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Beline Obeid

Voters say 'no' to bond

Jim Budziak of Grosse Pointe Park enters his ballot into the machine to cast his vote on the $50.2 million bond issue for Grosse Pointe Public School System. photo by Renee Landuyt.

February 27, 2014
THE GROSSE POINTES — The $50.2 million bond proposal for the Grosse Pointe Public School System failed in all five Pointes and Harper Woods by large margins.

The 10-year proposal dubbed the tech bond was defeated 8,486 to 2,343.

It sends a clear message to a board of education and administration to go back to the drawing board.

"The voters have spoken," said board of education president Joan Dindoffer, declining to comment whether another proposal would be brought before voters. "We will have to analyze the vote and see where we go from here. We need to understand what the voters want."

It was obvious the voters didn't want what was presented.

The measure failed in Grosse Pointe Woods, 1,250 yes to 2,786 no; in Grosse Pointe Park, 856 to 1,872; in Grosse Pointe Farms, 859 to 2,020; in the City of Grosse Pointe, 397 to 1,060; in Grosse Pointe Shores, 153 to 583 and in Harper Woods, 96 to 165.

The ballot asked for the money to remodel, equip, furnish, reequip and refurnish existing district buildings, including security, media center, computer lab, classroom and technology infrastructure improvements and to acquire and instal instructional technology equipment.

The 10-year proposal and the tax implications were simply too much for some.

In an e-mail Tuesday night to the Grosse Pointe News, Jenny Greenwell wrote, "Taxpayers are disgusted and angry. We must demand that all elections be held in even year Novembers only. No more stealth elections in Grosse Pointe."

On the other side, two supporters, part of the GPTechYes committee, offered their thoughts.

"Obviously we are very disappointed," said Allison Banker of Grosse Pointe Park. "But we feel confident the board will come up with a plan that will be acceptable to voters. As a district, we do not want to be left in the dust. We will see what it will take to get people to vote yes."

Committee co-chair George McMullen of Grosse Pointe Woods echoed Baker's thoughts.

"I'm very disappointed the voters could not see this was a necessary investment in our schools and in our community. We will be meeting to assist the administration and the board in developing a new plan that we can take to the voters."

Superintendent Tom Harwood could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. A follow-up will be published in next week's Grosse Pointe News.

The deadline for letters to the editor is 3 p.m. Monday for the next issue.

See this week's editorial on page 6A.

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