Put School Issue To A Vote – Now
Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 25, 2013
By Mike Barnhardt
Let the people vote. And do it quickly – no later than a November special referendum.
That’s the message county commissioners heard from an overflow crowd Monday night asking that voters be allowed to vote on a bond referendum to build a new high school.
Standing outside the administration building with posters prior to the meeting, the crowd filled the room. People were standing against the walls on both sides of the meeting room. They sat on the floor in front of the commissioners’ podium. They stood in the hallway. They stood on stairs in the hallway.
Twenty-six speakers came before commissioners during the public comment section. All but two pleaded with them to put the issue before the voters in November.
Brad Childress thanked Commissioner Mark Jones for responding to his questions, and said he understood Jones’ concern about the cost of a special election rather than waiting until a primary in May 2014, and his concern about low turnout or “voter suppression” in a referendum-only vote. He pointed out that more people voted in a previous referendum-only vote than did in the last primary.
Commissioner Richard Poindexter, speaking at the close of the meeting, said the issue is important enough for a November vote. “One of the members of this board called for a special election runoff to get on this board,” Poindexter said. “I fail to see how that is more important than allowing the citizens of this county to vote on the school bond. To put the bond vote off until May is purely a political move …