Despite KELO's best efforts to promote it, the Dell Rapids school district $17.3-million bond issue failed at the polls yesterday. The vote was 867 in favor, 851 against, a slim 50.5% majority, but still short of the required 60%. The "for" vote declined from the first go-round in May, when a $16 million bond issue got support from 52% of voters.
I suggested back in June that maybe the board would do well to accept the expressed will of the people, disagreeable as it may be, rather than putting faith in a bigger marketing campaign to swing a few more voters. But while the ballots are still warm from the auditor's hands, Superintendent Tom Ludens says the board will bring this issue back again.
Is that really such a good idea, Superintendent Ludens? Your second campaign resulted in a loss of support. At this rate, the third vote might result is a majority voting against the bond issue.
I'm not one to criticize a guy for not giving up the fight. I admire a guy who holds to his principles even when the majority disagree with him. But here's today's open question: as a public servant, is it the superintendent's job to continue trying to change public opinion or to accept the twice-expressed will of the taxpayers?
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