McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Schools

April 1, 2014

School bond fails for 4th time

McALESTER — A McAlester school bond election has failed for a fourth time, with only 43.94 percent of school district voters casting ballots in favor of the measure Tuesday night.

The $28,980,000 school bond issue would have funded construction of a new building on V. Hubert Smith Drive to house early childhood and first-grade students for the school district, with another $1 million for technology upgrades district-wide, according to McAlester Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Marsha Gore.

The measure fell 732-934, well short of capturing the needed 60 percent of the total votes cast.

“Well, of course we’re disappointed,” Gore said Tuesday night when contacted by phone. “I’m disappointed for the people who worked so hard for it.”

Opponents had cited the impact the bond issue would have had on property taxes within the school district. Figures from MPS said the measure would have increased ad valorem property taxes by 26.9 percent for a period of 15 years, or an additional $27 for every $100 now assessed.

“I’m 100 percent against it,” Dave Cupp, a retired clothing salesman and night club owner who lives in McAlester, had said prior to the election. “People can’t afford another tax.

“Gas is $3.49 a gallon. Bacon is $5 a pound and milk is $5 a gallon. Everything is going up.”

It was the fourth time since 2008 the school district failed to win approval from voters for a bond issue funded by property tax dollars. In 2008, voters turned down a request for a $1.3 million bond issue. Twice in 2011, school bond measures were voted down: $34.8 million had been requested in a January election that year, and $11.8 million was rejected by voters in October.

What’s next for the school district?

“What we’ll do is reconvene our committee in a couple of weeks, look at what worked and what didn’t work,” Gore said, referring to a committee that had developed plans for the most recent bond issue. “We’ll regroup and ask the community again which direction they want to go in.”

Gore also expressed disappointment at the low voter turnout. The total 1,666 votes cast in the school bond election Tuesday was about 40 percent less than the 2,406 who voted in the 2011 bond election.

“People don’t get out and vote,” she said. “The wonderful thing about our country is people aren’t forced to vote.”

Contact Kandra Wells at kwells@mcalesternews.com.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Schools
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
NDN Video
Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.