A whopping 52%, or, 3,908 out of the 7,523 registered voters in the Stevensville School District turned out to vote on two bond propositions in the recent election. Both bonds were approved. The $6,369,000 elementary school bond was approved by a vote of 1,596 to 1,243. The $14,169,000 high school bond was approved by a vote of 2,102 to 1,763.
“What a great thing for the community,” said Stevensville School District Superintendent Bob Moore.
After the defeat of a previous set of bonds at the ballot box, Moore saw the need to refine the proposals and align them more with the community’s vision.
He said that’s where the survey that they had conducted by a hired consultant came into play. He said everything in the 20-year-plan was put back on the table again and reviewed by the school staff. Then they had Hingston-Roach Group Inc. put this information out in a survey form to every household in the community.
He said what came out of that was that it wasn’t so much a question about the amount of money being requested. These bond requests that just passed actually represent a $4 million increase over what the first bonds sought.
“It was more a question of priorities,” said Moore. With survey responses in hand and a good working group of citizens involved, “then the school board had to make some hard decisions,” he said.
The result was that some of the big athletic-related proposals were dropped, like the proposal for renovating the tennis courts for over $350,000. “It just wasn’t that much of a priority, so we took it out,” he said. “We took almost all of the athletic-related renovations out.”
It wasn’t that people don’t support the school, however, they just wanted to concentrate on educational spaces, such as a trades and technology center, classroom renovation, modernization of the science labs, and additional classroom space in the elementary.
“But it’s also not as though the people don’t see those athletic facilities as important,” said Moore. “There’s a group in the community right now that want to sit down and see what resources we need to pull together and what kind of private funding we have to get those things built.”
“If that’s the will of this community and they are able to do that,” he said, “kudos to the entire community because we are going to have to address those facilities. The football field grandstand has been removed because it was deemed unsafe by engineers. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done out there.”
One thing that did stay in the bond for athletics, he said, was to fix the leaky roof in the gymnasium and renovate the locker rooms built in the 1970s with poor ventilation and poor bathroom facilities.
Arriving at a good proposal is not enough, though, it takes community involvement.
“It takes a real grassroots movement to pass a bond of this magnitude,” Moore said. He said the work done in the community by an organized group of supporters was a key to passing these bonds.
More Election Results
School District Board of Trustee Elections
The two open seats for 3-year terms on the Corvallis School Board of Trustees went to Jennifer Channer with 956 votes and Patrick Daly with 889 votes. Other candidates included Lindsay Buhler with 801 and Tonia Bloom with 791. Voter turnout was 34%; or 1,855 out of a total of 5,397 registered voters.
The two open seats on the Darby School District Board of Trustees went to Rosemary Griffin with 431 votes and Eric Winthers with 381. Other candidates included Gina MacIlwraith with 372 votes and Mathew Locati with 223 votes. Voter turnout was 836, or 28% of the 2,961 registered voters.
The two open seats for three-year terms on the Florence-Carlton School District Board of Trustees went to Kimberly Bauer with 708 votes and Matt Reeves with 670 votes. Robert Cook came in third with 430 votes. Mel Finlay, who ran unopposed for a one-year unexpired term, garnered 941 votes. Voter turnout was 1,106, or 28% of the 3,979 registered voters.
Two open seats for 3-year terms on the Hamilton School District Board of Trustees went to Heidi Apedaile with 981 votes and Rebekah Stamp with 944 votes. Other candidates included Seth Galewyrick with 885, James Ellis with 805, and Curtis Brickley Jr. with 487. Voter turnout was 2,258, or 28% of the 8,123 registered voters.
The two open seats for 3-year terms on the Victor School District Board of Trustees went to Tommy Dobberstein with 393 votes and Paul Rosen with 310 votes. Other candidates included Roy Perry with 260 votes, Jack Varner with 220 votes, Ron Wirth with 161 votes, and Ron Marshall with 98 votes. Voter turnout was 811 or 33% of the 2,476 registered voters.
Lone Rock Park District
Three open seats on the Lone Rock Park District board of directors went to Colleen Schmiedeke with 621 votes, Gary Leese with 605 and Travis Hardy with 462 votes in the recent mail ballot election. Other candidates included Trish Foster with 332, Margaret Nelson with 329 and Elizabeth Ballard with 314. 47%, or 1,370 of the 2,943 registered voters, turned out to vote.
Sunset Irrigation District
Zachary Jay Bugli was the runaway winner of a seat with a three-year term on the Sunset Irrigation District Commission Division #1 with a total of 1,594 votes against Mathew Williams’ 263. Voter turnout was 68%.