I have three children in Fenton schools, so I vote ‘yes’ to any proposal that will enhance their educations and support the district. But there are many who do not feel the same way. From my understanding of the “word on the street,” here’s why:
- Too many issues in one proposal: Lumping technology, buses, and parking lots into the same proposal forced some people to vote ‘no’. Some would have voted for the technology upgrades, but felt manipulated by the all-encompassing proposal.
- Misspent monies from previous bond(s) (real or perceived): Many cite previous technology upgrades and the FIS parking lot as recent examples, but some people have even longer histories of perceived wasteful spending. Perhaps it should have/could have been clearer to the community how and why monies were spent in the past to clear up any misconceptions? One important component of persuasion is dealing with the opposition, so gaining community support requires either refuting misconceptions or logically explaining how it will be different this time.
- People who would have voted ‘yes’ did not show up to vote: Simple as. I don’t blame those who voted ‘no’—that’s their right and they are entitled, no matter what their reasoning. The beauty of our system is that the ones who show up win. So if you would have voted ‘yes’ but didn’t bother, that’s the problem.
I know from previous experience that it is exhausting work to pass a bond, so I hope this defeat will just make this group stronger. I’m sure we’ll have a chance to vote on this again, and hopefully we’ll see a different outcome.
You have my vote.