Friday Feb 29 2008
After weeks of guessing, Dry Creek school bond finally passes
By: Nathan Donato-Weinstein The Press-Tribune
Elections staff releases certified results
It's yes. More than three weeks after voters cast their ballots in the Feb. 5 election, boosters of a $67.3 million school bond for the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District are able to declare victory. Final election results released Thursday by the Placer County Elections Department show Measure E receiving enough votes, when combined with unofficial tallies from Antelope in Sacramento County, to put it over top. All together, the bond received 56.3 percent approval from those living in both counties. The bond required at least 55 percent approval to pass. The latest figures give Measure E a victory by about 185 votes, according to an unofficial Press-Tribune tally. According to the latest numbers, 51.42 percent, or 5,405 Placer voters approved the school bond, while 5,107 voted no. But it fared much better in Antelope, where it received 69.67 percent approval, or 2,672 yes votes. A total of 1,163 ballots, or 30.33 percent, were cast against it. Following Election Day, unofficial tallies gave the bond a margin of just 28 votes “ a razor-thin lead that elections officials said made the issue too close to call. In the intervening weeks, elections staffers have been verifying the results and counting provisional and late absentee ballots. While the final numbers could change by the time Sacramento County releases its certified results, school officials are comfortable enough with their lead in both counties to call it a win. We feel great that we can move forward with a lot of these projects, Superintendent Mark Geyer said. We're very grateful that the community supported our efforts. And I think we had a great effort from all of our volunteers. I can actually sleep now, he added. The $67.3 million Measure E would add about $30 per $100,000 of assessed value to homeowners' property taxes for those living in the district, which includes a portion of Roseville, as well as Antelope and the Dry Creek community. Funds will go toward completing permanent structures at under-construction Creekview Ranch Middle School, build a new elementary school sometime in the future, and perform facilities and technology improvements at all school sites. Bond supporters said the measure was necessary to give students at the new middle school comparable facilities, rehab aging buildings and prepare for future growth. Opponents said the school district should do a better job planning with the state and developer fees it already receives before asking voters to tax themselves. Geyer said the most immediate effect would be the uninteruption of work at Creekview Ranch. Following the certification of the Sacramento County election results, the district will begin the first of three series of bond sales, he said.