February 11, 2016

School bond issue passes

 USD 231 voters approved a $72 million bond issue on Tuesday. More than 5,000 voters returned ballots in the mail-in election. The Johnson County Election Office sent 12,883 ballots to all of the registered voters in the school district.
With 5,219 ballots counted, approximately 53 percent, or 2,795 people, cast votes to approve the bond issue. Approximately 46 percent, or 2,424 people, cast “no” votes.
With the passage of the bond issue, school officials will begin plans to build a new middle school and elementary school near the center of town just east of Center Street and south of Main Street.
The bond issue assumes the student population in Gardner Edgerton schools will grow at 6 percent over the next several years.
In addition to two new schools, the bond issue includes funding for new turf on the Gardner Edgerton High School football field, a new gymnasium and locker rooms at GEHS, renovations at Gardner and Sunflower Elementaries, and replacing technology including lap tops and audio-visual equipment district wide.
School officials promise not raise school taxes for at least the next two years, however Gardner city fees and taxes will likely increase. City council members agreed to partially fund sewer upgrades related to the new schools. Council members did not budget for the expenditure.
— Danedri Thompson


  1. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    Pathetic voters’ participation — only 41.28% of the mail ballots were returned to the Election Office.

  2. Agreed, but says:

    …didn’t we only have about 4600 voters for the past couple elections?

  3. George Adam Rifford IV says:

    Pathetic voter turnout for such an important issue as well as an absolute waste of taxpayer money coming up in the near future.

  4. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    Voter turn out for school bond questions, 1997-2012:

    9-9-1997 USD #231 Bond – $34,000,000
    Mail Ballots Issued: 4,823
    Mail Ballots Returned: 3,053 (63.3% voted)

    1-25-2000 USD #231 Bond – $41,500,000
    Mail Ballots Issued: 5,778
    Mail Ballots Returned: 3,178 (55.0% voted)

    2-1-2005 USD #231 Bond – $49,973,000
    Mail Ballots Issued: 9,005
    Mail Ballots Returned: 4,638 (51.5% voted)

    1-31-2012 USD #231 Bond – $72,790,000
    Mail Ballots Issued: 12,883 (12,647 Registered Voters)
    Mail Ballots Returned: 5,221 (41.3% voted)

  5. What a disappointing turn out.

  6. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    Most disturbing to me is that as the cost of school bonds have steadily increased, the percentage of voters has steadily decreased. If this trend continues, taxpayer involvement in the voting on the expected $75+ million bond for a second high school in approximately 7 years will be even less.

  7. Judith Rogers says:

    And the lowlifes and the thieves know they can get by with this crud………don’t tell me apathy of the people is not taking a huge toll……..you get the government you deserve, however, I can’t quite see where I deserve a Mayor and Council and a city administration and others who gleefully break the law and thumb their noses at the decent citizens in the process and even go so far as to assault you for speaking out about the wrongdoing……..don’t tell me that the stench is not getting and has been bad.

  8. Judith Rogers says:

    Hope all enjoy paying huge dollars for their kids’ “football”, etc. education……… they better be ready for the rude awakening they will get when their kids hit college, however, you have to wonder how many of them will make it thru college………I would say less than 50% will make the grade and then they can struggle throughout their lives and all taxpayers’ lives. Choices do have consequences and not doing your job will certainly have its adverse affects including the security of your country……….probably won’t be long until that School Board will be paying Coach Diener, Gilhaus, Brady and some others $300,000 each a year for doing what they do and don’t do. The good ole middle class are going to get hit hard on this one and more to come down the pike since they are the ones to carry most of the tax load/burden.

  9. Haygardner says:

    I WILL enjoy paying the huge dollars you refer to. What a great city we live in to see the fruits of our taxdollars wherever we look. Generations of Gardner residents will benefit greatly from these excelent schools and infrastructure. Glad most of Gardner agrees.

  10. No Surprise says:

    Propaganda seems to play well here.

  11. Tight Margin? says:

    Squeaked by. Enjoy the new turf, Trailblazers.

