REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond School District is looking to the future. Officials plan to ask voters again to approve a $70 million bond for safety and security upgrades, and to fund replacement of MA Lynch Elementary.
Election results from November sixth were certified Monday. Superintendent Mike McIntosh says he's disappointed with just how close the distract came to a victory. "Election Night, we were 410 votes short; and, as it ended up, we narrowed that gap to 152 votes." He tells KBND News, "I wish it’d been much greater. If we’re going to lose, let’s just make it a landslide loss. Because now, it feels awkward that our community, by virtue of that data, is exactly split. I mean, you don’t get much tighter than that." More than 25,000 ballots were cast for the bond measure.
McIntosh believes turnout may have contributed to the bond’s failure. "So, there was a lag in the turnout of Redmond School District. Is that apathy? Is that ‘I’m busy’? ‘I don’t want to pay taxes’? I don’t know what the reason [was] for that lag. But, Deschutes County, as a whole, outperformed Redmond School District, as a whole." Deschutes County turnout was just under 72%; while, within the Redmond School District, which includes a small portion of Jefferson County, turnout was just 65%. That turnout rate was even lower for voters likely to have school-age kids, "What’s intriguing to me is that also there’s a statistic that less than 20% of my school-aged parents – the adults in my district that are 30-46 years old, 18% voted. That’s just a weird statistic to me. I don’t understand why that was such a small number, in comparison to the other demographics that voted in our district."
RSD Unsure of Next Steps Following Bond Failure (11/08/2018)
The district is conducting polling to determine why voters rejected the measure, to help focus the campaign next time around. "And one of the things we’re trying to determine – what is it that they didn’t know, that they would’ve liked to know? So, we’re asking that question via survey." McIntosh says the need isn't going away, so the district must keep trying.