When it comes to elections, close just isn't close enough, and the disappointment was plain in the face of Jefferson C-123 School District Superintendent Rob Dowis as a proposed bond issue for a new gymnasium was narrowly defeated in Tuesday's municipal elections for the fifth time in four years.
A majority of district patrons voted for the gym proposal, which carried 228 to 173. However, a bond issue of this nature requires a 57 percent "supermajority," which means the measure failed by a mere two votes.
Dowis said his school board would make the final decision as to when, or if, the measure returns to the ballot. He added that he still believed the $1.75 million gymnasium is what the district needs "for our students and for our future."
He said many district patrons have continued to voice support for the project through five election cycles, and he thanked backers for their hard work in trying to move the measure forward.
In evaluating what to do next, Dowis said he was sure the C-123 Board of Education would "make the best decision they can for our community."
"I'm disappointed for our kids," he said, "but we still have a great community and a great school."
Last August, a similar bond issue also came up just short of the requisite 57 percent "supermajority," with patrons voting 210 in favor and 187 against.
Roughly 70 percent of registered voters in the district turned out for that contest — four fewer than went to the polls on Tuesday.
In hopes of attracting more "yes" votes this time around, the district scaled back the proposal from $1.75 million to $1.5 million, which meant servicing the bonds would have added 75 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to patrons' property tax bills. Last year's proposal called for an 89-cent tax increase, which would have come on top of the district''s existing levy of $5.53.
Though the bond amount was reduced, the scope of the project was not. Had the measure passed, the district planned to borrow up to $400,000 from the Missouri School Board Association's Help Loan program, which offers money to school districts for capital improvements at very low interest.
Since embarking on the quest for a new gymnasium, Dowis has maintained the facility is needed so that the current gym can be used more frequently by younger students, who currently don't have many options for physical activity during the winter.
A number of other school board and municipal races were decided Tuesday, including the Maryville R-II contest won by incumbent Shane Sims newcomer Rob Sparks.
Other results from across Nodaway County are listed below:
∙ Burlington Junction City Council, Matthew Rohlmeier, 67 votes; Eric J. Riley, 35 votes; Martha Greeley, 37 votes; and Nathan Larabee, 32 votes. Rohlmeier and Larabee were the unofficial winners in a race for two open seats.
Page 2 of 2 - ∙ Pickering Board of Aldermen, Bill Young, 18; Ramona Pennington, 30; and Jennifer Wray, 22. Unofficial winners were Wray and Pennington.
∙ West Nodaway R-I School Board, Jason Hull, 185; Lee Perkins, 35; Troy Brady, 106; Lisa Linville, 153; Mark Roberts, 44; and James Graham, 38. Unofficial winners were Hull and Linville.
∙ North Nodaway R-VI School Board, Jennifer Torres, 51; Kane Oberhauser, 95; and Jeremy Bix, 70. Unofficial winners were Oberhauser and Bix.
∙ South Nodaway R-IV School Board, Shawn Beck, 86; Deborah Bennett, 113; and Lori Murphy, 83. Unofficial winners were Bennett and Beck.
∙Conception Junction natural and manufactured gas occupation tax, yes 46, no 24.
∙Barnard street levy, yes 32, no 12.
∙Parnell parks and recreation levy, yes 15, no 3.
∙Parnell general revenue levy, yes 15, no 3.
∙Atchison Township bond, passed.
∙Atchison Township levy, passed.
∙Grant Township bond, passed.
∙Grant Township levy, passed.
∙Green Township levy, passed.
∙Hopkins Township levy, passed.
∙Hughes Township levy, passed.
∙Independence Township levy, passed.
∙Jackson Township bond, passed.
∙Jefferson Township levy, passed.
∙Monroe Township bond, passed.
∙Monroe Township levy, passed.
∙Polk township levy, passed.
∙Union Township bond, passed.
∙Washington Township levy, passed.