A political action committee in support of the upcoming bond election for Killeen Independent School District includes three who helped craft the propositions.
Vote Yes for KISD Kids, a coalition of six community members, has raised $13,750 for the campaign, according to documents filed April 4 with the Texas Ethics Commission. The group has spent more than $6,000 installing large signs around the area that encourage voters to cast ballots in favor of the two proposed bond measures. They also spend money on video testimonials and yard signs.
Proposition A is for $235 million and would fund a new high school and elementary school, as well as upgrades to existing facilities like intercoms, controlled access devices, perimeter fencing and shade structures for outdoor play at elementary schools.
Proposition B is for $191 million. The bond on the ballot says the money will be spent on “the construction, acquisition and equipment of school buildings in the District, including the rehabilitation, renovation, expansion, improvement and consolidation of District facilities, and levying of the tax in payment thereof.” It doesn’t specify how it would be spent.
Superintendent John Craft has said KISD would spend it on consolidation of schools and a complete revamp of Killeen High School.
Cullen Mills, the treasurer of the political action committee, said members include himself, Bill Kliewer, Brenda Coley, Michael Linnemann, Kay Carey and Jessica Diem.
Mills, Kliewer and Coley were part of a bond steering committee appointed by Craft. Craft and the district selected potential committee members and sent more than 100 invitations out to people for the committee, which met four times in November at various KISD schools to help prioritize what the district would propose on the May 5 ballot.
Mills said conversation of creating Vote Yes for KISD Kids originated during bond steering committee meetings.
“It was just a gathering of all of us due to conversation,” Mills said. “Myself, Bill Kliewer and Brenda Coley were all on the bond steering committee. That conversation originated back to when we were going on about gathering public support.
“What we’re out here to do is to make awareness of the issue, point people in the right direction and answer any questions.”
District officials have no knowledge of the PAC, according to KISD chief communication officer Terry Abbott. He said no district dollars have gone toward supporting the PAC.
It is prohibited by law for school districts to spend money on election activities in support of or against bonds.
The Killeen Business League contributed $12,500 to Vote Yes for KISD Kids on March 28, according to the filing documents. Other contributions include $1,000 from Union State Bank that same day, and $250 from Modern Appliance, where Mills works.
Pat Kaufman, president of First Texas Bank, confirmed his membership with the Killeen Business League.
Kaufman referred all questions pertaining to the league to Randy Sutton, president of First State Bank Central Texas in Harker Heights.
Neither Sutton or executives with Union State Bank could be reached for comment Wednesday.
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