School issue passes
Vivian Lake, right, a retired Clovis school teacher, signs up to cast her vote during Tuesday’s bond election. Election Judge Jerrie Lou Franse, left, watches at Yucca Junior High School. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth.
A special school bond issue passed easily Tuesday, paving the way for Clovis Public Schools to receive millions of dollars for renovations.
In all, 2,602 votes were cast with 78 percent favoring the five-year bond. Voter turnout was about 16 percent on a day when a presidential caucus was also being conducted.
With the bond’s passage, Clovis schools will put forth $5 million in funding for various structural and technological improvements district wide. The state will match a large portion of that money on a project-by-project basis. Property taxes will remain steady with the bond’s passing.
School Superintendent Neil Nuttall said informing the public was the key to getting the issue passed.
“I think the voters were educated and they know that this was a great opportunity,” Nuttall said. “When you go through several (bond) issues like I have gone through, they are really voting on your record — did you deliver what you said you were going to deliver?”
The last special bond election occurred in 2000, when $8 million was approved. That election passed by a slightly larger margin, about 80 percent, than this year.
As the final numbers were called in to the county clerk’s office, Nuttall and Assistant Superintendent Lonnie Leslie shook hands.
“Dr. Nuttall and I made 52 presentations to the community and we think that was very worthwhile,” Leslie said. “In an election like this it is difficult to get 78 percent of voters to agree on anything.”
At Zia Elementary, District 1 presiding Judge Kendale Burch said she expected about 100 voters and by 2:30 p.m. that number had nearly been doubled. In all, 366 votes were cast at the precinct.
Clovis resident Gail Martin said she voted for the bond.
“You have to believe in the school system,” Martin said. “You have to maintain the building and the morale.”
The election remains unofficial until today.
Projects planned with the money include roof replacements, heating and cooling system improvements, parking lot additions and a fiber optic network implementation. School officials said the money will help finish up the 10-year plan proposed in 2000.
“I think this is the biggest bond issue we have voted on in 25 years,” Nuttall said. “We are recognized at the state level that we do quality work and we tell it the way it is.”