Voters approve Measure 3C

Dolores voters line up to have voice heard

THE LINE stretched out the front door at the Dolores Community Center Tuesday morning as residents lined up to vote.


Voters poured into the Dolores Community Center Tuesday to have their voices heard.

Many were drawn by the high-stakes presidential race, but locally $2.6 million in BEST grant money was at stake in 3C, the local school bond.

In the end, local voters overwhelmingly approved Measure 3C, with 63.65 percent of the voters, voting yes on the measure.

3C is a $3.47 million school bond that will allow the Dolores School District access to an additional $2.62 million in BEST grant money awarded earlier this year, for a total of $6.09 million in facility improvement at Dolores schools.

The biggest of the improvements is the $3.7 million construction of new science and vocational education classrooms and the demolition of the current, failing science building.

“I felt like our kids were in danger,” said Viola Randall, who said she voted yes on 3C.

Others felt that the schools just needed extra help.

Of the voters in the Dolores School District boundary, 1,415 voted in favor of 3C, while 808 voted against the bond initiative, which will raise taxes approximated $3 a month per $100,000 of assessed home value.

“I’d love to see our schools succeed,” said Mike Gibson, who said he voted yes on 3C.

The Strong Schools Strong Community Committee, charged with campaigning for the passage of 3C, blanketed a parking lot near the Dolores Community Center with campaign signs.

“We have got to love our kids,” said Norbert Bukowski, who said he voted yes on 3C.

But not everyone voted yes on 3C.

Gary Shaw said he felt the school district needed a better maintenance plan.

“I don’t think they’ve done a good job since the last bond passed,” Shaw said. “Our schools look like a hodgepodge of buildings.”

The lines nearly stretched out the door of the Dolores Community Center Tuesday morning as people crammed into the front foyer of the building, waiting their turn to vote and showing a impressive 53 percent voter turnout.

April Seppel said she waited 20 minutes in line before she could cast her vote.

“More funding for the school, I agree with that,” she said.

When asked how they voted, Dolores residents were quick to point out their political views.

“Obama, who else?” said Mattie Quintana when she was asked who she voted for in the election.

Viola Randall agreed, but said in the end it was up to the Lord.

“Our votes count, but its the Lord’s vote who counts and we have to be thankful for who gets it,” she said.

Bukowski said he voted for Romney because he felt his taxes would be lower if he was president.

“I feel like I have a big target on my back as a employer and business owner,” Bukowski said. He added that Romney would help the economy and businesses.

Another hot topic among Dolores voters was Amendment 64, a Colorado constitutional amendment that would allow those over 21 years old to consume and possess marijuana.

Randall didn’t think it was a good idea.

“We have enough problems as it is,” she said. “Are our kids going to go to work?”

Bukowski voted yes on 64 to help the state earn tax money.

“It will put those drug lords out of business,” he said.

Gibson voted yes on 64 too.

“I think it should be legalized. I don’t smoke it myself, but I’ve never seen any issues with it,” Gibson said.

Brenda Hindmarsh said she voted no on legalizing marijuana.

“Growing up, it was an illegal drug. So in my mind it’s still an illegal drug,” she said.

Hindmarsh voted for Romney for president.

“I think he has a good plan,” she said. “We certainly need change.”

Shaw also voted for Romney.

“I don’t think Obama did a good job and I wanted to give Romney a chance,” he said.

Shaw also voted to support Amendment 64, legalizing marijuana.

“I voted for that for the same reason prohibition didn’t work,” he said. “We can regulate it and get taxes on it. It’s not heroin, it’s marijuana.”

CORTEZ SUPERINTENDENT Alex Carter checks his phone for election results as Dolores School District Superintendent Scott Cooper takes a moment to celebrate election night at the Montezuma County Elections Department after receiving early results that both school bonds might pass. Enlargephoto

SHANNON LIVICK/STAR

CORTEZ SUPERINTENDENT Alex Carter checks his phone for election results as Dolores School District Superintendent Scott Cooper takes a moment to celebrate election night at the Montezuma County Elections Department after receiving early results that both school bonds might pass.