Voters shot down by a large margin Hays USD 489’s proposed $78.5 million bond to renovate buildings and build two new elementary schools during Tuesday’s election.
The bond vote failed 3,430 to 2,207 of 61 percent to 39 percent — according to unofficial results. It is the second failed bond attempt in the last several months for the school district, which would have used the money to bring facilities up to date and provide additional classroom space at the elementary schools, as well as add improvements to Hays Middle School and Hays High School.
Voters also gave incumbent Lance Bickle the nod for another term on the Hays USD 489 Board of Education. Bickle, the current president of the board, led all votes with 3,266.
Mike Walker was second with 2,726, followed by Sophia Rose Young with 2,583. Three spots were up for grabs.
Young, in an emailed statement, offered her thanks to voters and said she hoped a solution for needed updates and improvements in the schools could be found.
“What got me through the crazines of this election was repetition of the phrase, ‘This isn’t about me, it is about the kids,’ and I predict it will be a phrase I continue to repeat while sitting at the board table," she said.
"As far as the bond, the community made their (unofficial) vote. Board members must continue to listen to community members and evaluate what works best until a solution is reached."
Kevin Daniels, who staged a write-in candidacy, got the majority of the 1,607 write-in votes.
On the Hays City Commission, three spots were available. Incumbent Shaun Musil led the votes with 3,202, while Sandy Jacobs, another incumbent, was second with 2,719.
Chris Dinkel was ahead of Dustin Roths for the third spot, 1,806 to 1,789.
John Mayers had 1,084 votes.
Election officials have until Friday to receive paper ballots from mail-in votes, meaning results could change until officially canvassed by the county commission next week.
Stay with HDNews.net for additional updates.
Updated 9:57 p.m. with comments from Young.