CLOVER, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – Clover voters vote no on the Clover School District’s bond referendum. That $197 million referendum was voted down by a margin of 70 to 30, and that is the unofficial result. The money would have been used for new school buildings and renovations. The Clover School District says a bond referendum is the only way the school can build, not able to get funds from the State of South Carolina.
Clover School District releasing a statement online, saying, “Throughout the campaign, the one thing we all agreed upon is that we are growing …The leadership of Clover School District is committed to working with our community to develop a plan we can all support.”
“We’ll have to have some short-term solutions that we’ll work on, and that may include mobile units. But there’ll be all sorts of different ideas that they put out on the table, I’m sure we’ve got a great community that will share input and share ideas,” says Clover School District’s Bryan Dillon.
Growth at Clover High School is among many reasons the district was asking for that $197 million bond referendum. Some of the projects including a second high school, an eighth elementary school and even the conversion of the ninth grade campus back into a middle school. Leaders say they appreciate the communities feedback and will continue working with them.
“Anytime you get feedback, you want to sort through it and really look to understand areas for improvement in what you can do better next time and so we’ll certainly take that into consideration,” says Dillon.
Before the vote we caught up with President of the Reaganites of York County, Frank Trotta, who says raising property taxes to nearly 30% would have been a lot, considering what so many have been through in the pandemic.
“There’s a relatively high poverty rate in Clover and in our school district. A lot of kids are on the school lunch program, maybe 50% of it. The other thing that concerns us is, is the money being spent in the right place? Do we really need buildings? Or, should we be using it for other things, like improving teacher salaries and things like that,” says Trotta.
A business owner in the area for the last 20 years, Dee Wise, of Wise Computer Consulting, says with the growth the area has seen he believes the referendum would have benefited businesses and the greater community.
“In my opinion as a business owners perspective, good candidates with a great educational system will bring jobs into this community, and that’s one thing that’s been lacking.”
Seeing significant growth over the years, Wise says, “I’m really hoping that, that the school district and people that were opposed to it, people and some of the voters can kind of go back to the drawing board instead of just saying no and going from that.… There are going to be people moving into the community.”
In the video above, CN2’s Rachel Richardson is talking with district leaders community leaders about Saturday’s outcome.