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UPDATE | South Whidbey bond measure wins majority vote in just one precinct
The South Whidbey School District's $25 million bond measure failed to gain even a simple majority in all but one of the South End's 20 precincts, according to a review of precinct tally's released by the Island County elections office.
Voters are rejecting Proposition 1 by a large margin; 57.99 percent of the vote is against the measure, with 42 percent in favor. The proposal needed 60 percent of the vote to pass.
The only place where Prop. 1 received a majority is in the Coles Precinct, where voters said yes with 50.3 percent of the vote - still almost 10 points below the mark needed for passage. Coles voters gave the bond 136 votes in favor, and 134 against.
Coles Precinct is directly west of the city of Langley, and stretches south from Saratoga Road to Highway 525, and from Lone Lake east to Coles Road.
In the first vote tally, the measure received 3,555 "no" votes and 2,575 "yes" votes.
Prop. 1 would have devoted $15 million to moving Langley Middle School to the high school campus on Maxwelton Road, with $10 million going toward essential repairs in other South End schools. Property owners would have paid 47 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, approximately $164.50 for a home valued at $350,000, if the measure had passed.
School Board Chairwoman Leigh Anderson said it was clear voters did not support Prop. 1, and said the local and national political climate made it tough for the proposal.
"My reaction to the bond tally is one of disappointment," she said. "I, of course, wanted it to pass on the first go around."
"The message I got from the voters is that they did not like the bond proposal. Each voter would have their own reason for that, upon which I won’t speculate," she added. "The other message from voters loud and clear was that they did not like any ballot measure that meant they might have to pay taxes."
Anderson said the board will look at its future plans on the bond in the next month.