Bayfield school bond issue wins by narrow margin

Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 9:23 PM
Wyler Lyons, 9, checks the results of the La Plata County votes for Bayfield 3B, the school district's bond issue, with his mother, Amy Lyons, the finance director for the Bayfield School District.

Supporters of the $37.2 million Bayfield school bond were caught off guard Tuesday night when the evening's first "yes" results came in 16 votes behind the "no" votes.

"I don't know what else we could have done," said Terri Will, a Bayfield resident who attended school in Bayfield's oldest school building and helped lead the "Yes on 3B" campaign. Will had said she didn't want any more of her grandchildren to have to attend classes there.

But when the second round of results were released, supporters at Chavalo's Mexican Restaurant cheered as the bond measure pulled ahead. School district officials planned to begin selling the bonds on Thursday.

By the end of Tuesday night, the tally came in with 2,661 yes votes, or 51.58 percent of the 5,159 votes cast in La Plata County, according to La Plata County Clerk Tiffany Parker. No votes totaled 2,498, or 48.42 percent of the votes in La Plata County.

The vote was also tight in Archuleta County, where a few dozen households are in the Bayfield School District.

Archuleta County voters cast 11 votes in favor of the bond issue, and 10 against.

About 20 bond issue supporters had gathered at Chavalo's, hoping for a celebratory gathering.

After the first round of results came in the group grew quiet, but supporters hoped to make up the 16-vote differential.

"You'll get a new school," Bayfield voter Jenna Stumpf said to Jettie Lyons, who attends second grade at Bayfield Elementary School. Her mom, Amy Lyons, is the school district's finance director. Stumpf is the wife of Tim Stumpf, the school board president.

"I know," the eight-year-old confidently replied.

Although the vote was tighter than expected, "a win is still a win!" Amy Lyons said later that evening.

The first round of results showed 2,093 yes votes, for 49.81 percent of the vote, and 2,109 no votes, or 50.19 percent.

The second round of results reported 2,331 yes votes, or 50.47 percent of the 4,619 votes cast. Durango's school bond was winning by a large margin Tuesday night, with 63 percent of 22,528 voters casting a yes vote.