How did you vote in the District 5 referendum, and why?

Let’s have a little real-time civic discussion here.

I notice that interest seems high in my posts from yesterday on the subject, here, here and here.

Now that the voting is actually going on, let’s analyze it, and let’s not do it the bogus, TV-style, talking-heads-guessing way. Let’s hear from real people who have voted today:

How did you vote in the District 5 referendum, and why?

I’ll do my best to keep up with approving comments, to keep this as current as possible. Now, let’s see what happens.

19 thoughts on “How did you vote in the District 5 referendum, and why?

  1. Axa Carnes

    I voted YES to invest in my children’s education. We need to reinvest in our older schools in the Irmo cluster. Our school Seven Oaks Elementary stands to be a big beneficiary if the referendum passes.

  2. ba

    20 years people moved here because of the high quality education. today people move here for the same reasons. i voted yes to keep the tradition going!

  3. Doug Ross

    Good luck trying to maintain high standards with uncontrolled growth. Bricks and mortar do not teach kids, teachers do. You’ll be wondering why your kids’ teachers are so mediocre five years from now.
    I’d rather have crowded schools with the best teachers than a bunch of new schools and not enough good teachers to fill them.
    And you’ll be competing with Richland 2 for all those same teachers… mediocrity is the natural result of expanding too fast. Which will lead to people who can, moving away. Which will lead to worse schools.
    Get back to me in a decade and let me know how great the schools are.

  4. Doug Ross

    Looks like fiscal sanity ruled the day over the construction company full employment welfare bill.
    Now would be a great time for the school board to stand together and make a statement about controlling growth in the district. Slow the growth, let the infrastructure catch up over time. Stop letting the construction companies run the district.

  5. chapinmom

    I voted “no” today because I believe the school disctrict board has been misleading the taxpayers in many ways.
    I do believe we need schools in the area but I don’t believe we are having the level of growth that the board states.
    The last referendum was defeated just 2 years ago and it was for half of what they are now requesting! What are they planning to build? I want to know that my dollars will be used wisely…not wasted on a structure that resembles a resort.
    I put so much effort into spending wisely and as taxpayers we should demand that the school board is a good steward of our hard earned income! I plan to vote NO until I see evidence that they are doing so.
    I am also writing to the legistature regarding changing our laws and implementing impact fees. If we all do so, then we will see results.
    I feel that the officials are more for the will of the developers instead of the needs of the people. I am sorry but I see evidence of it all the time.
    My daughter is two and I want the best education for her but I am unwilling to vote yes until the district is accountable and gives us hard facts and figures about where our money will be spent and not wasted.
    Also everyone blames all the “no” votes on the retirees…why is that? Many parents feel the way I do…we have heard from all the pro-yes and pro-no, now we want to hear the truth and some real facts.

  6. weldon VII

    I didn’t vote, because I don’t live in Lexington District 5.
    But I’m tickled District 5 voted no.
    I really don’t think $39 per year per $100,000 house in District 5 adds up to anywhere near the cost of a $256.5 million loan, no matter how The State added it up.
    That’s more than a quarter of a BILLION dollars, in excess of $60 per citizen of our entire state.
    Some of that money would have to come from somewhere else, meaning some of it would have come from me.
    How can I pay for schools in Lexington County when I have to worry about providing California farmers with subsidies that once benefited me, subsidies Brad wants to give away, just like he wanted to spend other people’s money, as always, to create a fabulous set of school buildings that couldn’t even teach to the test.
    Thank you, District 5, for reaffirming my faith that some people still live in the real world.

  7. Rob H

    I voted NO because I have a life long rule that I do not ever vote for a tax increase because politicans do it so well they dont need my vote to get in my pockets.
    I also voted no because the school board and new administator have joined forces to put forth less than the truth and waste more money. We dont need a new high school. Build on the the existing ones and share the load of any new students! One of the school board members ran on a ticket saying she would not vote for a tax increase and she went and did it. I brougt it up to her and she got mad. Well I am mad too, and will not vote for these people we elected to do a job they are not doing…hold the line on new taxes and waste in the district! It makes my stomach churn to see the Lex members side with the two ultra sneaky liberals from Richland side! We did not elect them to follow these two!

