By Lauren Shortnacy
Administration, faculty and students gathered in the Whatley foyer Tuesday evening in anticipation of the outcome of the NTCC bond election. Although Prop 2, which authorized the issuance of $19.9 million in bonds, passed, disappointment quickly filled the room when the final results showed that Proposition 1 had failed. Without the passage of Prop 1, which would have lifted the 10-cent cap to repay the bond loans, the second proposition will be difficult to use.
In an email to employees at the end of the evening, NTCC President Dr. Brad Johnson called the election results “both gratifying and disappointing.”
“Gratifying because we had tremendous support from across our entire region in this project and we gained approval to issue the bonds necessary for campus renovation,” Johnson said.
The evening started out rocky when results from early voting were not what supporters of the bond were hoping for. For Proposition 1, Camp County early voting was at 46 percent for the bond, Morris County at 47.8 percent and Titus County at 51.2 percent. On Proposition 2, Camp County early voting ended with 44.7 percent, Morris County 51.6 percent and Titus County at 53.6 percent. In order for the bond to pass, Proposition 1 & 2 must have more than 50 percent of the vote, and if only one proposition passes, both proposals would become null and void.
“Even if that means one is 50.0001 percent, we still will have the win,” Johnson said.
During the wait for the Election Day results, NTCC’s Public Relations Officer for Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Mu Chi, Christopher Hamilton and History Professor and PTK Advisor Melissa Weinbrenner presented NTCC student Ricardo Ortiz with a free laptop.
Ortiz was the winner of the laptop from a contest held by PTK for early voting.
“PTK felt it was important to give the students an incentive to get them to the polls,” Hamilton said. “Voting is a civic duty, but it is often difficult to engage students who may not see an immediate result.”
When the early election results came in, Hamilton expressed why the passing of the bond was crucial and what the community needed to realize about the college.
“This issue is important because of the fact that it brings primary dollars into the community,” Hamilton said. “The college is a significant contributor to the local economy.”
After the Camp County Election Day results, Proposition 1 was down 49.3 percent leaving the overall result for Proposition 1 at 49.2 percent. Proposition 2 passed with a 51.6 percent leaving the overall 51 percent evenly.
“Anybody want to start making a pool?” Johnson chuckled after the Camp County results were posted.
Johnson gave a small speech after the results from Titus County explaining that the fact Proposition 2 passing showed that the community recognized that the college needed the funds. However, the speculation among some was that Proposition 1 was complicated and voters did not understand the proposal.
Johnson said the board would discuss the results and what could be done at the upcoming Nov. 12 meeting.
“By then we will have some different ideas from brainstorming and we will hit the ground running again in May,” Johnson said.
In his email Johnson wrote, “What does this mean? It means on a six-month delay. I am confident a proposition to address the tax cap will be back on the ballot in May. The exact nature of that proposition will be decided by our board soon. But we took an important step forward tonight-we must finish the task at the next election. There is no “Plan B.”