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Bond referendum fails

West Fargo School Board members and administrators met at 7 a.m. in the Leidal Education Center boardroom on Wednesday morning in a special meeting to canvass the votes cast in the June 9 bond election. Business manager Joe Sykora verified that there were no additional absentee ballots received after the polls closed, nor any absentee ballots sent to the wrong precinct. He also verified that the total number of ballots received by each precinct matched the total number of ballots returned, and that the total number of voted ballots matched the number of entries in the poll books.

The bond referendum failed, with Yes votes comprising 51 percent, and No votes totalling 49 percent. A total of 4,538 votes were cast, with 2,329 Yes votes and 2,209 No votes. A 60 percent majority was needed to pass the bond.

Voting results at each of the seven precincts included: Harwood Community Center - 104 Yes votes, 171 No votes, and one spoiled or blank ballot; Veterans Memorial Arena - 651 Yes votes, 618 No votes, and one spoiled or blank ballot; Westside Elementary School - 375 Yes votes, and 420 No votes; West Fargo City Hall - 342 Yes votes, and 481 No votes; West Acres Shopping Center - 229 Yes votes, and 132 No votes; Shiloh Evangelical Free Church - 352 Yes votes, and 233 No votes; and Horace Senior Center - 276 Yes Votes, 154 No votes, and 1 spoiled or blank ballot.

"My initial reaction is that, even though it [the bond] didn't pass, that doesn't mean the community doesn't support education. I'm not so sure people wanted such a longterm plan. They probably either would have liked to have seen the plan reformulated, or they didn't want to build such a big chunk at one time."

"I think the economy was a big factor," Board member Angela Korsmo said. "We'll need to find out why people voted no, and try to correct whatever it was they didn't like," she added.

According to North Dakota Century Code, the board can come back with another bond referendum in three months, or after a one year period.