The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 3, 2012

School-bond election an emotional issue for voters

By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor

JOPLIN, Mo. — A question of whether to allow the Joplin School District to take out $62 million in bonds for a new high school and other construction projects is bringing out emotions in Joplin voters.

Carol Matters said enthusiastically that she voted yes for the issue. She said that members of her family are teachers in the district, but she voted mainly for kids, she said.

“All the kids who were displaced by the tornado, they are going to school all over the place,” Matters said. “We definitely need something done.”

While Matters was excited, Steve DiPierdomenico said it hurt him to vote no on the matter. He said he has supported the schools for more than 50 years, but extra design amenities seemed too frivolous to allow.

“It looks like they are throwing millions around like they have it already,” DiPierdomenico said. “It hurt me to vote no, but in the long-term vision, I don’t want to saddle our kids with too much debt.”

Turnout was busy for the polling site at Fellowship Baptist Church, 2827 E. 32nd St. At about 11 a.m., precinct No. 25 reported 104 votes and precinct No. 26 reported 180.

Among seven people polled between 10:45 and 11 a.m., four said they voted yes and three said they voted no for the issue.