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Incumbents win in Western Placer Unified School District board race

Measure H school bond fails
By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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All three incumbents running for re-election to the Western Placer Unified School District board of trustees won Tuesday night, according to Placer County Elections Office final results.

In other school district news, Measure H, a Western Placer Unified School District school bond measure, failed. Measure H finished with 8,987 no votes (60.23 percent) and 5,935 yes votes (39.77 percent). The $60-million measure needed 55 percent of the vote to pass. Measure H was behind from the initial early results.

In Area Two, Brian Haley beat challenger Wanda Hedrick 6,469 votes to 5,586 votes. Haley captured 53.53 percent of the vote to Hedrick’s 46.23 percent.

In Area Three, incumbents Damian Armitage and Kris Wyatt held off challenger Joe Uptain-Villa. Wyatt finished with 6,978 votes, Armitage with 6,666 and Uptain-Villa with 4,759 votes.

Haley was “very glad” to be re-elected.

“I enjoy being on the board and I believe in our schools, students and staff,” Haley said Wednesday. “I’m sorry we didn’t get the bond passed but I understand voter fatigue with the last two bond measures passed recently.”

Hedrick was “a little disappointed” in losing to Haley and would consider running again.

“I ran because I heard people wanted change,” Hedrick said. “I came up a little short.”

Hedrick was not disappointed that the school bond failed.

“I don’t think the money already allocated is being used properly,” Hedrick said. “There are no matching funds yet from the state for the schools they’ve already started building.”

Armitage wanted to thank everyone who voted for him.

“It’s an honor to represent and serve the families of Western Placer,” Armitage said. “We still have a lot of work to do, finishing the schools we’ve started building and continue to work on the safety of the students.”

Uptain-Villa said the school board campaign “was quite an adventure and I got farther than I thought I would.”

“I will continue to advocate for transparency and what’s best for the students,” Uptain-Villa said. “I will continue to attend board meetings and be active. A lot goes on at those meetings and it is important people show up.”

Wyatt was “honored people trust we’ve done a good job for the betterment of the district and students.”

“I’m sad about Measure H but I kind of had a feeling it wouldn’t pass,” Wyatt said. “It is what it is. We have to re-focus, re-evaluate and move forward.”

School district Superintendent Scott Leaman was disappointed that Measure H did not pass.

“We do bonds uniquely in our district,” Leaman said Wednesday. “We put things on the ballot we think the district is in need of. We don’t campaign and don’t spend money. I think the people in Western Placer want to make sure it is extremely clear what funds will be used for.”

“Our voters will typically support bonds that are extremely focused,” Leaman added. “This bond was trying to satisfy three areas: safety, aquatics and athletics.”

The last two successful bonds were focused, Leaman said: Measure A in 2014 funded building a new high school and improvements to Lincoln High School and Measure N in 2016 funded building a new elementary school and improvements to Glen Edwards Middle School.