
Announcements:
 
Foundation Committee Chair, Verne Folkman expressed appreciation to to the following Rotarians for achieving the Paul Harris Society level of giving:
Sean McIntyre, +2 signifies the $2000 level.
Pete Wallace, +7 signifies the $7000 level
  • President Mike McKay announced the upcoming picnic this Sunday, Aug 20. The committee is meeting today for a final time after the club meeting to discuss details. Please complete the survey or sign up is available on the tables. . 80 people have indicated they will attend. Face painting, balloon games, and other activities including fishing will take place. The committee requests help setting up, serving and clean up. Bring your lawn chairs. Beverages & food will be catered by HyVee
  • This Thursday, this afternoon, is the 2nd meeting of the Fun Club at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City at 4p until the group decides to depart. Attendance will be taken so make-up attendance will be honored for attending the Fun Club.  
     
INDUCTIONS: 2 new members were inducted into our club today.
            Dave Lewis, sponsored by Aaron Schaefer
Bethany Clemenson, sponsored by Usha Balakrishnan
President Mike welcomed the new members and encouraged the new members to get involved in projects and get to know current members by sitting at a different table each week. New members are the life blood of the club. Welcome aboard!
 
PROGRAM: The General Obligation Bond or GO Bond
Community Representatives spoke about the need and their support of the GO Bond, a $191.5 million loan dedicated to improving our schools throughout the Iowa City Community School District.
Josh Schamberger, president of the Iowa City / Coralville Area CVB and parent of 2 students in the district provided the following message:
The group working towards the passage of the school bond issue has been an incredibly inclusive group. Josh shared some of the reasons others are not supportive of the GO Bond:
  1. $192,000,000 is a big number.  However, he explains that this number will support 20 different schools who are in dire need of facility improvements.  
  2. Mistrust of school board and leadership. However, Josh explains that the ballot language is explicit, 20 specific projects are listed in chronological order. There is some flexibility to allow for growth and population changes.
  3. Some want a smaller bond strategy or the opportunity to regroup & improve upon it. Josh explains that over 2000 members have worked to execute the proposed FMP (Facilities Master Plan). It is a very good plan and it is time to execute the 2nd half of it. The likelihood of gaining 60% support in the future when focused on schools living in one community is not likely.
The need in the schools is real. Josh is passionate about this topic, without it, it will be a tough reality.
Rtn. Kate Moreland indicated that it was the work of both parents and educators who came together to execute the plan. Locally this sets us up for the future. Approval of the bond will send a message to students and educators that education is a priority. We are growing by 300 students each year. This is the size of a medium elementary school. Horace Mann is not access able by wheel chairs at the 3rd floor.
High school needs are real. We have inequitable situations with inconsistent HVAC. We have a plan, but without it, 40% of our students will be in temporary learning structures without the facility additions and improvements that passing the bond will provide. For both teachers and students, there is a significant amount of pride that comes from a cohesive environment. Ask is this a priority? This is the number one question when newcomers consider moving to Iowa City, “what is the school district like?” This becomes an economic issue. Tax rates were compared to other communities in our state. Of the 10th largest school districts in Iowa, the ICCSD has the lowest property tax rate. After the bond passes, we will still have the lowest. “We fall in the 10th place in tax rates and we will remain at this level with the bond passage. If it doesn’t pass, we will be back to square one, we will need to priorize and decide if HVAC or accessibility is more important. Let’s invest in all of our students.”
 
Daniel Wasta, GO Bond campaign mgr, spoke about the support groups coming from teachers who experience leaky windows and efforts to protect learning materials when it rains. He reminds us that early voting starts on Monday, with the election taking place on Sept. 12th.  This is an important election which requires 60% to pass. Show up to vote, encourage others to do so. Delaying this project by a year will mean higher building costs. Support all 14,000 students. The projected impact to community members is $4.25 per month in property taxes on a $100,000 assessed home.
 
Mchael Moonjely, recent Iowa City West graduate, provided a student perspective. “Attended school in temporary classrooms in elementary school was a disruptive experience since school is cancelled due to extreme heat more often than due to snow or ice. ADA access ability is a real issue. Public education funding is at risk. Our quality education is not dependant on parents income or ability to pay and this should be embraced. First trip to Rotary was in 8th grade, Michael shared the lessons that he has learned and concluded with the message that we should invest in our students.
 
Rtn. Kate Moreland concluded with, “Let’s move on this now, so we are not still talking about buildings in the future years. It would be much better to be discussing and focused on actual education.”
 
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