REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Schools Superintendent Mike McIntosh is disappointed with the defeat of his district’s bond measure by just 410 votes. He tells KBND News, "There’s been a ton of effort put into this process and to be that close and not get over the finish line is frustrating."
The outcome hinged on just 1,853 ballots from Jefferson County. A portion of the district dips into Crooked River Ranch, where 2/3 of voters opposed the levy. But McIntosh says he doesn’t blame those in Crooked River Ranch, "People vote their conscience, they vote their need, they vote their capacity to pay their bills and their taxes. And so, not wanting to throw anyone under the bus – they had rural fire issues on the ballot; they had to prioritize." Jefferson County ballots also included a jail levy. "So, I’d be the last guy to criticize how they prioritize their money."
The nearly 70-million dollar levy would have paid for security upgrades at every school, as well as the replacement of Lynch Elementary, which was damaged by heavy snow, two winters ago. McIntosh says for now, "It is absolutely safe until some heavy loads – snow load conditions exist. It’s not going to fall down on anybody; we’re not in danger." He says the school board will reassess options before deciding how to address those needs, "We’ve talked about some community meetings around what went well, what didn’t go so well, what they heard, what they didn’t hear, and reach out to learn from what I think was a valiant effort that was just a few votes short." he adds, "In my opinion, and I think in many people’s opinion, the need and the urgency have not been diminished. The resolution to that need and urgency has been postponed, to some degree. And, what degree and when we try again, I can’t say today."