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Eagle Point bond talks ongoing

What has happened in Eagle Point since its school bond failed in November? If those schools need to be replaced, what will happen to them?

— Steve

Conversations in Eagle Point are ongoing in the wake of the school bond failure, Steve, and school board members are searching for a way forward.

In fact, the board held a discussion looking at the results of the Nov. 6 vote at its work session Dec. 12, including information on how voters leaned in each precinct.

The precincts that voted most heavily against the bond were Dry Creek and Rural Eagle Point, at 76.17 and 76.69 percent against, respectively. Every precinct voted strongly against the bond, with White City registering the least opposition, at 60.79 percent no.

Board members, including Emily McIntire and board Chair Nita Lundberg, said they want to know more about why the bond was so soundly defeated.

Allen Barber, human resources director for the district, told the board that according to analysis of the vote, the bond had been the least popular among areas that stood to benefit from the planned improvements the most.

One of the recommendations he included was asking for a “much smaller bond,” as low as 30 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The bond that was thrashed at the polls asked for 89 cents.

“That seemed to be a hurdle that was hard to climb over for many of our voters,” he said.

He also said the board would need to improve its messaging to voters if it were to try to pass another bond. Superintendent Cynda Rickert said she heard that going door-to-door might be one of the best ways to engage.

Lundberg agreed that there seemed to be a disconnect between voters and the board’s perspective on district needs.

“We have to get people to connect emotionally to the work, the good work that’s being done here every single day,” she said.

Lundberg said she hopes to engage the community more going forward and doesn’t want the financial opportunities the district has available due to its Moody bond rating, for example, to go to waste.

“That would be an absolute shame to lose that momentum,” she said.

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