  12. Judith Rogers says:

    Well, you have found out recently that the people in this area WANT to pay the highest school taxes in the whole state for a sports education, they have found out you can assault your neighbor and it will only cost you around $171 and if you get elected or appointed into office, you can break the law any day you please and it won’t cost you a cent nor affect you in any way and you will have citizens thanking you for breaking the law along with supporting and enabling your lowlife ways.. Nice job, Gardner’s Finest.

  13. don’t want no stinkin’ education for kids. not benefit me directly. punk kids these days want to learn – how dare them leadership people. I’ll tell you what….

  14. Jerry, I doubt a second high school will ever be built. We wouldn’t want to split all the DI football players up. Is it true that in the season 2014-2015 KU will be hosting a game at Diener Stadium? Did the package include a sky box for mr. Bill so he can get his $#%@%$ off the sideline?

  15. State of Affairs says:

    Was there ever any doubt that the school bond would pass? Just hope the kids learn where our food supply comes from. Food Channel interviewed people and asked what they would do if the farmers quit growing fruits and vegetables. Oh, they would just buy from the store! And, others don’t know where the meat supply comes from. One woman just loved pork and bacon until she came to Kansas and found out it comes from hogs. Was appalled.

  16. Gardner Fan says:


  17. State of Affairs says:

    “Glad most of Gardner agrees”. Must be the new math 54% to 46%.

  18. Re: "new math" says:

    You DO understand the concept of “greater than” versus “less than”, don’t you State?

    You know…the part where 54 is greater than 46…or 46 is less than 54? And that the term “most” can be applied to a majority of people who agree on the same subject? Or that the concept of “majority” is used in these odd little things called “elections”, where people vote to decide on issues they feel are important to our community?

    You DO understand all this, right? Because it would be embarrasing for you to, for instance, have to go BACK to the same school district you seem to be complaining about to get remedial instruction on things like “greater than/less than”, elections, or simple majorities…

  19. Ms Ben Dover says:

    I hate paying one of the 3 highest sales taxes in Kansas, and now an increase for schools that don’t need it. I voted no as soon as the ballot came.

    People need to be informed! I am tired of this town and plan to move. You can get more with less in any other suburb without all the Gardner drama.

  20. State of Affairs says:

    Lots of Luck Ms Ben! But, where do we go to escape the politicians spending like “drunken sailors”?

  21. State of Affairs says:

    @greater/less–Lo, horrors if I said that it was District 231.

  22. Mercy Judith!

    You say….
    “I would say less than 50% will make the grade…”

    I am glad you are positive about the future of our children. What are you doing for young people today? So where do you volunteer as a tutor? So where are using your education to encourage someone struggling to make it in school?

    Is there any institution that you dont hate? School, Government, Church, Business? Mercy.

  23. Judith Rogers says:

    Know your statistics on those graduating from college. I have helped tutor students get their GED and I have helped people from around the world learn English as a second language. I have spent one day a week working at Legal Aide doing intakes over the phone and in person and then presenting my cases to the lead attorney at the end of the day to help the poor who so need legal assistance – I especially made a point of touching those with AIDS who came into the office and who were so discriminated against. I have volunteered at the hospital. I was in charge of an employee Christmas Party one year and I had all of the students involved in Head Start come to our place of business in buses to have a great Christmas Party for those kids who may otherwise not had a Christmas present. I see need everyday that I am here on earth and try to help in some way. I come forward at the doctor’s office for those who cannot afford to pay their co-pay on their insurance plan and I have told a local pharmacy to call me if someone comes in who can’t afford their medicince and the day I told that to them, I helped a family with a prescription cost they could not pay and they had a small baby in the parking lot waiting on that medicince. There is no way I could help the lowlifes who post on this website, however, since they only have evil and the Devil in their lives evidently. I also have no patience for the corrupt, worthless politicians, thieves and bureaucrats who every day make problems for the average citizen rather than help them and they even go so far as to break the law and laugh in your face about it and/or assault you and walk free. There are lots of things I hate and most of it is the actions, inaction and words of those who have no decency to them. Gardner’s Finest.

  24. It's tha DEVIL, she says! says:

    Good grief, for someone who just spent a thousand words bragging on every nice thing she’s ever done, painting herself as a cross between Mother Teresa and Florence Nightengale, you’re pretty quick on the draw, tossing around “devil” accusations.

