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Ferndale School Bond Passes, Volunteers Celebrate Success

$22.8 million proposal passes by a wide margin, based on unofficial voting results.

Supporters are celebrating the passage of a $22.8 million bond proposal for Ferndale schools in Tuesday's election.

will fund infrastructure updates such as asbestos removal from , heating and cooling systems for buildings and a kitchen area for

Based on unofficial results including all 14 district precincts and absentee ballots, the bond proposal passed 2,795-1,228 – or 69.48 percent yes to 30.52 percent no. Ferndale City Clerk J. Cherilynn Tallman was not yet able to confirm results late Tuesday night.

In Ferndale, a total of 2,876 people voted for a voter turnout of 17.99 percent.

Bond supporters cheered as Ferndale Police Chief Tim Collins announced the projected win earlier Tuesday evening at where bond supporters were gathered.

“I’ve never been so proud of my community and the voters,” Collins said.

led an extensive campaign in favor of the bond, including several fundraising events, organizational meetings and door-to-door literature drops. Organizers called the bond a "no fluff" proposal that includes only the most-needed school improvements.

There was no organized group opposing the bond, but Ferndale resident Tom Gagne had spoken out against it. He and a citizens group representative .

“Tonight is really their night,” Gagne said late Tuesday. “They did a terrific job and I think they should enjoy it and just really look forward to what that bond is going to bring to the schools. They should be proud of the effort they put in.”

Ferndale Schools Superintendent Gary Meier said the bond approval is great news for district students.

“This has been a wonderful coming together of residents in support of our schools and I could not be more proud of them,” Meier said.

Ferndale Board of Education President Keith Warnick said the citizens group volunteers came from a wide cross-section of the community.

“I'm really proud of all the hard work that they put in,” Warnick said. “Now, we can get our schools up to the level where they should be: safe, structurally sound and technologically up to date to help us improve student achievement and keep us competitive with other districts in our area.”

Stephanie Hall, district community relations director, said she was very proud Tuesday night. “This is so important for our students,” Hall said. “It's going to make a big difference.”

Ferndale parent and Citizens for Quality Schools organizer Barb Landry, who serves on the PTA and other community groups, said she feels encouraged by the vote results and how the various communities in the district came together to support the schools.

“This vote really said, 'we are a community,'” she said.

Check back with Ferndale Patch on Wednesday for official voting results and more information on what the school district will do now that the bond is approved.

Bob February 29, 2012 at 08:35 AM
Congrats Ferndale once again voters ensure we will have our outrageously high tax rate well into the future.
Kurt Kruschinska February 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Hmm...Isn't that how it's supposed to work? The voters decide the funding levels and priorities of their own communities? I've been a resident of Ferndale for about 8 years, and thought that the tax rates were high when I first moved here. But, then, after a few years, I saw the services our city provides that others don't. My leaves get picked up, the streets are plowed, the trash is picked up, the city has slowly but surely modernized. The downtown is thriving, the parks are mowed and kept safe, and our police and firefighters are still on the job. The improvements to downtown are creeping over to the Hilton corridor. We rebuilt our library, and now our schools will have much needed support. Infrastructure costs money to build, support and maintain, folks, but it's the foundation on which a thriving city is built. Grants can only go so far, and each resident should kick in to support the community. We are a community after all, aren't we? Not investing now, in the name of lower taxes at any cost, is a shortsighted thing. Ferndale voters have, once again, proven that they are responsible stewards of the city's future.
Ardy February 29, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Yes Kurt, that is exactly how it's supposed to happen. The cards were stacked against this bond yet it still overwhelmingly passed. Considering that this bond went on the ballot at the same time the radical, looney Right was picking their lamb for slaughter this bond should have been voted down by at least two to one. You know what's really ironic? The Naysayers in this town spun their wheels complaining about supposed taxpayer dollars wasted in this City while one of their own, Tea Bagger Ruth Johnson, wasted 10 Million taxpayer dollars by insisting that Obama be on a ballot, even though the Dems told her that they would not recognize the outcome and would decide the nominee at their convention on their own dime. Perhaps the Watchdoggies and Gagnes could speculate on just how far 10 Million would go in this City, and why there wasn't peep-one outta them and their side of the aisle for Johnson blowing that cash?
becky hammond February 29, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I'm glad to see that in a negative world, where watching other groups of people and feeling astute enough to constantly point out what THEY do wrong passes as wisdom, our community again comes together for its own good, the good of our kids, and for our future. It seems as though some will always stand off to the sides and sneer and attempt to "correct", with no sense given of actual caring (or even direct involvement). Ferndale's ongoing refusal to succumb to this wave of what always sounds like,"I'm right, most of you are not only wrong, you need us to fix you up" is encouraging. It looks as though every precinct voted "yes". I love my city. Let's never give in to any that are removed from our school system and yet claim to know better than us how it should be run. There are ways to fix things and ways to wreck things. How did mangling or dismantling public institutions come to pass as wise, compassionate stewardship? Thanks, Ferndale.
Joan G. Berndt February 29, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Congratulations to Ferndale School District voters. It is great to know that you did what is right for your students, your community and your future. I hope voters in my school district will follow your example when our vote comes up in May. Best wishes to you all from a former Ferndale teacher.
Erik Roberts February 29, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Congrats and thank you to all of the volunteers that put this campaign together. I know how hard you all worked. You should all be proud, the victory is your's to cherish. I am excited to see these upgrades implemented. Great Job!
Ferndale_1986 February 29, 2012 at 11:03 PM
How did mangling or dismantling public institutions come to pass as wise, compassionate stewardship? when they suck the taxpayers dry and the public institutions live better than the public.
Mike Allor March 01, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Ferndale should be renamed Fundale!
Kevin Deegan-Krause March 01, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Well said, Becky. Well said.
Todd Abrams March 01, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Great idea, Mike! This city is a lot of fun to live in. Or did you mean it like Fund-ale? Because I could always use more beer money.

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