Members of the Excellence for Buckeye Valley committee have already rallied more troops in support of the bond issue campaign planned for the new year.
The $31.25 million bond issue on the Nov. 3 ballot was rejected by a margin of 19 votes by residents of the Buckeye Valley Local School District in Delaware, Marion, Morrow and Union counties. The board of education voted 5-0 during its regular meeting on Tuesday to place the bond issue on the ballot for the March 15, 2016, primary election. The deadline to file local issues with the board of elections is Dec. 15.
Ashley resident Joe Veneman, spokesman for the committee, told members of the board of education that since the Nov. 3 election, more than 100 people have volunteered to hit the street in support of the campaign.
“Within a week of Election Day, we amassed a list of over 100 volunteers, and these people aren’t stamp lickers,” Veneman said. “By that, I mean, they know they’re going door to door. Every one of these 100 that signed up know now that they’re going to 30 homes, knocking on the door and talking to these people. The loss kind of motivated those people, I guess.”
Veneman noted that the committee was unable to effectively mobilize supporters into a cohesive force to take the message to voters in the lead-up to the Nov. 3 election. He said that only 35 people volunteered to be part of the door-to-door campaign.
“Quite honestly, I don’t think we did a very good job of carrying the message out into the community,” he said. “We prodded people, tried to get them involved, saying, ‘hey, let’s go door to door.’ We have to do that in this area because there are so few people that are directly associated with the school. There’s a void of information out in the community and they fill that void with whatever they want.”
This time around, Veneman told the board of education, the effort will be much more organized.
“I’m creating a database and a program designed to aid the door-to-door process, so that the walkers will have access to the information they need right from their smart phones,” he said. “They’ll be able to look up the addresses they need to go to. They’ll know the names of the people they’re going to talk to. They’ll be able to say, ‘this person is a very likely yes, this person’s a yes, this person’s unsure, this person’s a no, this is an absolute no. They’ll also be able to click one button and a notice will come right to me to go plant a yard sign at the house.”
Veneman said he expects the number of volunteers to increase to 150 by the end of December. He said the Excellence for Buckeye Valley committee is planning several events to recruit more volunteers from among the ranks of elementary-age children and provide information to them about the campaign. One such event is a “parents night out” scheduled for Dec. 11 at Buckeye Valley Middle School.
“Parents can come and drop off 4 through 9, or 4- through 10-year-olds, go out and do their Christmas shopping, be able to have a date night out, however they want to spend that time,” he said. “In the process, we are going to have boards up that explain the campaign and answer questions they might have.”
Information for volunteers will be available at www.excellenceforbv.com, according to Veneman.
Andrew Carter can be reached at 740-413-0902 and on Twitter @AndrewCarterDG.