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Board Chair: Bond Defeat a 'Tragic Loss for Our Kids and Our Community'

Revised Farmington Public Schools bond proposals were defeated Tuesday. Proposal 1 went down by 248 votes; Proposal 2, by a 1,339-vote margin.

Farmington Public Schools Superintendent Sue Zuravlec addresses bond supporters after the election defeat. Photo credit: Joni Hubred-Golden
Farmington Public Schools Superintendent Sue Zuravlec addresses bond supporters after the election defeat. Photo credit: Joni Hubred-Golden
Three months after voting down a $222 million bond referendum, voters in Farmington and Farmington Hills defeated both parts of a revised bond proposal. 

The district had pared down the Aug. 6 request by nearly $36 million and split the bond into two parts:

  1. $154.6 million for safety and security improvements, infrastructure improvements, technology, and classroom and media center remodeling
  2. $31.6 million for high school performing arts centers, outdoor athletic field and track resurfacing and a technology refresh
With 27 of 27 precincts reporting, Proposal 1 failed by 248 votes, while Proposal 2 went down by a more than 1,300-vote margin. 

"I'm very disappointed," school board chair Howard Wallach said Tuesday. "This is a tragic loss for our kids and for our community. The impact likely will be felt for years." 

Wallach said the clear top priority in the bond proposals was safety and security improvements, "and we can't even do that." 

He and Superintendent Sue Zurvalec both said that it was too early to say what the district will do next. 

"The needs have not gone away," Zurvalec said, noting that Longacre Elementary will be closed on Wednesday, due to a water leak in the building. 

"We're going to have to look at it and learn from it, just like we ask our kids to do when things don't go the way they expect them to," she said. "The things we fought for are right, appropriate and absolutely critical."

Zurvalec thanked volunteers and district staff who she said "gave everything, gave countless hours and did everything possible" to get the two proposals passed. 

"We're not going to let this keep us from moving forward and doing what we do for the kids of this district," she added. 


RDJ911 November 06, 2013 at 08:13 AM
God forbid the Board try to reach out the opposition for input and support instead of trying to ram proposals down our throats. Try a different tactic. Be open and honest. Be specific in EXACTLY how much is needed and for what purpose.... Or we can keep doing this every year or two. This ain't Washington. A few hundred million dollars is big money to us.

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