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D200 referendum fails by 28 votes

After mulling a possible recount, referendum supporters let go

December 6th, 2016 2:20 PM

By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

It's now official. According to election results certified by the Cook County Clerk's Office, the Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 school board's plan to borrow up to $25 million to partially fund a $44.4 million facilities plan failed by just 28 votes in the Nov. 8 election. 

Last week, members of the pro-referendum Vote Yes group considered a possible discovery recount. According to a spokesman for the clerk's office, if a losing candidate or ballot measure earns a vote total that amounts to at least 95 percent of the votes earned by the winning side, then the losing side has a right to a discovery recount.

In a statement released Monday, Vote Yes campaign manager Lynn Kamenitsa said that her group would not take that course. According the Clerk's Office spokesman, a discovery recount is only designed to collect information about an election. It doesn't change the election results. 

The failed facilities plan would have entailed the demolition of the village-owned 300-space garage, the construction of an estimated $21.4 million, 25-yard by 40-meter swimming pool, plus a roughly 240-space new parking garage on the site of the old one. The plan would also have included expanding the performing arts and learning spaces at the high school.

District 200 officials have said that the administration will recommend suggestions for restarting community deliberation about an alternative plan at a Dec. 13 special meeting. 

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com 

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