Wayland Schools to ask for bond OK again next May

The Wayland Board of Education plans to seek voters’ approval for a bond proposal in May 2023 in the wake of the ballot defeat Aug. 2.

Supt. Tim Reeves and board members held a discussion of the issue Monday night and decided it was best to wait until next spring.

“A May election gives us more time,” Reeves said.  “It’s a special election so we could be a stand-alone piece on the ballot.”

Board members said they were cautiously optimistic about the bond’s chances, but it went down last Tuesday by a count of 2,703 to 2,478, or roughly 52 to 48 percent.

“I was quietly optimistic that the bond would pass,” said President Dan Casini.

Janel Hott added, “I don’t know anyone who noted ‘no’.”

Teresa Dobry said data from a survey taken last spring indicated positive response and suggested the problem was “There’s too much misinformation out there.”

The consensus of the board was that too many voters didn’t seem to understand the proposal was about much more than a new pool and that the project would includes renovations that would benefit the band, choir and industrial arts programs, as well as building improvements at the elementaries and the middle school.

Dobry even asked, “Could we do what we said we were going to do without the pool? The swim teams is 17 to 25 kids, but they (the citizens) need to see beyond that.”

Assistant Supt. for Finance and Operations Patricia Velie, who was the district’s leader in the effort, said she and others believed that 2,500 was the magic number for positive votes in order to win, but 2,703 voted against the proposal and it lost by 22 votes.

Notable in the results was that Dorr, Leighton, Hopkins and Yankee Springs voters turned it down while City of Wayland and Wayland Township passed it, suggesting a geographical divide.

Velie was asked about prospects for bringing back the proposal for the Nov. 8 general election and she noted the deadline for filing with the state is Aug. 16.

In other business at Monday night’s meeting, the board:

• Learned from Velie that the local school system will not have to borrow against state aid because it doesn’t have a negative cash flow situation that so often is the case for many districts. She said Wayland has a fund balance that is 18.8% of the general fund.

• Approved payment of $53,500 for a 10-passenger transit van, even though it is $13,000 higher than the cost of a year ago.

• Discussed, but took no action on proposals to change rules for student backpacks or hiring another public safety officer.

• Was told by Velie that the district was able to sell two aging buses to a client in California for $10,557.

• Had yet another discussion about branding and the design of a logy for Wayland Union Schools.

• Noted that the first of school will be Monday, Aug. 22.


  • “A May election gives us more time,” Reeves said. “It’s a special election so we could be a stand-alone piece on the ballot.”

    Well half of my prediction was correct, we will be given the opportunity once again to vote on this millage, though we will need to wait until May. This technique is very well orchestrated, great job Superintendent Reeves. Run a special election (cost to the tax payer) when very few people will go to the polls. Lets run this in the general election when will have many voters. You certainly would want the most people voting to make sure this is what your constituents really want……wouldn’t you?

    “The consensus of the board was that too many voters didn’t seem to understand the proposal was about”

    “There’s too much misinformation out there.”

    The old excuse the voter doesn’t have a clue and we are much smarter than they are………Maybe it’s time to give the tax payer a little bit of credit that they really do understand what they were voting for.

    I know I am redundant however, current recession, inflation out of control, lack of transparency (take a look at your fact sheet), duplication of education already offered (auto & wood Allegan Tech), voters already turned down your last pool proposal and the list could go on and on………. At some point you need to listen to your constituents.


    Oh BTW don’t forget the haters in Dorr that Tom Andrews talks about, joke………..

    • John,
      Yep, you nailed it. Once again the ignorant voters in the Wayland school district are in for an “education”. Maybe the administration needs the education. NO MEANS NO!!! Give it up already for Pete’s sake!
      Maybe they should consider a ” Go Fund Me” campaign or as earlier suggested a more frugal budget.
      Just saying.

  • Hi John Wilkens,

    I would be happy to sit down with you and have a discussion about our most recent bond election, what we are asking for and why, as well as just talk all things Wayland Union Schools.
    Please feel free to give me a call to set up a time to talk, 269-792-2181.

    Tim Reeves
    Wayland Union Schools

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