The unofficial count is in and the will of the people has been determined. Bartlett voters overwhelmingly approve the creation of a city school system.
According to the Shelby County Election Commission, the referendum to create a municipal school system was supported by more than 80 percent of Bartlett voters. A half-cent sales tax increase also won strong approval from Bartlett voters, and will allow the city to cover its portion of the school district’s operating expenses.
Voter turnout was a modest 21.6 percent across Shelby County, but this represented a 44 percent increase in turnout from the August 2008 election.
We’re thankful for the public servants who worked so hard to allow this election to take place, and those who publicly expressed their support for Bartlett schools from the very beginning. Now our task is to elect an outstanding school board in November, and work hard to reward the confidence of the 80 percent who supported Bartlett schools, as well as earn the trust of the remaining 20 percent who voted against the referendum.
Our thanks go to the hundreds of generous donors and excellent volunteers who helped us create and distribute 10,000 mail pieces and 1,500 yard signs. We’d like to offer a special note of thanks to our friends at First Bank, who made a financial donation that helped us reach our fundraising goal.
Without a doubt, this was a community-wide effort, and this issue brought us closer together as a city. We are convinced Bartlett’s best days are still to come, and we will continue to work on behalf of this great community and the future generations who will live and work here. Together we will build strong schools, help businesses grow and thrive, and ensure Bartlett continues to be a safe and friendly home to children and families.