CK voters soundly reject new school construction

Early primary voting results Tuesday night, showed Central Kitsap School District voters were not interested in funding $60 million for new schools.

With 13,500 ballots counted as of 8 p.m., Sept. 16, only 6,608 voters approved the ballot measure. The 49.3 percent approval rate was far short of the 60 percent supermajority required by state law.

"We're very, very disappointed," said CKSD Superintendent Cathy Davidson Tuesday night. She spoke to journalists gathered at the Givens Community Center in Port Orchard where the Kitsap County Election Department tabulated early results.

Still Davidson was buoyed by the campaign the district held to convince voters of the need for new schools to replace Central Kitsap and Fairview Junior highs, and Seabeck and Jackson Park elementary schools.

"When people participated (in the campaign)," Davidson said, "they saw what the need was."

Davidson said district officials would examine results, spend more time educating the public who obviously needed more time to think about the $60 million vote.

Bob Bentley, president of the Central Kitsap Citizens for Quality Education, also expressed disappointment in Tuesday's vote.

"We'll go back, take a look at the numbers and regroup," Bentley told reporters Tuesday. "The buildings still need to be fixed."

Bentley said it was important to take advantage of current low interest rates - some rates as low as they have been in 40 years.

Bentley said about 400 people were involved actively in the decision and process to place the bond vote before voters.

"What we need to do, is engage more people in that process," he said.

The 13,500 ballots counted as of Tuesday evening were far more than the 7,703 needed to validate the election. Some 32,400 ballots were mailed to voters in the district. Election officials expect about 40 to 45 percent of CK voters will have returned their ballots when the race is finally certified.

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