Cranston voters overwhelmingly approve $40M school bond

Turnout barely scrapes 4 percent

Warwick Beacon ·

A trickle of Cranston voters turned out to vote overwhelmingly, nearly 4 to 1, to approve a $40 million school bond referendum.

According to the Rhode Island Board of Elections’ preliminary results, 1,850 voters cast ballots to approve the referendum in Cranston (78.56%); 505 voters cast ballots to reject the bond (21.44%).

Turnout for the June 4 referendum, however, was less than 4% of eligible Cranston voters. Only 2,358 ballots were cast; the city has 60,181 registered voters.

Nick Lima, Cranston’s Registrar and Director of Elections, said there may be around 50-60 mail-in ballots outstanding, and around 7 provisional ballots, but not nearly “enough to sway the election, in any way.”

Asked about the low turnout, Lima answered with his “favorite quote from the West Wing: ‘Decisions are made by those who show up.’”

On June 4, fewer than four percent (around 0.39%) of voters decided for 100% of the city’s taxpayers.

“On behalf of our 11,000-plus students I would like to thank the voters of Cranston for their support for the $40 million School Bond Referendum,” said School Committee Chairperson Mike Traficante. “A special thank you to the Mayor and Cranston City Council for their continuous support for our educational projects over the past few years. The School Department can now move forward and complete several major school construction projects to include Gladstone and Eden Park Elementary Schools, the AES Academy, as well as several additional construction projects at our two high schools and several elementary schools.”

The Cranston School District released a statement after the results were known: “We are so grateful to all of the Cranston residents who came out to support our schools and the facilities work to be done. Our schools bring families and a sense of vitality to Cranston and an investment in our schools is an investment for our city. We are proud of the work we have done to create better learning environments for students to and hope the work continues.”

“I am extremely happy to see this pass,” School Committee member Dominic Fusco Jr. said early Wednesday morning. “As I mentioned in my letter, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Cranston to take advantage of.  Cranston School department continues to move our schools into the 21st century.   I am proud to be a part of that process.”

According to Fusco, and other city and school officials, the bond will go toward funding a long list of school capital projects, allowing the district to recoup maximum reimbursements from state government.

THE RESULTS

  • Ballots Cast:        2,358
  • Registered Voters:          60,181

City-wide Results

  • Approve: 78.56%, 1,850 votes
  • Reject: 21.44%, 505 votes

Results by Polling Location

HOPE CHURCH (Precinct 0704)

  • Approve: 75.93%, 369 votes
  • Reject: 24.07%, 117 votes

KELLEY-GAZZERRO VFW POST 2812 (Precinct 0708)

  • Approve: 75.38%, 245 votes
  • Reject: 24.62%, 80 votes

RI NATIONAL GUARD BUILDING - SCHOFIELD ARMORY (Precinct 0711)

  • Approve: 77.51%, 393 votes
  • Reject: 22.49%, 114 votes

PETER T. PASTORE, JR. YOUTH CENTER (Precinct 0721)

  • Approve: 80.69%, 117 votes
  • Reject: 19.31%, 28 votes

CRANSTON HIGH SCHOOL EAST - GYM (Precinct 0724)

  • Approve: 76.31%, 306 votes
  • Reject: 23.69%, 95 votes

SCOTTISH RITE MASONIC LODGE (Precinct 0725)

  • Approve: 85.54%, 420 votes
  • Reject: 14.46%, 71

SOURCE: RI Board of Elections

This story was originally posted by Warwick Beacon. Click here to view the original story in its entirety.