Voters rejected both of Golf School District 67's referendum requests Tuesday, and parents and supporters who had gathered to watch election returns said they'll have to try again.
One of the questions on the ballot asked voters to approve funding facilities (buildings and grounds) and the other question asked for money for operations (staffing, etc.).
For a time, from about 11 p.m. until midnight, it looked like the facilities referendum might pass. It had only a seven-vote deficit, with one more precinct left to come in.
John Frake, one of the referendum supporters who gathered at Giordano's to watch returns come in, said at that point he thought it could still win.
When that precinct finally reported results after midnight, they defeated the referendum by 21 votes. The tally was 639 against, 618 in favor.
The operations referendum lost by a wider margin, 662 to 553.
"I'm sure this (a referendum) will happen again. It's too important to let go of," said Kristina Otte, one of the supporters. "We all have kids in school. They all need to be in a safe, protective environment and have programs that will prepare them for high school."
Shawn Phillips, another parent and supporter, noted the results showed a solid base of voters in favor.
"I think we're going to have to redouble our efforts," he said.
Parent Chris Hoffman credited Otte and Frake for their efforts.
"They worked tirelessly on this," she said. "They wanted to make sure everyone knew what the issues were."
If it had passed, the facilities referendum would have raised $9.7 million for the school district to make repairs to its two buildings, including heating, cooling and plumbing repairs. It would also have permitted reconfiguration of the building entrances to create better security and build a gym/multi-purpose room at Hynes Elementary School.
For the owner of a home in the Morton Grove portion of District 67, the facilities referendum would annually have raised property taxes $31 per $1,000 of taxes paid.
For the owner of a home in the Niles portion of the district, the facilities referendum would annually have raised property taxes $34 per $1,000 of taxes paid.
If it had passed, the operations referendum would have raised $1.1 million for the school district, according to its website. The district was asking for the money to maintain its current level of staffing, according to its website.
It would have cost homeowners in the Morton Grove portion of District 67 $47 per $1,000 of property taxes paid, and it would have cost homeowners in the Niles portion of District 67 $51 per $1,000 of property taxes paid.
Cuts are expected
The district's website outlines cuts it expected to make if both referendums failed. They include a reduction in personnel, cuts to programs, a reduction in bus service and other cost-cutting moves.