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70 percent say 'no' on Aiken bond referendum

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AIKEN --- The Aiken County school bond referendum was defeated with a resounding "no" Tuesday. Seventy percent of residents voted against the $236 million referendum to upgrade six school facilities.

Protesters share their thoughts during Tuesday voting.  Staff
Staff
Protesters share their thoughts during Tuesday voting.

Topic: Aiken County Schools
 - More coverage on this topic:

"I know just because we've won this victory ... they (the Aiken County school district) expected this to happen," said Jane Page Thompson, of the Vote No group.

With 78 of 78 precincts reporting, 13,716 voters opposed the measure and 5,744 favored it.

"I'm sorry it didn't pass," said Barry Adams of Security Federal Bank, the chairman of the Vote Yes for Kids group. "I truly think it's the right thing to do, but the great thing about living in this nation is that majority rules, and today a majority of the voters said, 'Nope, it's not the right thing to do, or it's not the right time, or it's not the right amount of money.' "

The bond issue got significant support in Saluda County, home of Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary/Middle, with all of the precincts supporting the referendum.

In the cities of Aiken and North Augusta, where support for the referendum was expected to be greater, less than a handful of precincts favored it.

The school board and administrators will now have to decide how they will use an annual estimated $14 million to repair and upgrade facilities.

Deputy Superintendent David Caver said Jackson Middle School would be at the top of that list. The school's cafeteria area was scheduled for a major renovation before the bond referendum was put on the ballot.

Superintendent Beth Everitt said it was too soon to say whether the district would pursue another referendum anytime soon, but she thought the research conducted on facility needs was healthy and useful in helping shape long-term plans.

"I think the conversation and the questions that were asked, all of that helps inform our community," she said. "Even though we didn't win, I still think it's been a great process. We'll move forward."

Results*

Yes: 5,744 (29.55 percent)

NO: 13,716 (70.45 percent)

