Voters Turn Down Fenton Schools $9.6 million Bond

A total of 54.65 percent of people vote no on the proposal.

Voters said no to a $9.6 million bond for Fenton Area Public Schools Tuesday.

A total of 1,110 residents (54.65 percent) voted no, while 921 voters marked yes on the ballot.

A total of 2,032 voters turned out from 16,175 registered (12.56 percent) for the election.

Technology in the classroom was one of the driving forces behind .

The bond proposal called for $6.4 million on technology including wireless access at the school, replacing older computers with current operating systems and software and upgrading the district data network in order to increase performance and capacity.

“Our students need the tools to be successful in the 21st century environment,”  Fenton Superintendent Dr. Timothy Jalkanen had said.

Updating school buses, improving traffic flow at  and increase parking capacity at  were also part of the bond. Additional security updates are also planned for every school building.

Many Fenton residents shared their opinions about the bond failure on the Fenton Patch Facebook Page.

"Glad. Stop the spending. Our kids have it good. They are very fortunate," posted John Nicholson.

"That's very sad for our kids!" commented Debi Johnson.

School Board President Lynn Hopper told the Flint Journal she wants to put the bond back on the ballot in the future.

"We'll just have to regroup. I have to hope that it's the economy – that's the reason for it (failing)," Hopper said in the article. "It's something that has to take place if we want out kids to succeed."

*Election results obtained from the Genesee County Clerk are unofficial.

