(Springfield, MO) – United for Missouri has over 76,000 grassroots members statewide. Many of our members are in Southwest Missouri and a large number in the Springfield/Nixa area. We were contacted by a member who expressed concern about the bond issue. We had recently reviewed the Auditor’s report on bonding. Nixa had participated in 3 no-bid bond issuances according to the Auditor’s report. We believed our member request identified a legitimate issue.
United for Missouri did not advocate a “Yes” or “No” vote. We simply educated on the issues.
We stand by the educational facts contained in our mailers. We will continue to monitor fiscal issues in the Nixa R-II school district, especially whether or not they responsibly bid out the bonding passed by their voters or whether they take the no-bid route again.
Our members are concerned about responsible spending at all levels of government. They believe that whether it’s the school district, city or some other “trusted” entity, someone should be asking questions about these expenditures. None of these entities are above questioning or should avoid answering questions asked by their patrons and voters.
The issues we raised in our mailers are fair and accurate. Most of them remain to be addressed by the Nixa R-II School Board.
- High administrative salaries and benefits compared to Christian County households,
- Use of no-bid contracts and the associated cost to Nixa R-II taxpayers. We know the practice has cost taxpayers statewide $43 million, and
- The common practice of bonding companies contributing to local organizations supporting the bond issue because the school district and companies cannot directly advocate a “Yes” vote.
Sadly, the school district chose not to address the first two issues raised in our mailers in their defensive response. They did chose to provide contradictory and inaccurate information on last issue in the list.
Taxpayers of the Nixa R-II School District deserve to know why their superintendent is paid more than three times the average household salary of Christian County families plus some very nice benefits. The superintendent makes more than the Governor of the state of Missouri.
Recent studies have shown that a lot of money is being spent in central offices in school districts significantly reducing the amount of money available for the classroom. In their response, the district failed to tell their taxpayers why it is necessary to have such high salaries.
The district failed to respond to the issue of the no-bid contracts other than saying they did nothing illegal. There was never an accusation of illegal activity in our mailers. The question is why does the board use the no-bid process? How much does it cost the taxpayers of Nixa R-II to use this approach? Will they use a no-bid contract approach to issue the new bonds?
Taxpayers of Nixa R-II have the right to ask and know the answers to these and other accountability issues. The school board has the responsibility to respond in more than defensive answers that provide no answers.
Education is a lifelong process. United for Missouri will continue to assist our members and all Missourians to understand what is happening with their tax dollars in Nixa and around the state.