School bond supporters hit the neighborhoods with door-to-door campaign
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It’s crunch time for the $55 million Harrison County School bond campaign. With Election Day a little over a week away, advocates of the Harrison County school bond hit the streets Sunday, talking to people about the issue.
Despite the landslide of publicity, advocates are finding that the best way to get out the message is door-to-door, and volunteers admit they have their work cut out for them.
“We’ve come across some that were not familiar with the bond issue, and once we provide them with the information then they are very supportive of it,” said volunteer coordinator Alfred Sexton.
Some, like resident Dave Adams, already had his mind up against it.
“Our kids are grown,” he told volunteers as they approached him. “We’re not for the bond.”
But volunteer and long-time educator Rhonda Maddox doesn’t give up easily.
“The way I see it is that anything I can do to ensure the future of the next generation also helps me,” she told Adams.
In the end, with enough information, he could become a convert.
“I could,” he admitted later. “I still have to look. I want to know numbers. How many kids are we talking about in the enrollment? If we’re going to do two schools, is the bond too much? Is it not enough?”
Members of the support group, Citizens to Better Education in Harrison County School District, believe the two new schools, renovations and security upgrades in the bond are paramount to a better district and a better community through a more prepared workforce.
“This bond issue is so important for the success for our students so that they can be college and career ready to meet the world head on and take it on successfully,” Maddox said.
She is prepared, not just with information, but with disciplined listening skills - something she believes will help turn people like Adams.
“I’ve found that when I listen to people, and their reasons for opposing, we can usually find some common ground on it. And, as we talk about it, we find out that we really do have more in common than we have in difference," Maddox said.
Sunday, volunteers concentrated on subdivisions along Duckworth Road. This week the focus will be on Highway 53 and areas of Long Beach and Pass Christian. Sexton said at this point, the walking campaign has reached about 35 percent of the targeted areas.
Voters will be able to vote in support of or against the school bond on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. A meeting will be held Monday at 6 p.m. at Lyman Elementary School to discuss the $55 million bond. County officials will talk to taxpayers and parents about the improvements they say Harrison County schools need. One last meeting for the public to meet and discuss the bond will be held Thursday at 6 p.m. at D’Iberville High School.
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