    Instead of taking what you say about what you’ve done in the past, shall we REALLY start looking for the Devil, based on what you and everyone else who posts out here actually say? Y’know…evaluating people based on their actions?

    It’d be easy: we could just start counting the number of unsolicited insults thrown at people. Then add to it the number of unwarrented, unproven allegations hurled at people. Next, we can add the number of times people out here look up personal information about others, just so they have material to smear them with.

    I’d be willing to bet that, if the Devil IS in the details, we’d find more horns on your head, Judith. If for no other reason than the old biblical standby: “Judge not, lest you be judged”. Or how ’bout: “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

  25. Good luck trying to get people to purchase more in Gardner. Being one of the highest sales taxed areas in Kansas I would want to do business else ware. Starting a business? Move it out of town!

    What are we getting with these taxes?????????

  26. Judith Rogers says:

    I will continue to “judge” because it is necessary for the best interests of those who believe in the law and common decency. If you stand for NOTHING, then, of course, you don’t judge because you don’t want to be judged yourself – you want to do whatever and 99% of it is not good. Spin it however you please but make no mistake about it, I will continue to judge and call out the lowlifes and it is because I CARE.

  27. So putting yourself in God’s place, giving yourself the power to call “Satan” in anyone who disagrees with you…THOSE are the things you feel are “necessary” and in the “bet interests of those who believe in the law and common decency?”

    Where is YOUR belief in the law, Judith? Do we have to remind everyone, once again, how you don’t seem to mind people violating, for instance, KOMA laws as long as they’re able to hide their activities well enough to avoid DA condemnation?

    Where is YOUR belief in decency, Judith? Do we have to point out just how skeevy it is, looking for names of people in the public records, hoping to find enough dirt on them so you don’t have to defend your positions on their own merits?

    Where is YOUR faith in God, Judith? Do we have to trot out the numerous times where you are openly attacking the religions of others? Or putting your own hatred of people ahead of everything else, even God? After all, you ARE Satanizing people.

    And one more…where is YOUR care, Judith? How can you claim to care about people when all you do is ride them down. At whatever the cost? What do you care about if it’s not making sure that you drag down anyone YOU deem unworthy?

    Sorry, but your “Saint Judith” schtick isn’t really believable.

  28. This town needs an enema……………….

  29. Can you say coolaid! says:

    I am so disappointed this passed. Sorry but every single purchase I make will out of Gardner. Guess Gilhaus and his good ole’ boys are getting another raise. By the way school board, why is it you discuss admin salaries behind closed doors?????? KOMA! you should be familiar with that term! Gihaus needs to go! Gilhaus needs to go! Gilhaus needs to go!!!!!, etc, etc, etc!!!

  30. Gardnercitizen says:

    Can you say coolaid says – Not only are they salary fat but they gave all administrators, board office and Gilhaus a raise before the normal July meeting last year. The reason, they froze salaries on everyone else in July because of budget cuts. That is unethical and I too say Gilhaus needs to go. This will not happen for at least 3 years when we can vote three board members out at one time. The board is wagging the tail.

  31. State of Affairs says:

    The price of groceries and fees go up and up. Only the little fellow has to worry.

  32. Dammit… It’s so expensive here my nickle pinching drug dealer cut my cocaine with Santa Flush!

    Oh well… my nasal sinuses are a nice shade of blue.

  33. Anyone find my textbook?

  34. I'm with coolaid! says:

    I’m with coolaid! I’ve been already making most of my purchases outside of Gardner is protest of paying so much in sales tax for nothing but excuses.

    By the time we’re ready to buy a new car, we will be moved out of Gardner. Did you know you when you purchase a vehicle, you pay sales tax based on where you live? Bye Bye Gardner’s 9.025%. Hello Overland Park 8.65%, Leawood 8.65%, Olathe 8.65%

  35. It's for the kids says:

    All you people who are complaining about high taxes hate kids. How do you put value on our children? Gilhaus earns over $200,000 because he is a dedicated public servant. Every time he decides to spend money it’s with the best interests of the children’s education at heart. Artifical turf and an activity building is for the kids. Get over it and quit being selfish. Same with Gardner city administrators, who make over $100,000 each (takes 2 of them to run our town) but didn’t live within the city limits. It’s for our own good. Why can’t you people understand these are dedicated public servants, toiling away unappreciated for our own good? The fact they make 2 to 5 times what most of their constituents earn is because they deserve it. If you don’t believe me, just ask them.

