Blaine school bond falling short of approval

Published on Thu, Mar 13, 2008 by Pat Grubb

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Blaine school bond falling short of approval

By Pat Grubb

School bond requests went down to defeat yesterday across the county as voters apparently shied away from new tax burdens as the economy sours. In preliminary election results, all school districts in Whatcom County failed to reach the supermajority of 60 percent required to pass.

Regular Maintenance and Operations (M&O) levies for the most part appeared to be passing handily with the exception of Mt. Baker school district. Here in Blaine, the M&O levy received 1,811 Yes votes to 1,172 No votes, a 60.7 percent approval rate. Levies require only a simple majority. The capital improvement bond vote received 1,566 Yes votes to 1,388 No votes, a 53 percent approval rate, just 7 percent less than needed.

Blaine school district superintendent Ron Spanjer wrote to school staff Tuesday night, saying, “While we are disappointed that the capital projects bond has not received the required level of yes votes, we are indeed thrilled with the level of support our public is showing on the M&O levy.

“As you look at the numbers in Whatcom County overall, you will recognize that the 60.7 percent approval level is indeed substantial. Economic times are not great and once again our community has stepped up and shown strong support for the day-to-day operations of our program. The board will take time to review the bond results and decide what comes next.”

Out of a total voter registration of 104,243 voters in Whatcom County, 31,066 voters returned ballots, a 29.8 percent turnout. A total of 2,983 voters returned ballots in the Blaine school district, a turnout of 36.4 percent. There are 8,201 registered voters in Blaine, Birch Bay and Point Roberts, the boundaries of which comprise the district.