*75 of 78 precincts reporting

Source: Aiken County Registration and Elections

Precinct-by-precinct results
7.52
Precinct

Registered Voters/
Votes Cast

Ballots cast/
Percent of Votes

Precinct
Percentage turnout

Aiken No. 1117142836.55
Yes20047.28
No22352.72
Aiken No. 2113014112.48
Yes7453.62
No6446.38
Aiken No. 313751259.09
Yes5849.15
No6050.85
Aiken No. 46738112.04
Yes5771.25
No2328.75
Aiken No. 5113924821.77
Yes10944.86
No13455.14
Aiken No. 6123440532.82
Yes14836.91
No25363.09
Bath No. 77609111.97
Yes1617.78
No7482.22
Beech Island 8138815611.24
Yes4630.07
No10769.93
Belvedere 916061569.71
Yes5233.55
No10366.45
Carolina Heights 101012898.79
Yes3441.46
No4858.54
China Springs 111440523.61
Yes1936.54
No3363.46
Clearwater 126347712.15
Yes1114.47
No6585.53
College Acres 13162432119.77
Yes6319.63
No25880.37
Eureka 14113019216.99
Yes4121.58
No14978.42
Gloverville 1587816018.22
Yes3018.99
No12881.01
Graniteville 16103119919.30
Yes4924.87
No14875.13
Jackson 17140138027.12
Yes4211.26
No33188.74
Langley 18115115313.29
Yes1711.26
No13488.74
Lynwood 1981314317.59
Yes1510.56
No12789.44
Millbrook 20179052629.39
Yes16331.35
No35768.65
Monetta 2194617118.08
Yes11971.69
No4728.31
Montmorenci 22195845323.14
Yes8619.11
No36480.89
New Ellenton 23138728620.62
Yes8429.58
No20070.42
New Holland 2463212920.41
Yes1310.16
No11589.84
N. Augusta 25127615712.30
Yes5736.31
No10063.69
N. Augusta 26170922112.93
Yes7936.24
No13963.76
N. Augusta 27147741528.10
Yes18545.23
No22454.77
N. Augusta 28111429826.75
Yes10134.01
No19665.99
N. Augusta 29107818417.07
Yes6434.97
No11965.03
Oak Grove 307047911.22
Yes2430.38
No5569.62
Perry 3164011618.13
Yes2925.00
No8775.00
Salley 325827312.54
Yes2128.77
No5271.23
Shaws Fork 3352112824.57
Yes2217.60
No10382.40
Shiloh 34147129920.33
Yes8027.03
No21672.97
Six Points 35142738827.19
Yes11329.20
No27470.80
Tabernacle 365049218.25
Yes2629.55
No6270.45
Talatha 37119922018.35
Yes4219.53
No17380.47
Vaucluse 3868614721.43
Yes3927.08
No10572.92
Wagener 39164620712.58
Yes5326.37
No14873.63
Ward 401241249/ 20.06
Yes9337.96
No15262.04
Warrenville 41132527520.75
Yes4115.30
No22784.70
White Pond 426438312.91
Yes1518.99
No6481.01
Windsor 43171720011.65
Yes3417.80
No15782.20
Belvedere 44122915412.53
Yes5334.64
No10065.36
Misty Lakes 45136719914.56
Yes4422.22
No15477.78
Six Points 46127012910.16
Yes7962.70
No4737.30
Aiken No. 47108530828.39
Yes13042.48
No176
Hammond 48167028316.95
Yes6222.14
No21877.86
Willow Sprgs 49121019516.12
Yes3216.58
No16183.42
Breezy Hill 50139030321.80
Yes8327.57
No21872.43
Midland Valley 51167940023.82
Yes8521.46
No31178.54
Levels 52186732017.14
Yes11034.92
No20565.08
Hollow Creek 532934101534.59
Yes22322.19
No78277.81
N. Augusta 54102611311.01
Yes3430.63
No7769.37
N. Augusta 55102611311.01
Yes3430.63
No7769.37
Couchton 56125425420.26
Yes3915.42
No21484.58
Redds Branch 5790814616.08
Yes2416.78
No11983.22
Fox Creek 58155430219.43
Yes13043.48
No16956.52
Pine Forest 59110316815.23
Yes2414.46
No14285.54
Gem Lakes 60241587636.27
Yes31135.62
No56264.38
Silver Bluff 61157919912.60
Yes8543.81
No10956.19
Belvedere 62108114012.95
Yes4735.61
No8564.39
Ascauga Lake 63213829213.66
Yes12342.12
No16957.88
Cedar Creek 642904100834.71
Yes16616.60
No83483.40
Sleepy Hollow 65162747629.26
Yes11925.32
No35174.68
Hitchcock 66102935334.31
Yes11934.00
No23166.00
N. Augusta 67103328227.30
Yes12042.70
No16157.30
N. Augusta 68123726921.75
Yes9435.07
No17464.93
Anderson Pond 69117149942.61
Yes10020.08
No39879.92
Sandstone 70177237821.33
Yes11430.32
No26269.68
Midland Valley 7178316721.33
Yes2615.76
No13984.24
Levels 7272915421.12
Yes5233.77
No10266.23
Fox Creek 7378824130.58
Yes9037.50
No15062.50
Absentee
Yes23333.14
No47066.86
Comments (57) Add comment
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johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 05/26/10 - 07:01 am
0
0
There are so many problems

There are so many problems with the system itself that if they were addressed before a quarter billion dollar referendum concerning infrastructure was offered, people may be more willing to spend more money on the physical environment. A better product would be nice.

scoobynews
3771
Points
scoobynews 05/26/10 - 07:51 am
0
0
Long ago I went to interview

Long ago I went to interview at a school way out in the boonies of Aiken County, I had never seen a school in such bad shape. I hope after this many years it is no longer operational because if so it was not fit for children then so it sure would not be now. Aiken needs to consider a SPLOST like in CC.

