Bond motions fail at USD 329 meeting

The USD 329 board failed to make a decision at its Monday meeting concerning a bond resolution for April Election. 

Both the K-12 option and K-6 with 7-12 option failed with a 3-4 vote. The third motion for the renovation bond was denied after no board member seconded it. 

During discussion, the board brought up Maple Hill multiple times to help with the decision. At the beginning of the meeting, Andy Terhune expressed the concerned thoughts from the citizens. He suggested that the board restructures the district lines to allow USD 321 to take Maple Hill. Terhune also said that Maple Hill parents choose to send their kids to different districts because of safety reasons and the distance to other buildings. 

With this suggestion and other negative feedback, board member Jim Vopata said he feels that nothing will pass because of the dissociation some of the district community members feel. Board president Justin Frank agreed that safety and distance are a problem, but he said that our district is great and it shouldn’t matter where the buildings are. 

“I don’t care what town my kid goes to school in. I love our district. They are the best district to be a part of. We are proving that through awards of excellence provided by the state. We are a Leader in Me school. I passionately believe in that because our kids have the best opportunity at socially and emotionally interaction that I believe is lacking in today’s society. So again wherever USD 329 decides to plant their roots, my kids will be a part of it,” Justin Frank said. 

Don Frank doesn’t see a problem with traveling for school. “It doesn’t bother them to send their children out to the movies and sporting events. They go on those highways at 80 miles per hour driving themselves,” Don Frank said.

Since a motions were not passed, the deadline for an April election was not met. The board plans to still hold a special election, but wants patron feedback first before proposing a bond. If a special election is not held or doesn’t pass, then voting will occur during the general November election.

“I will warn about a November election. If we take a November election and it does not pass, this budget issue becomes the board’s budget issue, no longer the patron’s budget issue. And that is what I am most concerned about is getting out there and getting enough patrons informed of our situation that we do not come here in December and start shutting down schools and voting to have that done,” Justin Frank said.

The board will be holding a town hall meeting on January 28 in the WHS commons at 6 p.m. During the town hall meeting, patrons will be informed of each option on the table and why the bond is important.  Patrons will also have the opportunity to ask questions and express their concerns. 

Kaytlyn Meseke, @WHS Charger

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