Salem continues to gather ideas on promoting levy

SALEM -- More than 20 teachers, school board members and residents got together to brainstorm ways to get the word out to the community about the upcoming operating renewal levy.
The group took part in a special Salem City Schools Levy Committee meeting Thursday at Salem High School to discuss a 6.7-mill, $2.1 million renewal levy on the May 3 ballot.
Marguerite Miller, school board president, chaired the meeting. She noted that the money would go toward supplies and textbooks, as well as other day-to-day costs of operating the schools, including salaries. If passed, the levy would not result in new taxes, she stressed.
"It isn't 'new money' but will allow the district to continue operating with what it has," Miller said.
The group explored advertising ideas and ways to drive up community support. People also discussed the importance of getting accurate information about the levy to the public.
John Krauss, a Salem High School band director, said voters need to have information about what they can do in the event the levy fails.
"People need clear choices ...," Krauss said.
A few residents suggested focusing on the benefits to the community as a whole and the ways in which a levy might improve property values. Others' ideas included targeting areas where older and longtime residents frequent.
By the meeting's end, several people had taken on responsibilities such as soliciting donations and handling publicity. Miller set the next levy community meeting for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the high school, 1200 East Sixth St.

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