Clarkston school bond votes are certified -- answer remains 'no'

May 5—All the votes have been counted in the Clarkston High School bond election, but the remaining votes didn't change the outcome as voters rejected the proposed $79 million bond.

The final tally of the votes, which were certified Friday, resulted in 51.8% in favor, with 3,217 votes, and 48.2% against, with 2,994 votes. Although the bond gained a simple majority of votes, in order to pass it needed a 60%-plus-one super majority to pass.

The election also had a 50.5% voter turnout, with 6,215 of the 12,297 of eligible voters casting ballots. The bond also needed at least a 40% voter turnout from the last general election to be ratified.

The proposal called for a $79 million, 25-year bond that would have been funded by property owners in the Clarkston School District. The property owners would have been taxed $2.84 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The proposed new high school would have remained at the current structure and retained the Adams building, auditorium and T building. It would have included a new classroom wing and a career technical education building, along with new athletic facilities.

The Clarkston School Board approved the resolution seeking the bond in February. The campaign for the new high school also kicked off in February. The Yes for CHS committee was led by Dan Hally and Courtney Kramer. The committee had several informational meetings since February for the public and created a person-to-person campaign to build support.

Multiple economic organizations, government agencies and health care facilities endorsed the bond, as well as unions with educators and first responders. Edmund and Beatriz Schweitzer of Schweitzer Engineering Labs, pledged $1.5 million toward the bond and Gary and Jutta Hughes also pledged $250,000 to the bond — but those donations were contingent on the bond passing.

The last bond attempt by the Clarkston School District was in 2017 for $60.5 million, which also failed to pass.

Brewster may be contacted at kbrewster@lmtribune.com or at (208) 848-2297.