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School Officials, Parents Saddened by Fenton Bond Failure

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

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!"

Terri White November 07, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I agree to a point R. Martin. We had an issue with our bus stop and a group of about 4 of the parents banded together and in one day left messages with the bus garage, principal, operations manager and more and the problem with the stop location was fixed the next day.
JohnKimble November 07, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Students being run over in parking lots? Hyperbole much?
sassyme November 07, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I am beyond tired of the manipulation and BULLYING of the parents, and to a degree school officials. The bond failed, your child/student will survive. I have lived here for years and have seen bond after bond passed. I am glad that this bond failed, and NO I am not a child hater. I am on disability and have to budget. The schools need to learn how to budget too. Fenton schools have been irresponsible with our tax dollars. Remember the pool ladder that the district spent thousands of dollars on with the huge bond that was passed back in the 1990's. Just think if they wouldn't have squandered that money so foolishly, they would have money for the kids technology. Fenton schools didn't save for a rainy day and this is the consequence.
movinon November 07, 2012 at 10:38 PM
I wouldn't consider just one child getting hit by a car hyperbole.
JohnKimble February 20, 2013 at 02:06 PM
agreed, 1 child would be tragic, how many exactly have been run over in the parking lot? can you state with any form of guarantee that any of the proposed parking lot/traffic improvements would 100% prevent any child from being run over?

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