  36. Brilliant Protest says:

    @Im with cool

    So you will drive to Olathe or Overland Park to save money on sales tax. If you spend $200 on groceries by driving to Olathe you save a whopping $0.75. Add on fuel cost you’re saving $0.60. Assume you do that twice a month, you’re packing away an extra $14.05 a year! Now that is some serious jack! Of course the difference in sales tax is because of the voters approving it.

  37. @Brilliant says:


    What’s really strange is idea that by penalizing Gardner businesses, the people who work there, and perhaps the tax revenue that gets generated by the city, these “protesters” are somehow going to make Gardner better.

    Nobody likes paying taxes (unless, I guess, you’re billionaire Warren Buffet). I agree that Gardner’s taxes ought to be lower and that we should push to find ways of lowering taxes for our citizens. But deciding NOT to spend money in Gardner defies any kind of logic or decency. What benefit can be gained by trying to force Gardner businesses to have to close, just to make a point about sales taxes they can’t control anyway? Or more important, how do we minimize the amount of taxes paid by taxpayers if we actively try to chase out of town a source of tax revenues aside from property tax that gets generated from sources other than Gardner citizens? It’s like shooting holes in your lifeboat because you don’t like how high it rides in the water.

    “cool” and the punctuation-challenged “Im with cool” would do better focusing their protests against Gardner government. Find ideas for meeting the needs of running a city the size of Gardner and push our elected officials to put those plans in place. Instead, “Im with cool” threatens to leave town. Maybe they’re better living somewhere else after all.

  38. Can you say coolaid! says:

    It just so happens I travel daily outside of Gardner..so the gas excuse isn’t valid! I don’t live in the Gardner bubble so I in fact have a valid point. I am sorry for the small businesses in town. They should not be happy with this. HOWEVER! I will spend every penny I work my fanny off for how I choose and not to appease Gilhaus’s EGO…..I say HE GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Futher I will tell you it’s my opinion the voters were dooped. You just wait for what’s coming next from Gilhaus. Can you say Dooped!! I promise, it’s coming.

  39. Can you say coolaid! says:

    I wish this site would add a thumbs up and a thumb down icon next the the comments. I know a lot of people that want Gilhaus gone…he doesn’t know it put the pot is being stirred and I can’t wait to see it happen. I met a relative of his once and they apologized for him within the first 20 seconds of our conversation!!!! Speaks volumes wouldn’t you say!

  40. Please Get an Education says:

    It is Kool-Aid the brand name drink for kids from Kraft.

    It is further not futher.

    It is duped not dooped.

    I won’t bother with the incomplete and run-on sentences.

  41. So you’re basically saying that you’re going to hold the businesses of Gardner hostage against your disapproval of Gilhaus? Where is the logic in that? We get that you don’t like Gilhaus? Why not take your argument to the District by attending school board meetings? Or holding your own meetings for people to discuss the issues? Voters count, not shuttered businesses.

    Also, why would a relative of Gilhaus feel they need to apologize to you for him unless they already know you’re going to attack him and make them feel bad just because they’re related to him? Just like with businesses, it appears that you use your attitude toward Gilhaus to punish everyone BUT Gilhaus. Maybe YOU should be apologizing to the relative for making them feel responsible for him when, in fact, they aren’t. Your own words speak volumes as well.

    As for the thumbs-up/down? Why would this site even consider that? A meaningless click button where people click on the things they don’t want to hear dozens of times to make it look like they’ve got tons of people who agree with them? What would that even signify?

    They don’t bother to police the comments that get made based on the rules printed above the “Speak Your Mind” header. If they did, they’d end up nuking us all on how we treat each other. Or at the very least, they’d have plenty of comments to pull down on the basis of being intentionally offensive. Or libelous.

    But Gardner News apparently loves the website hits generated by having an entirely unpoliced Comments section. It’s too bad, because they don’t seem to realize that they’re allowing the readers they need to stay in business to be chased away by the insulting regulars.

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