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Farmington School Officials Unanimously Approve 2-Part Bond

A group that worked against the Aug. 6 bond has reformed as Farmington Kids First and may also oppose the new proposal.

Farmington school board member George Gurrola talks about a November bond referendum Tuesday at North Farmington High School. Photo credit: Joni Hubred-Golden
Farmington school board member George Gurrola talks about a November bond referendum Tuesday at North Farmington High School. Photo credit: Joni Hubred-Golden
After listening to more than 20 residents, Farmington school board members unanimously voted Tuesday to put a two-part bond proposal on the November ballot. 

Proposal 1, for safety and security improvements, infrastructure improvements, technology, and classroom and media center remodeling, comes to $154.6 million. Proposal 2 focuses on high school performing arts centers, outdoor athletic field and track resurfacing and a technology refresh, at a cost of $31.6 million.

The combined $186.2 million request is 16 percent less than the $222 million question voters turned down Aug. 6. But most residents who spoke asked officials to sharpen their pencils even more and said the district hadn't provided enough detailed information about the proposals. 

Later in the meeting, board treasurer George Gurrola said he had reviewed the numbers, and "I think these costs are what it's going to cost." He said if the proposal doesn't move forward, "some other board is going to propose the exact same things, and it's going to cost more." 

"This isn't a crisis," Gurrola said, "but it's a tipping point." 

Tammy Luty, former Farmington PTA president, said it makes more sense "to wait until we have a proposal people will vote for. I think, unfortunately, you don't have enough community support."

Those who opposed the August bond referendum under the Farmington Citizens United banner have regrouped under the name Farmington Kids First, spokesperson Bill Largent said, and would guarantee passage of the bond if officials waited a year and worked with the group. 

After officials approved the November bond, he said Farmington Kids First members would meet soon to decide what to do next. But Largent believes they will again work to get out the "no" votes. 

He said the group wants all the same things that officials want, like school safety and better student outcomes, "but they won't provide the access or the opportunity to work with them." 

"They've been talking down to us for the 10 years I've been working with the board," Largent said. "At this point, this board has no credibility with us whatsoever."

Learn more about the proposal at farmington.k12.mi.us
Sharon September 05, 2013 at 08:27 PM
FPS has placed new links to the November bond proposal information that leave me puzzled. First, although they posted the percentages of the responders to the lame 4 question post August bond survey, they left out the most important data which is the personal comments that citizens made for administration to consider before going ahead in November with the second attempt. Why? Second, a nifty little calculator tool was placed there by the bond consultants. One big problem is the more money I say I make the less property taxes I seem to pay. I pay based on the taxable value of my home not my income. What gives? Third, the specifics are still not there. And just fyi, Plymouth-Canton Schools passed their $114 million dollar bond in May and that Board of Education just saved $750,000 at their last board meeting by making administration go out for architect bids with an RFP process. Of course they chose the same architect, TMP, but they at least saved $750K by doing so. FPS has the same project manager and architects. Our BOE needs to demand that bids for all services are required before I will vote for any future bonds. I'm sure Dr. Barrett would be happy to reconnect with them all.

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