Jason Alexander (Editor) May 09, 2012 at 01:21 AM
What do you think of the results?
Jane Webber May 09, 2012 at 01:44 AM
how can 2031 vote "no" and 921 vote yes and 2032 turn out to vote??? PROOF READ!!!! it will make seem like you know what you are talking about... just saying...
Rochelle Jones May 09, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Too bad the results were no! I have better, updated technology than the school has. It is very sad indeed.
Jen Peters May 09, 2012 at 02:17 AM
The school has some tough decisions to make now with such limited budgets. So sad that we can't invest in our kids as a community, it's every man, women, and child for him/herself then? :(
Jason Alexander (Editor) May 09, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Thanks Jane. Our numbers got jumbled.
Steve Gornick May 09, 2012 at 02:52 AM
The community failed our kids. Get out and vote next time. Who scheduled the band concert and track meets on the same day as an election. Twelve percent turn out. Seems all the parents did not even vote. This could of passed with just a few more people turning off the TV and doing their duty and voting. Next vote will be during presidential election in fall. Expect record turn out. That will be much harder to sway the vote.
Robert Marr May 09, 2012 at 05:31 AM
If you're passionate about this millage, you might consider it your personal responsibility to convince people to vote. The way I see it, a bunch of the "yes" voters didn't get enough of your neighbors on your side. In fact, most of them didn't even show up! Pathetic! Generally, it will not happen just because it's the right thing to do. You parents are the only ones who can make it happen. If you fail to convince voters, the millage fails. Don't blame the seniors. They're on a meager, fixed income!
Susie May 09, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Their meager, fixed incomes are going to get even worse if our kids can't compete globally.
Mike Wagner May 09, 2012 at 01:53 PM
The Sinking Fund was set up for a reason. The district can dump Microsoft and use Linux. New buses can be budgeted for. If the millage would have been split into two parts I may have voted yes for the technology portion.
sassyme May 09, 2012 at 04:23 PM
LOL, Jane, re-read your post for your errors :)
Lenny Haise May 09, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Why is this called a bond failure? If it passes it i called a success. This was a vote of the people by the people let it stand. We all know this will not happen. It will be brought before the voters again and again and again until the minority get what they want. If this would pass in the future we will not have multiple chances to defeat it. Schools will say and do anything to get YOUR money. aka Lake Fenton High school millage in the past. It was said the old high school was an unrepairable disaster and students can not learn in such an environment it should be torn down. We are going to sell the building so we do not have to pay the up keep. The next year kindergarten was in the building and now it is a middle school.
sassyme May 09, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Good grief, such drama over a bond failing! You'd think the kids were being asked to walk to school or use a pen and paper. The writing is on the wall, the school will re-group, get their propaganda machine into motion like they did for the huge bond, years ago and try again. My point is, ALL schools are making cuts, why can't Fenton. Why, b/c they have cullable parents that can be convinced it's do or die for their kid if the bond doesn't pass. Seriously!!! Regarding bonds, this is the 3rd since I've lived here. With the first big one, we were told it would be 20 years before another bond would have to be asked for. Well, several years later, here with go with a THIRD bond. So, it's been more like 3 bonds within 12 or 14 years.
Richard Smith May 09, 2012 at 09:00 PM
You mean you're not on the "Won't somebody please think of the children!!!" bandwagon?? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRrmo
Richard Smith May 09, 2012 at 09:05 PM
And Wi-FI and iPads are going to make that happen???
Richard Smith May 09, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Polls were open 13 hours. Unfortunately I do not have first hand information but I suspect the band concert and track meets did not last that long.
sassyme May 10, 2012 at 01:09 AM
LOL, That is such manipulative baloney that if you vote for the bond you support kids and if you don't you're not.
Richard Smith May 10, 2012 at 02:01 AM
It's funny how we try to teach our kids not to bully and not succumb to peer pressure then sit back and watch adults do the very opposite. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_social_control#Informal_social_control
sassyme May 10, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Gotta watch referencing Wikipedia as any one can post there, and post things that aren't necessarily true. To make a point, a peer-reviewed journal is the better way to go.
Richard Smith May 10, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Fair enough. I assume we can agree that the juvenile attempts to ostracize the alleged "people who don't care about our community/kids" by the "somebody please think of the children" crowd are transparent and weak at best.
Richard Smith May 10, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Does anyone know how much IB costs the school? I honestly don't know and I've never got a straight when I ask around. I've heard anywhere from $200K - $800K per year. So the $9.6M bond over 12 years breaks down to $800k per year. Let's take the low-end estimate for IB per year that I've heard so far: $200k. Well what do you know? There's a 25% down payment on the requested monies right out of the gate which will bring the bond down to $7.2M. I know it's a pipe dream expecting FAPS/FAPSEF to eliminate IB and redirect funds to higher priority needs. Once IB gets rooted in, it's nearly impossible to remove and I suspect the divisive split in the community would make this current infighting look like a playground spat. I guess we as a community need to examine the financial and educational priorities in our schools. But as long as I am a registered voting taxpayer and the school keeps asking for money with IB still in place, I will guarantee at least 1 no vote on the proposal every time.
sassyme May 10, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Oh, I agree Richard, the assumption that if you voted against the bond means that voter is anti-kid, is soooooooo wrong!
C.C. May 10, 2012 at 10:29 PM
I don't feel voters are trying to punish our children by failing the bond issue, rather the lack of accountability by the school administration to get a grip on spending and finally make the cuts needed was the reason for the bond going down in flames. As Mr. Marr stated, parents get out there and hawk the bond issue if you believe in it, explain your point of view to friends and neighbors--it's your children who will benefit. As with any issue there are talkers and there are doers. And as Mr. Smith stated, the school board will push and push and push till they either make everyone so tired of the issue or make them feel guilty for not supporting the vote. It's our civic responsibility to vote, not a privilege, it's a responsibility. If you don't vote you have nothing to gripe about. The admin needs to prove to the residents of the district that they are willing to resort to plan B and make some cuts.
stephanie pytlowanyj May 11, 2012 at 01:34 AM
I agree C.C.
Ryan Adams April 12, 2013 at 09:40 PM
I'm in 5 grade doing a HUUGE exhibition and met the super intendant and said there wouldnt be ipads or macs just a waaaaaay bigger improvement. And the those who said no that we dont need this stuff, screw u we need better tech. so we can learn more about it to go to college and get jobs!!!!!!!!!!!! :3
Ryan Adams April 12, 2013 at 09:42 PM


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