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Arthur CUSD #305 Bond Referendum fails

Low Turnout for Primary

Voters in five counties rejected the Arthur School District’s $30.6 million school facilities plan. It included an addition to be built on to the high school with a portion of current building to be renovated to house all the sixth through eighth-grade students in the district. The plan also included security upgrades to all three grade schools.

We reached out to Superintendent Cheek and asked him with the overwhelming “No” vote what he attributed that to, and he stated, “I’m not sure what the no vote was attributed to, but we will take some time, let the dust settle and try and find out those reasons.  I really don’t want to speculate on why the vote was an overwhelming no because speculating doesn’t do anyone any good.”

He continued, “My goal moving forward is to try and explore and find concrete answers to the question of why it failed and then try and strategize what I can do better moving forward.  One thing I know moving forward is I want to try and provide a platform where people feel comfortable visiting with myself in order to get their concerns heard, and questions answered.  I want to try and create that platform in order to minimize any confusion.”

As far as where does the district go from here Cheek said,” Regarding where the district goes from here is a great question.  Our facilities are in need of repair and updating.  I don’t think anybody would question the need for updates and repair, but we also wanted to create some spaces that were more conducive to a 21st century learning environment.  Once again, we will regroup and develop a strategy moving forward.  In the immediate future we will just need to identify the most pressing needs for our facilities and then develop a financial strategy to try and address those immediate concerns.”

When asked did he foresee revamping the plan and try again in November or next year possibly of putting it back on the ballot he responded, “It is way too early to comment on what the next steps are for developing a plan to take to the voters.  I haven’t even had a board meeting since the results so for me to comment on that directly at this point in time would not be responsible.  I will say that we will be discussing next steps and trying to figure out what we can do better in the development of that plan and move forward.”

In closing Superintendent Cheek said, “I would end with this and that is to provide a thank you.  I would like to extend a thank you to everyone that actively participated in the process.  There were many that attended meetings, reached out with questions, met with me personally and many that provided creative ideas and solutions to the facility challenges we face.  I also appreciate and applaud everyone that turned out to vote on election day.  The passion demonstrated by all for the district is a positive and we will try and channel that positivity moving forward.  Thank you to all the communities that make up this great district and thank you to all that demonstrated a positive approach to helping throughout the process.”

Fewer than 30 percent of registered voters in Douglas County even got out to vote. Of the 11,558 registered voters only 3,382 (29.26%) ballots were cast. There were 2,993 Republican ballots, 365 Democrat ballots, and 24 nonpartisan ballots.

Only one County Board set was opposed; in District 6 (Villa Grove area), Ed Carleton defeated incumbent James Mikeworthy by a vote of 207-157 in the Republican primary.

Gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey, Attorney General candidate Thomas Devore, and Congressional candidate Mary Miller all claimed victories in the Republican primary as well.

**These are the current unofficial results.
Champaign County:
Ballots Cast: 1
YES: 1
NO: 0
Coles County:
Registered Voters: 33
Ballots Cast: 24
Voter Turnout: 72.7%
YES: 8 38.1 %
NO: 13 61.9 %
Douglas County:
Bourbon 1:
Registered Voters: 579
Ballots Cast: 285
Voter Turnout: 49.2%
YES: 81 29.67%
NO: 192 70.33%
Douglas County:
Bourbon 2:
Registered Voters: 923
Ballots Cast: 267
Voter Turnout: 28.93
YES: 58 30.53%
NO: 132 49.22%
Moultrie County:
Registered Voters: 1,837
Ballots Cast: 786
Voter Turnout: 42.8%
YES: 223 29.67%
NO: 550 70.33%
Piatt County:
Unity 1:
YES: 23
NO: 205
Piatt County:
Unity 2:
YES: 22
NO: 105
YES: 416
NO: 1,197

Moultrie County
Primary Election
**These are the current unofficial results of the following contested races in Moultrie County.
(R) County Clerk and Recorder
Lisa Ozier: 1,338 49.93%
Linda S. Qualls: 1392 50.07%
(R) County Board District At Large
(Choose 9, 1 will not advance)
Aaron Willhelm: 10.59%
Marsha Kirby: 9.54%
Julie R. Kinert: 8.52%
Larry Wayne Stacy Jr.: 5.52%
Billy Voyles: 10.50%
Kenneth Graven: 10.02%
Tyler W. Graven: 11.55%
Todd Maxedon: 10.81%
Scott Buxton: 11.69%
John Vander Burgh: 11.25%
(R) Sullivan #6 Committeeperson
Michael Wayne Leach: 23.74%
Lynn Reed: 76.26%
Yes: 62.24%
No: 37.76%

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