  8. wc

    I am disappointed with the outcome. The anti-crowd has placed antoher dagger into this community. Thanks Brad for correcting the mistake, hey we all make them, and pointing out how deceitful that crowd can be in distorting the facts. I wish they would withdraw from the county and make their on little commune in Chapin. The kids were the loosers today, Kids that will be foreced to sit in overcrowded classrooms, classrooms with out walls, and sub-par technoligy. Kudos to the board and superintendent for pulling on the same rope. The good guys will eventually prevail and succed!!

  9. Give me a break

    MAYBE teachers are “mediocre” because taxpayers won’t pay good teachers enough to work in overcrowded and unsafe conditions.

  10. jim lewis

    voted no:
    not because new schools are not needed
    not because teachers don’t need more resources
    not because of fear of new subdivisions
    not because i don’t want to pay more taxes
    not because i don’t like people, especially little people
    trust, or the lack of, is the reason i voted no
    as a collective group, i do not feel that those in charge of spending my tax dollars, have my best interest in their mind set. there are excellent administrators, teachers and support staff in the district. many of them are doing the right thing. however i have been to many school board meetings where truth/trust not only failed to show up but probably was across the border sitting in a bar in mexico city drinking mescal.
    it seems that those in charge fail to realize that we,taxpayers, are big boys and girls. instead they tend to take on their jack nicholson role and by their actiions and comments scream at us, “we can’t handle the truth”.
    well, not only can we handle the truth, we have pretty good recall and we can vote. we remember all the campaign and board room rhetoric: i’m a conservative, she is a liberal, i’m red, he is blue, he will raise taxes, i will not raise taxes, the sky is falling, your child will grow up to be dunce if we don’t get that plasma tv.
    less jack nicholson and more of john wayne and those in charge may have a chance of restoring trust.
    have a great day
    jim lewis

  11. Local

    Bond referendums are driven by rapid increases in growth and population. Neither Irmo, Chapin, Ballentine, nor Lexington County have undertaken any effort to curb growth, institute “smart growth,” or, provided that adequate public facilities are available BEFORE growth is allowed. What a novel idea!
    Developers come into an area, ascertain growth patterns, buy big tracts of land, subdivide and sell lots for ten or twenty times the value they paid and move on to the next tract. Because the area is attractive and successful, families fill up the subdivisions and local governments and school districts are faced with the huge costs of building infrastructure to catch up. Roads, water and sewer, SCHOOLS, fire and police protection – and so on.
    Why not insure the infrastucture and facilities are affordable and paid for BEFORE the new development occurs? Impact fees and a tool called an “Adequate Public Facilities
    Ordinance” insure that money is collected and infrastructure is constructed and paid for by the develpoers, merchants and homeowners that create the demand……Think about it.

  12. Brad Warthen

    You do realize, of course, that the entity offering the bond proposal — the District 5 board — has absolutely zero power over managing growth in the district. Just as the entities that could do something about it — the Richland and Lexington county councils — have no authority over running the schools, or school construction, etc.
    My colleagues and I have long been for rectifying that problem by taking fiscal authority away from school boards and giving it to county councils, thereby forcing the councils to take responsibility for governance in their counties overall. That way, nobody can pass the buck, and you get more intelligent government. But our proposal has gotten zero traction in the Legislature.
    Until that changes, all these supposedly empowered school boards can do is try their best to deal with the growth that comes tumbling down about their ears.
    But be encouraged, ye who want to curb growth! By repeatedly rejecting these needed capital projects, the voters of the district are making their schools less desirable. This will curb growth, starting the district on a downward spiral that will trash property values and do all the other things that happen in a district in decline. Once the schools lose their reputation for excellence, the growth will stop.
    So it looks like you’re onto something.

  13. Doug Ross

    Unfortunately, that is the only solution that might encourage voters to remove incumbents from office.
    And school boards and administrators do have the ability to take a “slow growth” stance and be vocal about it (as vocal and biased as they are about bond referendums) but they choose not to.
    This could have all been avoided… don’t blame the voters who chose fiscal responsibility. Everyone who stood by and let it get to this point is to blame. Where were the school board members telling county council to do something about it?
    This situation is like asking your friends and family to pay for your treadmill after you’ve gained 200 pounds.

