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LOCS Difficult decisions ahead

August 14, 2013 - By Meg Peters

Review Staff Writer

It is still too early to say how the Lake Orion Community School Board and administration is going to address the school bond defeat turned down on August 6, which prioritized project construction of "essentials" and "enhancements" in all 14 buildings of the district.

Superintendent Marion Ginopolis said there was much to consider.

"We have to make some tough decisions," she said. "The board and administration will be meeting and making some determinations of what our first steps are so to speak."

A school board meeting was held Wednesday, August 14, where the first formal discussions of prioritizing took place. The meeting was after The Review went to press this week..

"Our goal has always been to protect the instructional programs as much as possible, however, with the defeat of this bond it's going to be a little difficult to maintain everything," she said.

Some of the immediate needs officials will discuss are the infrastructure of some of the buildings, including the roofs that need fixing, but Ginopolis does not want to give the impression that the first things will be to "hit the roofs."

"It's just so early," she said.

There were 25,611 registered voters in Orion Township as of election day, and 7,217 cast ballots on the $33.2 million bond, a slight improvement from around 5,000 that voted on the $25 million bond in February 2011.

"We had more voters turn out for this vote by far, 20 or 23 percent voted last time it was up. There were more people voting, but it was still only 28.2 percent of the total that voted," Orion Township Clerk Penny Shults said.

Precincts were open in Oxford Twp, Addison Twp, Independence Twp, Oakland Twp, and Orion Twp.

Totaled from the 22 precincts, 41.5 percent of people voted yes for proposition A, and 58.5 percent people voted no; 41.3 percent said yes for proposition B and 58.7 percent said no.

Of the 7,000 plus people who voted, more than 2,000 voted by absentee ballots.

The only precincts that voted 'yes' on proposals A and B were in Orion Township, with five precincts in favor of proposal A (5,8,9,10,14) and four in favor of proposal B (5,8,9,10). All other precincts, including those outside of Orion Twp, voted no more often.

The cost of the Aug 6 election is not fully etched out, but Orion Township spent $25,000 to $27,000 to operate their 14 precincts. Shults predicts the total amount, calculated from costs the other townships and Oakland County will invoice to Lake Orion Community Schools, will amount to around $65,000, which is about the cost for the 2011 election.

Addison Twp. estimates about $1,615 that will be invoiced to Lake Orion Community Schools, Independence Twp. predicts $1,600 to be invoiced, Oxford and Oakland Township and Oakland County are still calculating the costs.

Shults said Orion Twp., kept the costs down as much as they could. Auburn Hills voters came to Orion Twp. precincts, and the Orion Twp. really cut back the amount of workers at the polls. The workers they selected also had already completed the required math training for the job, so the schools won't have to pay for that either.

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