TWENTYNINE PALMS — A bond measure to pay for construction and renovations at public schools failed by a thin margin in Tuesday’s vote.

Just short of 53 percent of voters marked their ballots “yes” for Measure O, but school bond measures need 55 percent approval in California to pass.

“I definitely respect the democratic process and I appreciate the work of all the people who took part in that process,” Tom Baumgarten, superintendent of Morongo Unified School District, said Wednesday.

“It’s something maybe the community will consider the future, and we will go forward and do the best we can with the support of the taxpayers.”

According to the latest unofficial results from the county elections office, 5,977 people voted for Measure O and 5,328 voted against. With a difference of just 2.2 percentage points between victory and defeat, the bond measure could still pass when conditional and late-arriving ballots are counted.

The bond measure would have added an estimated $55 per $100,000 of a property’s assessed value to annual property taxes. It would have provided $62 million to the school district for construction, renovation and repairs.

“We will continue to make the best learning facilities we can for the students of the Morongo Basin,” Baumgarten said Wednesday.

By Wednesday morning, election workers had counted 11,305 ballots in the Measure O election. Morongo Unified School District has 28,846 registered voters, nearly 68 percent of whom are registered to vote by mail.

“Regardless of how people vote, I’m just really happy that they vote,” Baumgarten said.

(7) comments


You’ll have to find some other money to play the shell game with. I can’t even imagine how much was wasted running out the proposed charter schools in the district. I won’t hold my breath to see those numbers


Speaking of grifters and shell games, whatever happened with the RV the Hope Academy folks took with them when left town? The country is rife with charter school scammers. Please correct me if I'm mistaken about the RV.

Mark Simmons

Thank the universe that there were enough voters in this Basin who weren’t willing to fall for MUSD’s ‘Ponzi’ scheme! My property along with other property owners shouldn’t be used as a checkbook for MUSD. Payoff the existing bond before asking for another handout.


Good. Baumgarten is going to have to give up his dystopian view of school security.


Its bittersweet when many have to vote NO on basics. Realistic requests for money. Conservative spending on essentials, not luxury items. Perhaps when the county gets with the program and STOPS WASTING our valuable and hard earned tax dollars we can revisit essential school needs. Currently swimming pools, dog and cat hotel, fancy new oversized vehicles, moving library to vancant white elephant buildings and other boondoggle projects are more important than fiscal responsibility, and providing ESSENTIAL services. See also FP Zone 5 "fees", See also Gasoline tax, See also Over-the-top pensions, See also 7 closed fire stations, See also SR70-15 roads out of money.


Well at least this is one tax that will not be set upon us. However, with Newsome now in office, we will have to hold on tight to prop 13. I'm sure he has plans for other new and increased taxes. Wonderful. Idiot lib voters. Must like taxes.


Remember to congratulate James Ramos on his new Sacramento job. They needed more of his kind of leadership up there to help Gavin out. Good luck!

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