  14. Local

    I agree. You may want to query the school districts about just when they are optioning large tracts of rural land for future construction. This is no secret in the close knit brotherhood of “land developers.” They hard sell school districts all the time. District purchases automatically incite speculation in nearby areas by others (not infrequently the very sellers to the district); construction begins and what may have simply been good planning and foresight becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Asking profiteers to assist in the payment for infrastructure may at first appear unfair; but how fair is it for the rest of the community to ante up more than their share for others to increase their bottom line when th0se being taxed gain very little or nothing at all?

  15. Phil Marshall

    Schools, wars, pensioners, the poor, etc. etc. etc. need more and more money from the dwindling resources of working men and women. I was not surprised to see the proponents of the bond issue try to slip it in as a single issue in an under-reported and obscure referendum. What I was upset with was the way that the Nursery Road location hid itself so well. During the regular elections, the voting location is in the back of the school. During this referendum it was in the front with no signs or indications of a precinct voting location with school in session. I saw several potential voters pull up to the rear of the school, look around, and leave without voting. Considering the aging and overtaxed voters in this precinct, I can’t help but think this was designed to disenfranchise these voters.
    I think precinct location hiding could be a key to our campaign for Stephen Colbert. I, as the chairman and sole member of the Comedic Humorous American Oligarchic State (CHAOS) Party, feel it encumbent upon myself to formally propose this as Colbert’s primary strategy in South Carolina. The rest of the strategy could steal the themes of both the major parties –
    Democrats = “Take the money from those who have it, and give it to those who vote for us,” AKA communism, hopelessness.
    Republican = “Find out which lobbyist will pay us the most, and go with their agenda,” AKA elitism, American enterprise through legislative cronyism.
    Lindsey Graham = “Do what my heavily lobbied staff wants, and screw the constituents,” AKA import new constituents.
    I think the whole situation can be summed up by CHAOS. As you can see our master plan has already been implemented by others.

  16. Pres

    District Five voters should share some of the blame for the way the current school board makes decisions.
    In 2006, voters voted for liberal, big-spenders for the school board. While the conservatives stayed in the majority, they made decisions based on what they thought the crybaby voters wanted.
    Last time, the conservative board majority was opposed to the bond that was half the price of this one. What did voters do, take it out on them.
    The majority changed to compromise with what the voters apparently wanted and now they are all just free-spenders.

  17. jim lewis

    Dear Pres
    don’t know what you are drinkin but i’ll take two.
    maybe i’m wrong but didn’t mr. brad write a big column about the “love in” he had with the school board in which they declared themselves as united. don’t remember reading of labels such as conservative or liberal.
    my experience has been that the term conservative/liberal is a special set of underwear some candidates wear to get elected. after election they simply remove the underwear and do what they please until the next election. some candidates even have an extra set and use it to strangle an opponent even if that opponent in non partisan.
    given the current back stabbing, cork screwing, double dealing state of politics i would propose that both terms, conservative and liberal, be replaced with a more generic term – idiot!
    oh, by the way, as a voter of some 42 years i ain’t taking it kindly to be “blamed” for my constitutional right to vote. board members are big boys and girls and they, and only they, are responsible for their decisions.
    have a great day
    jim lewis

  18. Pres

    You’re not being blamed for your “right” to vote. You are being blamed for your actual votes. And I know that the Jim Lewis (super lib) didn’t just throw out a liberal/conservative rant. Jim Lewis is the epitome of a southern redneck lib.

  19. jim lewis

    Dear Pres
    i do believe that mr. brad is going to soon pull the plug on this little exchange so maybe i can get one last comment in.
    oh gee, i ended a sentence with a preposition. perhaps it was that redneck liberal college i attended.
    by the way, what is an epitome? can it be treated with a shot, perhaps a lotion or maybe a few herbs from the lower pasture.
    let’s try this again, anyone who attacks either an individual/group for their right to vote or the way they voted has their underwear on too tight.
    have a great day
    jim lewis

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