BEND, Ore. - (Update with later election results)
The initial results came in quickly for Tuesday night's special election -- and in the top item of the night, the $268 million Bend-La Pine Schools bond measure passed fairly easily, 59 to 41 percent, according to results posted early Wednesday.
You can find the Central Oregon and most other counties' results at this link http://results.oregonvotes.gov/
As is often the case in off-year elections with few compelling races or measures, turnout was low: About 29 percent of ballots were returned in Deschutes County, just over 28 percent in Jefferson County and less than 18 percent in Crook County.
Deschutes County's last ballot count of the night, posted just after 1 a.m.showed 16,878 votes in favor and 11,628 opposed to the school bond measure, a roughly 5,000-vote margin of approval.
"This really continues to set us up for the growth we are experiencing," said Superintendent Shay Mikalson. "It makes sure that what we have for our students now continues to be great for them in the future."
Because of the massive growth the area has recently witnessed, this money will help with overcrowding, ventilation, and modernizing classrooms. Neil Bryant, co-chair on the Yes Committee for the School Measure, called it a wonderful confirmation the community supports the schools.
"For the next three years, they have certainty on what they can do on as far as construction, repairs, what they can do to make schools safer, and fixing roofs," Bryant said. "Plus a new high school and a new elementary school."
It was a good night for major school bond measures in Oregon, as Portland's state-record $790 million measure also was being approved for voters.
But the news was not as good for Jefferson County EMS, which saw its first proposed tax rate go down to defeat by more than a 2-1 ratio, 1,766 no votes to 871 yes votes.
In all three contested Bend-La Pine School Board races, incumbents got the nod. Zone 1 board member Cheri Helt defeated challenger Angela Chisum 53 to 46 percent, while fellow incumbent Stuart Young handily defeated Richard Asdoorian, 87 to 13 percent.
In the three-way Zone 7 race, Carrie McPherson Douglass, appointed to a board vacancy in February, won with 58 percent of the vote to Troy Reinhart’s 30 percent and Ricardo Olegario with 12 percent.
In the one contested Central Oregon Community College Board race, Erica Skatvold had 70 percent of the vote to Kyle Frick’s 30 percent.
In the Redmond School Board’s contested races, Shawn Hatfield easily won the Position 1 seat, 85 percent to 14 percent for B.J. Soper. For Position 3, incumbent Travis Bennett won with 67 percent to 33 percent for Kathleen Brady.
In the Sisters School Board Position 2 race, Nicki Gregg defeated David Wentworth, 58 to 42 percent.
In the Bend Park and Rec Board races, Position 4 incumbent Ted Schoenborn defeated three challengers, with 51 percent of the ballots, to 35 percent for Laura Boehme, 8 percent for Justin Gottlieb and 7 percent for Ron Boozell.
In the five-way Position 5 race, Lauren Sprang won a fairly tight contest with 34 percent of the vote to Adam Bledsoe’s 29 percent, followed by Jason Kropf with 23 percent, Joanne Mathews with 11 percent and Maureen Schlerf with less than 3 percent.
In the Redmond Park & Rec Board Position 1 race, Matthew Gilman won with 71 percent of the ballots to 29 percent for Lisa Soper.
There were three contested races for the Jefferson County School Board. For Position 1, incumbent Laurie Danzuka defeated challenger Brian Crow 58 to 41 percent, while Jamie Hurd won a four-way race for Position 2 with 44 percent of the vote to 29 percent for Sue Matters, 22 percent for Gary Sisk and 5 percent for Juan Leach Orozco. For Position 3, board member Tom Norton Jr. won re-election with 58 percent of the vote to 41 percent for challenger Alyssa Macy.
In Crook County, two Parks and Rec Board seats were being contested. For Position 1, challenger Ruthie McKenzie defeated incumbent Forest Carbaugh 52 to 48 percent, while for Position 3, Darlene Henderson defeated Skip Hinton, 62 to 37 percent.