sojourner
0
Points
sojourner 05/26/10 - 08:16 am
0
0
Where is everyone coming up

Where is everyone coming up with this $7 million dollar stadium and other specifics that have been mentioned? I've looked all over the Aiken County Schools website and not found anything but a rundown of which schools were being considered.

baseballmom3
0
Points
baseballmom3 05/26/10 - 08:50 am
0
0
I have two children, one in

I have two children, one in elementary and one in middle school in Aiken County and a daughter who is a teacher in Aiken Co. I still voted no for the proprosal. I as a very involved parent am tired of shelling out dollars when so many of the parents shell out nothing. If they would propose a 1 cent sales tax then I would be all for it. Everybody would then pay their fair share. Most homeowners are working people who are just tired of paying for everything. By the time we support everything with our paychecks there is nothing left at the end of the month. We would have more for groceries with welfair. Maybe that is why so many don't want to work because it doesn't benefit to work anymore. My children are worth every dime for their education and I don't mind doing my part, but I am tired of getting up at 5:00 in the morning to do everyone elses too. My kids don't have a parent at home after school or all summer long because I am working to pay for mine and five others down the steet to stay home with their kids and do nothing. Enough is enough. Look at the state of the art school and stadium at Lucy Laney that was built off the backs of the tax payers, they are looking for federal funds now to help see why they are still one of the worst failing schools in Augusta. Yes some schools do need rennovating and no one disagrees, but let everyone share in the cost, including the illegals and welfair. At least they buy things and can participate through purchases. There are plenty in our area.

Dixieman
12936
Points
Dixieman 05/26/10 - 08:58 am
0
0
Government schools = child

Government schools = child abuse. Starve this beast, and do whatever it takes to send your kids to a good private school.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 05/26/10 - 09:02 am
0
0
A one cent sales tax would

A one cent sales tax would ensure that the illegal aliens attending taxpayer-funded schools also pay for some of their education instead of mooching off US Citizens.

Bottom line, Aiken County is a victim of extremely poor timing. They obviously have not been listening to the national news. Taxpayers are broke and scared, many are unemployed or underemployed and they are fed up with government spending. This was dead before they proposed it in today's political & economic climate.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 05/26/10 - 09:37 am
0
0
How about a 10 cents sales

How about a 10 cents sales tax. That way all the shoppers will come to Ga and help our economy.

corgimom
27929
Points
corgimom 05/26/10 - 09:44 am
0
0
There was a lot of talk about

There was a lot of talk about the $7 million stadium.

So does that mean that it would've passed if they had only asked for $229 million?

No.

BTW, the Graniteville situation- that's in violation of Federal law. A handicapped child is supposed to be able to access ALL parts of a school, and not be segregated or restricted.

If you put the labs somewhere else, and put something else on the 3rd floor, then you are restricting them from that, too.

The ramp is going to have to be fixed, period. The new high school will have to be built, sooner or later, there will come a point where it won't meet fire regulations.

The voters can continue to vote this down- so that the state can order it to be done, where the voters have NO say in anything.

Labatt
0
Points
Labatt 05/26/10 - 09:56 am
0
0
Get rid of the pork and I'll

Get rid of the pork and I'll vote yes.

vboyd
0
Points
vboyd 05/26/10 - 10:45 am
0
0
I think the 14 million

I think the 14 million budgeted for repairs should be sufficient. If you intended to be insulting by referencing the 50's I would suggest you look at the graduation rates from the 50's and realize that generation did a lot more with a lot less and we should ask them how they did it.

baronvonreich
0
Points
baronvonreich 05/26/10 - 11:46 am
0
0
Aiken County already has a

Aiken County already has a SPLOST and it is up for a recurring vote later this year which will also probably be voted down. Know why? Look where some of this SPLOST is being spent. You have to look no further than to special interests and charities. Aiken County has given millions of these dollars to an African History Museum, a church run youth center, the Cumbee Center, the YMCA, the SPCA, an unused train depot that is supposed to be a tourist attraction, and the shell Aiken Corporation which already owes taxpayers millions of dollars from previous loans.

