(Karina Andrew / Whidbey News-Times)

(Karina Andrew / Whidbey News-Times)

Oak Harbor votes down school bond measure

The early count shows Coupeville and South Whidbey levies are passing.

The first round of votes has been counted in the Feb. 8 special election, and the results bode ill for Oak Harbor School District, where just over 55% of voters have said no to a proposed bond measure.

Coupeville and South Whidbey School Districts fared better, with their four combined levy measures all getting the thumbs-up from voters, at least according to the early count.

Oak Harbor’s $184-million bond required a supermajority of 60% of the vote to pass. With less than 45% of voters casting their ballots in favor of the measure, it appears the bond won’t be getting off the ground this election cycle.

The bond would have funded construction of three new elementary schools, a new HomeConnection/Hand-in-Hand Early Childhood Learning Center and a new transportation center. The projects would have upgraded facilities and brought schools closer to the kids they serve.

“It’s a disappointment, of course,” said Oak Harbor School Board President John Diamond. “We had an incredible opportunity to get our kids out of portables and get upgraded spaces for our students and our staff for a better learning environment, but with the vote the way it’s looking right now, that won’t happen this go-around.”

The bond was eligible for over $140 million in match funding from the state and the Department of Defense. Diamond said only time will tell when or whether similar match funding opportunities will become available again. In coming weeks the board will discuss how to best move forward, including whether to pursue another bond in the near future.

In Coupeville School District, all three proposed levies are passing. The $1.95 million technology levy received the greatest showing of support with almost 56% of voters voting in favor as on Tuesday night. The $10.6 million operations levy is passing with 53% support, and the $6 million capital projects levy is scraping by with just under 51% of the vote.

In South Whidbey School District, the single replacement levy looks like it will pass comfortably with almost 66% of voters approving the measure. The levy will bring in around $3.5 million per year over three years.

The South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District’s maintenance and operations levy will also likely be approved with an overwhelming 72% of the vote.

This story originally appeared in the Whidbey News-Times, a sister publication to The Herald.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Ariel Garcia, 4, was last seen Wednesday morning in an apartment in the 4800 block of Vesper Dr. (Photo provided by Everett Police)
How to donate to the family of Ariel Garcia

Everett police believe the boy’s mother, Janet Garcia, stabbed him repeatedly and left his body in Pierce County.

A ribbon is cut during the Orange Line kick off event at the Lynnwood Transit Center on Saturday, March 30, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘A huge year for transit’: Swift Orange Line begins in Lynnwood

Elected officials, community members celebrate Snohomish County’s newest bus rapid transit line.

Bethany Teed, a certified peer counselor with Sunrise Services and experienced hairstylist, cuts the hair of Eli LeFevre during a resource fair at the Carnegie Resource Center on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Carnegie center is a one-stop shop for housing, work, health — and hope

The resource center in downtown Everett connects people to more than 50 social service programs.

Everett mall renderings from Brixton Capital. (Photo provided by the City of Everett)
Topgolf at the Everett Mall? Mayor’s hint still unconfirmed

After Cassie Franklin’s annual address, rumors circled about what “top” entertainment tenant could be landing at Everett Mall.

Foamy brown water, emanating a smell similar to sewage, runs along the property line of Lisa Jansson’s home after spilling off from the DTG Enterprises property on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Snohomish, Washington. Jansson said the water in the small stream had been flowing clean and clear only a few weeks earlier. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Neighbors of Maltby recycling facility assert polluted runoff, noise

For years, the DTG facility has operated without proper permits. Residents feel a heavy burden as “watchdogs” holding the company accountable.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Stanwood in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Stanwood man gets federal prison for selling fentanyl on dark web

In 2013, Christerfer Frick was sentenced to nine years for trafficking drugs. He began selling online upon his release in 2020.

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

Dan Templeman speaks during a forum lead by The Daily Herald on housing affordability at the Mukilteo Library on Thursday, April 11, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
At Herald forum, experts affirm Housing First model, despite downsides

At the Mukilteo Library, panelists discussed drug-contaminated housing and lengthy cleanup efforts in Snohomish County.

Molbak's Garden + Home in Woodinville, Washington closed on Jan. 28 2024. (Photo courtesy of Molbak's)
Molbak’s, former Woodinville garden store, hopes for a comeback

Molbak’s wants to create a “hub” for retailers and community groups at its former Woodinville store. But first it must raise $2.5 million.

A fire at a home near Alderwood Mall sent one neighbor and one firefighter to the hospital. (Photo provided by South County Fire)
Officials: Residents returned to burning Lynnwood home to rescue dogs

Five people and six dogs were displaced in the Thursday afternoon house fire, according to South County Fire.

Featuring a pink blush over a yellow background, WA 64 combines qualities of Honeycrisp and Cripps Pink (aka Pink Lady) for a firm, crisp, sweet and tart bite. A naming contest for the new apple runs through May 5, 2024. (Photo provided by Washington State University)
Hey Honeycrisp, this new breed of apple needs a name

Enter a naming contest for WA 64, a hybrid apple with the same baby daddy as Cosmic Crisp.

Police respond to a wrong way crash Thursday night on Highway 525 in Lynnwood after a police chase. (Photo provided by Washington State Department of Transportation)
Lynnwood woman, 83, killed in wrong-way crash following police pursuit

Deputies said they were chasing a man, 37, south on Highway 525 when he swerved into northbound lanes, killing an oncoming driver.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.