School bond measures failing

Measures don't have 60 percent majority support

— Two area school improvement bonds appeared to be failing after an initial tally of votes in the April 24 election.

More voters than not favor the construction of new facilities at Sunnyside High School, according to the first count of Tuesday, April 24, special bond election ballots.

But there were not nearly enough yes votes to reach the 60 percent threshold required to pass a construction bond measure.

The first count showed 537 yes votes, or 51.9 percent, to 512 no votes.

“I’ve had better days,” Superintendent Kevin McKay said. “It was a little disappointing for the people who worked hard on it.”

Voters were asked to support an $18 million construction bond that would leverage an additional $6.5 million in matching funds to add performing arts and other classroom space, build a new stadium and track, and improve other facilities.

Taxpayers were asked tax themselves $2 per $1,000 of property value over 20 years to pay the improvements.

McKay believes a significant number of ballots placed in the red drop box near the post office are yet to be counted today, April 25.

He doesn’t know if there are enough to change the outcome.

“Even if there are, we’re going to need a very high percentage of (yes votes) to get to 60 percent overall,” he said.

Toppenish failing, too

The Toppenish School District is also facing a disappointing outcome.

The initial tally showed 395 votes for the $19.9 million school improvement bond and 358 against.

That was 52.46 yes votes.

Among other things, the Toppenish School Board wanted to improve safety and security of students.

It would have renovated and remodeled Toppenish Middle School.


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