The Idaho Statesman


The bond promised to fix all that — if voters approved it.

“You’re just honestly praying for a miracle,” Bayer said. “I said a lot of prayers all day long, saying, ‘OK, we can do this. We can do this.’ ”

At about 8:30 p.m., a call came in from the county clerk. More than 2,000 people voted, and about 54% of them supported the bond, the clerk said. Bayer’s heart sank and she broke into tears. In Idaho, a majority wasn’t enough. The state is one of just two in the nation that require support from two-thirds of voters to pass a bond.

Bayer shared the results with the school board, school staff and the facilities committee. Over the next several hours, she received calls and messages from community members. They told her to keep fighting. So she did. The district put another bond on the ballot in August, and students rallied to support it. On Election Day, the high school football team even stood on the bridge over the Kootenai River and held yellow signs that read “Vote Yes for Kids,” hoping to persuade voters as they drove to the Boundary County Fairgrounds to cast their votes.

But the second bond fared worse. Just over 40% of voters backed the new measure, which hit the ballot as residents received a notice that their property assessments were going to rise and voters were worried about tax increases. “It went down in a ball of flames,” Bayer wrote to the school board.

Read the full article.