Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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March 25, 2014

WW voter says no, again

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — One Wynnewood area resident is again prepared to take some grief for standing up and voicing her stand against an upcoming school bond issue she believes is the wrong way to go.

Carolyn Boyce says she represents a group of “concerned” taxpayers in Wynnewood’s school district which strongly opposes a bond issue going before voters in a week — Tuesday, April 1 to be exact.

On that day voters will decide the fate of a $20.3 million issue that if passed by at least 60 percent support will go to build a brand new elementary school in Wynnewood.

It’s the third large bond issue faced by Wynnewood voters in recent years with each one meant to make large scale changes as a way of addressing building needs in the district.

Just like the previous two issues, both of which failed, Boyce is again going public in her opposition despite facing some negative feedback in the past.

Those objections are so strong she even had a lengthy letter published in the PV Democrat detailing the specifics of her opposition.

“Our main objection is to the location and building a $20 million grade school twice as big as what we’ve got now,” Boyce said.

Despite these type of objections Wynnewood school officials, like Superintendent Raymond Cole, have made it clear they believe the plan is a good one.

“We feel this is a good plan because it will impact 70 percent of our students,” Cole says.

This plan, he says, is designed to address the district’s need to do something about a middle school building located in a floodplain.

If voters pass this bond issue it would allow for a new elementary school and for middle school students to make a move into the current grade school building.

With this bond issue plans are for the new grade school to be constructed on the north side of town near Wynnewood’s football stadium.

Cole has said another 10 acres owned by the school is located across the street from this site allowing for the possibility of future expansion or restructuring of other school facilities in the future.

Boyce says she and others believe there are better options for addressing the building needs.

“We feel they can build one cheaper west of where the middle school is now,” she said.

This other plan, she says, provides for a new facility outside of the floodplain area, which is the ongoing problem facing the current middle school building.

Another of Boyce’s objections to this bond issue plan is an increase of about 22 percent in property taxes for landowners living in the Wynnewood school district.

This level of tax increase is simply too high, she said.

“We’re going to have an increase with this sure, but this increase is too big,” Boyce said.

“There are a lot of senior citizens in the Wynnewood school district that can’t afford this increase,” she said.

“We don’t think anybody objects to a tax increase. Nobody objects to doing something to help the kids.

“It’s just the idea of what they’re wanting to do — that’s what we object to.”

Early voting for next week’s election includes a Wednesday, March 26 deadline to apply for mailed absentee ballots.

In-person absentee voting is also offered from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, March 27-28 at the Election Board office located in the county courthouse.

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