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Farmington Hills

August 6, 2013

Voters reject $222 million Farmington Public Schools bond proposal

By Sherri Kolade
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
Farmington Public Schools Superintendent Sue Zurvalec addresses the residents, parents and students who came to view the results of the bond issue. After it was clear the bond was rejected, Zurvalec declared "We are not done. This (the bond) is important for our students and teachers."

Voters in the Farmington Public Schools district denied a $222 million bond request 8,043 votes to 7,084 during the Aug. 6 special election, but FPS Superintendent Sue Zurvalec said the district “is not done.”

“This (the bond) is important for our students and teachers,” she said during an election-viewing event Aug. 6 at 32789 W. 10 Mile Road.

According to the Oakland County Election Division website, www.oakgov.com, a total of 15,127 voters turned out at the polls.

The voters shot down a proposal that would have brought about a 1.44-mill annual tax increase, a cost to average homeowners of approximately $7-$9 per month — or, if going by the estimated monthly average, $84-$108 per year for 25 years. District officials said they needed the money for upgrades to infrastructure, security, technology and learning environments.

The August election is estimated to cost the district between $65,000 and $85,000. District officials said that if they had waited until November, there wouldn’t be enough time to go through the request for proposals process for construction work to begin construction in June 2014, and construction would be delayed for a year, which could be costly if infrastructure fixes are needed before then.

The school district covers Farmington and Farmington Hills, and a portion of West Bloomfield.
 

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Sherri Kolade at skolade@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1046.

This article was written from the school board's point of view. The reason the bond failed is not because of absentee ballots, it was because people do not want a tax hike and don't believe the district needs anywhere near $222 million. The ballot failed by 1,000 votes in a special august election. I think the school board tried to "slip one by" the voters, knowing it was going to be a low turnout, get the spend, spend, spend crew out to vote and silently get hook everyone who owns a house for an extra $100 per year. Why wouldn't the reporter try to find one person who might have a different view than the school board, one person who believed the money wasn't needed--nice that you were able to find an assistant principal from Harrison who, remarkably was in favor of committing the community to more money for her school.

There should be a law passed to prevent these attempted silent massive tax increases. Make any new spending for tax increases be only put on the November ballot. Even the reason why it wasn't done is ridiculous--didn't want it in November because it would not give them enough time to get it done by June 2014--guess what, it isn't happening anyway--nice try on the back-door tax hike--thank you to all of the "absentee balloteers" who took the time to find a way to vote and go to work at the same time.