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.