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School bond proposal defeated

By Judy Reed

It’s back to the drawing board for Cedar Springs Public Schools after citizens in the school district voted down an $81,150,000 bond proposal Tuesday.

Many voters seem felt it was too much money and they couldn’t afford any higher taxes. Others called for a less expensive plan. And others had misconceptions about how accountable the school would be to do what they said they were going to do with the money.

The proposal was defeated by a vote of 1935 NO to 1502 YES. It was defeated in every precinct except one—Courtland precinct 2—and there it passed by only 17 votes.

Out of 19,432 registered voters in the school district, only 3,441 voted—an overall turnout of 17.71 percent. Some precincts turned out in higher numbers: About 39 percent of voters between the two precincts in Nelson Township voted; 36 percent of Solon residents voted between their two precincts; 30.52 percent of Algoma voters turned out; 23 percent of Courtland voters went to the polls; 21 percent of Spencer registered voters came out; 19 percent of City of Cedar Springs voters voted; and 14 percent of Oakfield voters turned out.

The Board of Education issued a statement to us after the results came in Tuesday evening. “On behalf of the Board of Education, we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our families and neighbors who voted in this election.  We will review the data gathered throughout the election cycle and set a course of action moving forward. Our top priority is to provide all of our students an educational experience that allows them to thrive.  Facilities play a critical role in shaping our students’ school experience. The next stage of this important work begins tomorrow morning.”  

Other schools in the area, including Grant and Kent City, passed their bond proposals (17,000,000 and 21,000,000) and Sparta passed the renewal of their sinking fund. Grandville Public Schools passed a 94,000,000 bond proposal— and voted down one for 29,000,000.

In other election news, Cedar Springs City Councilor Molly Nixon was reelected to her position. She ran unopposed and received 359 votes, and 17 votes were write-ins. 

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