The wasteful, corrupt government spending is coming to a halt.

1776
0
Points
1776 05/26/10 - 02:35 pm
0
0
BaseballMom--if we wait until

BaseballMom--if we wait until everyone pays their fair share...nothing will EVER be done. I do agree in principle with a lot of your points, but at some point, some of these schools are going to be unfit for holding class. When they are replaced on a "have-to" basis, it is unlikely that everyone will be paying their fair share at that time either. I too am sick of working 50 hours a week, only to have some folks doing nothing, and making more money than I am. However, SC and GA year-after-year fight to see which one can be 50th in the nation in terms of education. It is time that this state begin to put education at the top of the priority list.

baronvonreich
0
Points
baronvonreich 05/26/10 - 02:58 pm
0
0
Money doesn't fix education.

Money doesn't fix education.

1776
0
Points
1776 05/26/10 - 03:13 pm
0
0
You are right...money does

You are right...money does not fix education, but it takes money to have a good education system. It doesn't run itself.

1776
0
Points
1776 05/26/10 - 03:13 pm
0
0
You are right...money does

You are right...money does not fix education, but it takes money to have a good education system. It doesn't run itself.

Sasquatch14
0
Points
Sasquatch14 05/26/10 - 03:22 pm
0
0
“Who are the people that make

“Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population, the intelligent ones or the fools?”
“A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.”
“The devil is compromise.”
“Castles in the air - they are so easy to take refuge in. And so easy to build too.”
-Henrik Ibsen

scoobynews
3771
Points
scoobynews 05/26/10 - 04:36 pm
0
0
Aiken's SPLOST goes to

Aiken's SPLOST goes to special interest groups??? I know that our super told us that the CCBOE was able to build and totally pay for GTHS with SPLOST money. Do the voters get to decide were this money goes??

scoobynews
3771
Points
scoobynews 05/26/10 - 04:41 pm
0
0
I am with you baseball mom.

I am with you baseball mom. I know exactly what you mean. That stadium was not built by the majority of the area it services. Most of that area is already occupied by public housing and welfare recipients. A stadium for a failing school is almost too much to stomach. That money should have been spent on academics.

burninater
8865
Points
burninater 05/26/10 - 06:02 pm
0
0
70% of residents did not say

70% of residents did not say no to this, 70% of those who turned out said no to this. Based on the precinct turnout percentages, it was actually a maximum of 28% to a minimum of 4% that said no to this. It's a shame that decisions are made in a "democracy" by so few people.

And as to the idea that no vote on a tax increase put to the voters could pass, conservative Arizona did exactly that, raising the sales tax on themselves.

corgimom
27929
Points
corgimom 05/26/10 - 06:32 pm
0
0
Fair share? When, in the last

Fair share? When, in the last 50 years, has everyone paid their fair share?

leslie23
0
Points
leslie23 05/26/10 - 06:42 pm
0
0
Nothing like a bond

Nothing like a bond referendum to shine the light on reality. The figures on the cost per student, school graduation rates, and test scores were published over and over again. These figures enlightened us to the little known fact that money does not teach children to read and write.
Tuesday, I had the opportunity to visit some of the local schools, and saw how badly some of them need renovations. Others obviously are newer and more contemporary. I do not have children in the school system, so this was my first visit to SC public schools.
My thoughts are thus...Why in the world would anyone want to give more money to an organization that obviously does not know how to handle it. That is insane!
Why so much fat on top, and school buildings in such rough shape. That is disgraceful! If you are truly for the children, you will cut your salaries and some fat, and really do something for the kids instead of standing there with your hands out for more. You have mismanaged what you have been given. If you feel for the kids...do something personal about it .
I say ... cut the budget, and educate the kids, don't enslave them with debt as a graduation present. ( or non-graduation present) Show us some fiscal responsibility.
When you can manage your money better, you may possibly find you can get by fine on what you have. Besides, we are out of money, doesn't anyone get it.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 05/26/10 - 07:09 pm
0
0
Politicians creed. *Spend

Politicians creed.

