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School Officials, Parents Saddened by Fenton Bond Failure

Fenton's $8.4 million bond proposal comes up 595 votes short.

School Officials, Parents Saddened by Fenton Bond Failure

The Fenton bond proposal failed again on Tuesday, leaving many school officials and parents disappointed.

The $8.4 million bond came up short after a $9.6 million bond failed in May. That bond failed by less than 200 votes. Tuesday's $8.4 million bond fell 595 votes short. There were 4,740 No (53.35 percent) compared to 4,145 Yes votes (46.65 percent).

"To me it's very disappointing," Fenton School Board President Lynn Hopper said. "We will go back to drawing board to minimize the affect on students, because that is who it hurt."

The new proposal was focused on technology, school buses and increasing safety and security. It dropped all traffic and parking projects from the prior proposal and shortened the bond by two years, making the proposal more than $1 million less this time around. The bond would have cost owners of a $120,000 home an average of $60 a year.

"We kept the essential parts involved with student safety and the best educational activities for students," Hopper said. "These kids need to be savvy on technology and we are not going to have the offer the latest."

Hopper mentioned other possible cuts the district might have to make.

"I see the possibility of cutbacks or outsourcing various departments within the district to get savings to minimize the affects on students," he said. "I'm saddened. I feel we did everything the community asked, but unfortunately it didn't pass."

New Fenton School Board member Drew Shapiro said he wasn't surprised the bond didn't pass. He said he thought the board did a poor job of communicating where the money was going

"I supported it and wanted it to pass," Shapiro said. "I know they broke it down, but I wanted to know what they were paying for each computer, for each white board. I am the kind of guy that if you say $500, I say I can get a deal for $375."

Shapiro also said he believes technology should be included among operating expenses and budgeted for.

"You would think that would be part of the mandatory budget, maybe not 20 years ago, but to not have that as part of operating expenses is disturbing. It makes no sense to me," he said.

Many people shared their disappointment on the Fenton Patch Facebook Page.

Amy Gurnsey posted, "So sad that our kids weren't worth $4-$6 a month to be safer receive a better education."

Rita Haaraoja said, "It just makes me very sad that our children were not worth it in some opinions. Sometimes people do not educate themselves on exactly what these bonds are for therefore ignorance wins."

Terri Di Giovanni Steeves, posted "Just disgusted and embarrassed to say I live in Fenton!!! Who votes against our kids....OUR FUTURE!!! People want to blame everything on the past but its the kids who suffer!"

Stacey Peters said, "It's a sad day for our Fenton Students!"

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