Ontario voters say no to school bond – again

For the second time in two years, Ontario voters have turned down money for expanding and refurbishing schools, according to final election results.

The measure for a $25 million bond wasn’t close: 59% (1,474) no to 41% (1,023) yes.

In 2017, Ontario voters turned down a $24 million proposal 54% to 46%.

Tuesday’s failure likely means schools won’t get the security upgrades that district officials considered necessary to improve safety at schools. It also means no repairs and expansions to buildings that are up to 70 years old.

The Ontario School District sought the money after a security review and after a citizen committee examined the schools and produced a list of needs.

The bond would have cost about $1 per $1,000 of assessed property value and would have been on top of a bond voters approved in 2010 that is still being paid off.

The bond measure was the only high profile matter on the special election ballot. School, fire and other districts also held board elections but almost every seat was won by an unchallenged contestant.

The Ontario School Board had one contested race, won by incumbent Mike Blackaby, a local insurance agent, against Darin Bell, a business instructor at Treasure Valley Community College. Blackaby won 1,252 to 972, according to unofficial results.

Two seats on the Nyssa School Board were contested, with the board gaining a new face. Jeremy Petersen defeated Kelly Dorathy 308-162 to win an open four-year seat while incumbent Pat Morinaka held off challenger Kyle Woodruff 325-149. Incumbents Marlon Wilson and Michael Hartley were elected to keep their four-year seats.

And at Treasure Valley Community College, Matt Sorensen won an uncontested seat that was open when board chair John Forsyth decided not to seek re-election. Sorensen is executive director of Boys & Girls Club of the Western Treasure Valley but recently said that he is taking a new job in Eugene this summer.

Cheryl Cruson, Stephen Crow and Mark Wettstein were re-elected to college board seats without opponents.

In the Ontario Recreation District board race, Toni Davila bested Ann Fitch-Schiemer 1,342-741, and Bob Boyd won with no contenders for the four-year term. Meanwhile, Ontario voters selected Randall Kirby and Tricia Maldonado for the Ontario Library District.

Other Malheur County school board election results:

Cheri Hung, Les Linegar, David Westerberg and Jill Conant were elected to positions on the Malheur Education Service District board.

In the Adrian School District, Eddie Kinkade and Bobby Davis were selected to serve four-year terms, while Quinten Shenk won the two-year term.

Kenneth Parker and Todd Johnson will each serve four-year terms on the Annex School Board.

The Harper School District will have Garrett Bentz and Gary Johnson on the board for four years.

In Jordan Valley, Mike Quintero and Zack Dufurrena were elected to four-year terms on the school board, while Jessica J. Smith was selected for the two-year position.

Danny Pozzi won the two-year term on the Juntura School Board. Two four-year seats on the board did not have any contenders.

In McDermitt, Gladys Eloridi, Tammy Wilkinson and Fred Wilkinson were selected for the school board.

Michael McGourty and Scott Gressley were elected to Vale School Board seats.