*Spend money on a program/problem.
*Take a perk or kickback for implementing the program
*When the program fails, blame it on the fact that not enough money was spent.
*Spend more money on the program/problem
*Take another kickback
*Sit back & watch the program fail, again....
*Create a diversion and spend money on a new program/problem.
*Let the old program/problem slowly fade away and hope the voters don't notice.

Rinse and Repeat as necessary.

baronvonreich
0
Points
baronvonreich 05/26/10 - 07:23 pm
0
0
scooby - the Aiken SPLOST is

scooby - the Aiken SPLOST is split between Aiken County, Aiken City, and North Augusta and the decision on how to spend that money is left soley to the discretion of those 3 entities. Some of it has been spent paving roads, buying police cars, ambulances, etc. I can't speak for North Augusta but the Aiken county and citys councils couldn't budget their way out of a paper bag they have used it as a slush fund for what should be standard budget items. The rest of the money is just wasted and given to special interests.

curly123053
4221
Points
curly123053 05/26/10 - 07:26 pm
0
0
I agree new school buildings

I agree new school buildings are needed and existing buildings are in need of major upgrades. I think the timing for this bond issue vote was bad with the anti-tax sentiment across the country right now. Future bonds need to not include hundreds of thousands of dollars for football stadiums. I remember the last bond referendum resulted in the creation of Silver Bluff, Midland Valley, and South Aiken High Schools, and each of these schools were needed and have done great. But, I remember with South Aiken there were fund raisers and donations given to help finance the construction of their football stadium. It was the same for the other schools if my memory serves me right. One of the biggest gripes I heard was with the $700,000 for a football stadium over this recent bond issue. The new NAHS that is planned could use their present stadium until their booster club raises the money to have a new stadium built. There is a lot that needs to be done for this bond to pass, and I am in favor of new schools for our children to learn in.

Sasquatch14
0
Points
Sasquatch14 05/27/10 - 01:36 am
0
0
I simply love this argument

I simply love this argument over a football stadium, ambiguous scores, monetary "solutions", and that everyone acts like they're the next Steven Colbert. (There can only be one, don't mess with him. He's from South Carolina.) Honestly, it's just nifty and makes me positively giggle to no end. I'm practically rotfl-ing right now because it is being discussed like the next presidential election, except we all know that this is truly more important. Woops, some of my dripping sarcasm got on my shirt. Gosh, darn it.
-If you adults are going to bicker like this, then PLEASE read The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Oh, my mistake, no one does that reading thing anymore; it's totally defunct; outdated and such. At the risk of sounding like Piggy, and thus by extension, risking being hit with a boulder so that my brains spill out, "You are all acting like a bunch of children!"

AWyld1
3
Points
AWyld1 05/27/10 - 02:07 am
0
0
I hate to tell you but if

I hate to tell you but if people didn't turn out to vote then they voted no. So it's more than 70%. I heard that Aiken County hasn't has a schoolbond request in over 30 years. Did they really think anyone would vote for it in this economy?

Sasquatch14
0
Points
Sasquatch14 05/28/10 - 02:24 am
0
0
I hate to tell you, but

I hate to tell you, but there's a logical fallacy in your statement "if people didn't turn out to vote then they voted no." (Your grammar is also atrocious.) It may have meant that the person forgot the date, was too busy, or was just a lazy bum. There is a plethora of counterexamples. No vote can ever accurately voice the public opinion if people have the freedom choice . Such is the paradox with which we have come to live. I'm just sayin'.

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