CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Proponents of an additional school and library excess levy for Kanawha County have raised more than $100,000 so far.
"We're delighted by the campaign financial report. This money came from businesses, library patrons, parents, teachers and other community members. I think that's a good reflection of the depth of support we're seeing for this thing," said Kids Education Yes Committee director Joel Coon.
KEY is made up of business leaders and community members and was launched last month with the support of Kanawha County school board members, with the sole purpose of promoting passage of the Nov. 9 excess levy.
The majority of the campaign money has gone toward direct voter communication, like informational mailings and office space for volunteer phone banks, helping the committee to make at least 10,000 phone calls and "door knocks," according to Coon.
Kanawha County Board of Education President Pete Thaw, however, is doing some campaigning of his own -- against the proposed excess levy.
Thaw said he has raised nearly $1,000 and has contributed $1,000 of his own money to print and distribute pamphlets urging people to vote against the levy.
The levy, with early voting starting Saturday, will mean an additional property tax for Kanawha County citizens, and will not only bring $24.4 million in for technology and facility upgrades for schools, but will also allow the county's libraries to continue to fully operate.
The future of Kanawha County public libraries is unclear after the state Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the school board no longer has to financially support the library system. The levy, if passed, would bring in around $3.2 million for libraries.
"The people of Kanawha County cannot afford a levy of this magnitude. ... They can't afford to be the only county in the state with two excess levies," Thaw said.