The View 38002 August - September 2013

2013 Municipal Election Coverage — begins on page 12 SCHOOL NEWS — begins on page 19 inform. educate. connect. Arlington & Lakeland’s Community Newspaper August/September 2013 Arlington and Lakeland Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Municipal Schools for 2014-2015 School Board Elections to be Held November 7 By Terry Louderback Election Commission will meet on July 31 and certify the election results. Once that happens, the two municipalities can file an ordinance to hold School Board elections, most likely on November 7. If that is the case, the deadline for filing a petition to run for school board will be Thursday, September 26. The requirements for school board candidates and the structure of the school boards are set by the individual municipalities in accordance with state law. Arlington’s school board will consist of five numbered positions, with staggered four-year terms. In Lakeland, the top five candidates receiving the most votes will be elected, also with staggered four-year terms. Once installed, the school boards be charged with the task of hiring a superintendent, approving policies and procedures, and preparing for the doors to open for the first day of school in August 2014. LOCAL BUSINESS Launches Redesigned Website On June 1, 2013, Arlington Publishing LLC unveiled the final results of a muchanticipated website makeover. “We wanted to have a website that would truly provide a resource for the community,” comments Editorial Director Terry Louderback. “From my background working with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, I knew that the local residents needed a place online to find information about community events and read about what’s going on around 38002.” The website also features news updates and stories that did not make the deadline for the print edition. Iggy Collazo, Advertising Director states that in the future, the publishers plan to add school sports results, photo galleries from local events, and other timesensitive reporting. “Also, we wanted to give our advertisers a more immediate venue to present their goods and services and redirect potential clients to their webpages,” adds Collazo. The appearance and ease of use of the website was taken into careful consideration. Louderback continues, “once we saw that almost 50% of our website traffic was using handheld devices, we researched and invested in a quality mobile site so that viewers have that option on their cell phones or tablets. We are committed to continuing to improve our website and print editions for the benefit of the residents, students, and businesses in 38002.” Supporters of the municipal school referendum in Arlington and Lakeland used facebook, t-shirts, and yard signs like the one above just off Depot Square, to encourage voter turnout. Staff Photo THE WAIT IS OVER Almost a year after the first vote on the municipal schools referendum passed (only to be later overturned by U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays), Arlington and Lakeland voters returned to the polls on July 16 for a second chance at creating locally-controlled school systems. Although low voter turnout during the early voting period raised fears that summer vacations, voter fatigue, and a reference to taxes in the wording on the ballot, might result in failure to pass the referendum, voters in all six Shelby County municipalities overwhelmingly approved the initiatives. The unofficial results in Arlington show 1,935 or 93.7% of the voters approved of the measure. 87.11% (1,582) of those in Lakeland voted in the affirmative. Overall voter turnout in the two municipalities for the special election was just under 30%. WHAT’S NEXT? The Shelby County The new website for (above) features an events calendar, local weather, and updated stories.