Election 2017: BW bond issue barely passes


By Gary Budzak - gbudzak@aimmediamidwest.com



The Big Walnut combined bond issue and permanent improvement levy barely passed by a 51 to 49 percent margin — 3,825 for to 3,682 against in the Nov. 7 election, according to unofficial results from the Delaware County Board of Elections.

“It’s going to be close, but we’re cautiously optimistic,” said district Superintendent Angie Pollock. “This would be huge for us.”

She thanked volunteers for their tireless efforts, and the voters for their support.

Early results had the issue failing 52 to 47; and later, those numbers flipped before narrowing. Last year, Big Walnut went to the polls and lost.

If the results hold, the bond issue would provide a new high school and additional elementary school. ​It will also include security upgrades to the district’s existing buildings. The district has said it will be able “move forward immediately with construction and protect the quality that we expect in our schools.”

If the result holds, then the district will only need to seek renewal of the existing substitute levy. This would come at zero increase to residents.

In the race for the board of education, the results were Allison Fagan 3,907 (31 percent); Brad Schneider 3,603 (29 percent); Douglas P. Crowl 2,714 (21 percent); and write-in Liana Lee 2,188 (17 percent). The top three earn a seat on the board.

Countywide, 43,106 ballots were cast out of 135,778 registered voters. Steve Cuckler from the board of elections described it as “on par with typical off-year elections.”

In a letter dated November 10, 2017, Pollock wrote:

“Dear Community,

“Thank you for supporting the Big Walnut Local Schools with the passage of a combined bond issue and permanent improvement levy, on Tuesday, November 7.

“We are so appreciative and excited to get started on the process of adding needed space to our district. It was a tremendous combined effort and a big “thank you” goes out to all our supporters and volunteers, including parents, teachers and staff. The passage of this issue is solely due to their commitment and belief in Big Walnut Schools and in our students.

“Passage of the ballot issue means we can proceed with plans to build a new high school, an additional elementary school and provide much-needed improvements and repairs to the other school buildings. It also addresses concerns with safety in the schools, as updates in security will be made to existing buildings.

“These funds will alleviate stress from our daily operating budget while allowing us to accommodate growth and overcrowding. Now, we can begin to look forward and to begin the work and planning for these new facilities. We will continue to keep you informed as we work through the design and construction processes.

“Thank you again for supporting our students.

“Sincerely, Angela S. Pollock, Superintendent”

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By Gary Budzak

gbudzak@aimmediamidwest.com