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3 Reasons the Fenton School Bond Did Not Pass

It's a bummer, but I'm sure we'll have another chance.

I have three children in , 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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Dusty Craine May 09, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Very well said, Michelle. I know several people who stated exactly points 1 and 2 as reasons for their "No" vote.
Debi Johnson May 09, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Well said friend!
Richard Smith May 09, 2012 at 08:27 PM
#4: If the school can come up with money for IB then perhaps buses, technology, infrastructure isn't as important. I'd compare it to my child asking me for $80 to put a new tire on his car while spending his own money on having the largest subwoofers this side of the state, the latest greatest 4G smartphone with 3D camera and ground penetrating radar, and/or this week's coolest tablet of the century at Best Buy. Sure, $80 isn't really a lot of money but who wins each time they come with hand extended asking for more money? I will gladly vote yes the next time this comes up provided the school can prove to me it is *really* short on funds and responsibly prioritizing our money where it really needs to be. But I see the school isn't going to take NO for an answer and already wants a redo on the proposal so I'm sure we'll get badgered until they get their money. So I'll add reason #3b: place blame how you want but sometimes NO means NO. The amount of irritation and resistance I'll have towards future proposals will be directly proportional to the amount of times I'm asked to go to the polls for it. In the meantime, I voted my conscience and the immature and sickening comments I've seen on Facebook aren't going to sway or bully me into feeling bad because I didn't vote yes. Those that choose to chop every down are only doing a disservice to the cause.
Lenny Haise May 10, 2012 at 03:15 AM
The reason it did not pass was the majority did not want it. Would we have gotten a redo if it had passed --- NO. How is that right.
Michelle English May 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Yep...#4 is a good one, too. And I like your analogy. I'm not certain of plans for another try to pass a version of this bond--I was just speculating. But these kinds of concerns need to be clearly addressed.
Michelle English May 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Thanks Deb!
Michelle English May 10, 2012 at 11:42 AM
I really don't know if there's a 'redo' planned, but you have a good point. I would guess that in this case the district could find out why it didn't pass and rewrite the plan to take out pieces that the community does not support. But I'm just guessing.
Michelle English May 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Right. These are valid concerns people have, so communication is critical. Expecting explanations is not unreasonable.
sassyme May 10, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Michelle, there is a re-do planned. The President of the school bond even said so. All schools are facing cutbacks, except Fenton. They just keep asking, and asking, and asking the voters to pass another bond. I'm tired of it. If the School Administration would show some good faith and make some cutbacks, like what Swartz Creek is now doing, I MAY consider voting "yes" next time around.
Michelle English May 10, 2012 at 06:58 PM
I hope they are able to show/prove good faith in cutting back and budgeting responsibly. Even though I supported this bond, I would much rather have concerned and informed citizens/taxpayers than those who just blindly follow--no matter which way they vote.
Richard Smith May 10, 2012 at 08:22 PM
"I would much rather have concerned and informed citizens/taxpayers than those who just blindly follow--no matter which way they vote" I think this is the most sensible comment on the pro-side I have seen so far. A little candor and civility goes a long way in my book.
Lenny Haise May 11, 2012 at 05:00 PM
My father said he would vote in favor of a bond when the school district learned to spend responsibly. The year 1967. He never voted for a bond.

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