SARASOTA COUNTY, FL - Tuesday Sarasota County School Board members voted to use a special election for a referendum. It will cost the district more than $400,000 to do it. The alternative would be waiting until the general election in November. That would not cost them anything. Every four years for the past 12 county voters have approved the extra tax. It equals more than $40 million extra for the district each year.
Walt Augustinowicz and his group Better Sarasota School for less says it's a waste of money and a way for the district to slip it by tax payers. He says the reason the district pays the extra money for the special election is because voter turnout is lower then in the general election. Saying those who do come out in droves are district employees and those with children in the system. "That is more than a few teachers they could hire. Instead they chose to sneak it past the taxpayer."
School Board chair Jane Goodwin says they have to do the election in March because the money is set to run out. She also says it would cost the district more to advertise and get their word out during a general election. "In a general election to get our word out we would have to spend more than $400,000 on that campaign."
We will hear more from both sides coming up on ABC 7 this evening.