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Referendum Success in Hayfield, MN

On Monday, September 11, 2017, Hayfield Community School District passed a two-question bond referendum to improve its facilities with the assistance of Unesco’s referendum support team. After an intensive facility assessment identified $24M of high-priority projects, and the district’s award of $9.7M in interest-free Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs), the board unanimously voted to proceed with the special election referendum for the remaining $14.3M.

Prior to the decision to ask voters to support a two-question ballot, the school board, staff, community members, and administrative staff underwent a lengthy process to identify high-priority needs, considered numerous scenarios, and narrowed the list to “must-haves.” Question one ($9.9M) focused on repairing outdated infrastructure and reconfiguring elementary classrooms and media centers.  Question two ($4.3M) addressed safety and security and enhancing community spaces.

“What the referendum would provide for our students and community members is not “fluff.’ They are improvements that will enable our students to compete in a global market and keep the district and local economies strong,” stated school superintendent, Gregg Slaathaug.

Unesco provided referendum support and strategic leadership, guiding the district on key steps in the process, messaging, and framework to produce comprehensive referendum materials to educate and engage the community. Question one passed with 67%. Question two, contingent upon question one’s approval, passed with 57% voting yes.