Chris Bates can't seem to make heads or tails of Tuesday's referendum results.
The Pine Island School District superintendent watched as supporters of the referendum were overwhelmingly voted onto the School Board. As for the referendum's big ticket -- a $30 million plan to build a new high school -- voters opted against it.
"It appears to be a mismatch," Bates said. "I'm not sure what they're trying to tell us. That's my biggest quandary."
Incumbent School Board members Jay Wobig, Ann Fahy and Jan Fischer were re-elected. All three, plus write-in candidate winner Rebecca Schumann, backed the referendum.
Asked if they would support the new school project, voters said no, 1,491-1,318.
The number -- and the fact that nearly every other area construction referendum was approved -- left Bates baffled.
"1,318 wins every election but this one," he said.
A separate question that would have approved $6 million for an auditorium and athletic fields for the new school also failed, 1,673-1,119.
But school officials didn't come away from the election empty handed. Voters approved a smaller referendum question that will plug $3.1 million into improvements at the existing school.
Read the full story in Thursday's Republican Eagle.