School bonds unpopular in March primary 


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The statewide primary election last week turned out to be a complete washout for school bonds. 

Although results of the March 3 election are still unofficial, not only did the Williams Unified School District’s bond proposal fail, but Proposition 13 and Yuba Community College’s bond measure as well. 

For the first time in decades, California voters rejected the proposed $15 billion bond measure that was on the ballot as Proposition 13 to help pay for school construction and maintenance around the state. 

Colusa County voters rejected the measure by 73.12 percent with 3,409 opposed to the proposal and 1,253 in favor. 

Local voters also rejected Woodland (Yuba) Community College’s Measure C authorizing the district to issue and sell bonds of up to $228.4 million at an annual tax rate of $25 per $100,000 of assessed property values. Colusa County voters rejected the proposal by 68.35 percent with 3,112 opposed and 1,441 in favor of the property tax. Voters in Butte, Glenn, Lake, Placer, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties also overwhelmingly voted “no” to authorizing the bond. 

Finally, in Williams, voters who greatly supported an $11 million school bond in 2016, rejected a $19 million bond on March 3, but not by overwhelming numbers. 

The local bond failed by 54.24 percent, with 524 opposed to 442 in favor. School bonds require passage by 55 percent approval, so it is unknown if school officials will try for another bond in November for the 2018 midterm election when they have school board members on the ballot. 

In one of only two local contested races for a seat on the Board of Supervisors, political newcomer Daurice Kalfsbeek Smith garnered the highest level of support in District 2 with 34.46 percent of the vote. She will now move on to a November run-off against Dave Markss, a current Colusa councilman, with the winner of that race filling the seat to be vacated by retiring District 2 Supervisor John Loudon in December. 

Kalfsbeek Smith would have needed 50 percent plus one vote to clinch the position, typically very hard to do in a four-person race. Smith received 357 of the 1070 total votes cast by Colusa and Grimes voters to Markss’ 286 votes (27.61). 

Candidates Rob Moriconi, who ran for the position in 2016, was edged out of the race with 253 votes or 24.42 percent, followed by Laurie Okland Waters, received 140 votes or 13.51 percent.

In Colusa County’s only contested final, first term incumbent Supervisor Kent Boes, of Williams, was elected to retain his seat for four more years after facing a challenge by Jason McMullan.

Boes finished with 69.24 percent (556 votes) to McMullan’s 30.76 percent (247 votes). 

Boes was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in November 2016 in a run-off contest against longtime Supervisor Mark Marshall in the 2016 general election. He served as chairman in 2019. 

“I am deeply humbled by the overwhelming support I’ve received from the citizens of District 3 and Colusa County as a whole,” Boes said. “I am honored and completely overjoyed that they have chosen me to continue doing their work. I’m excited to continue working on current projects, as well as starting new ones in my upcoming term. I will work harder than I did during my previous term and continue to represent my constituents to the best of my ability.”

District 4 Supervisor Gary Evans also secured his seat in an uncontested race.  

Evans, Boes, and the winner of the November run-off between Kalfsbeek Smith and Markss, will be sworn in on Jan. 4, 2021. 

There were 4,799 total votes cast by Colusa County’s 9,098 registered voters in the March 3 primary (52.75 percent), up from 4,329 ballots cast of 8,019 registered voters in the 2016 primary election. 

In the Democratic primary race, Colusa County voters supported Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders by 37.69 percent (597 votes) over former Vice President Joe Biden, who garnered 25.51 percent (404 votes). Michael Bloomberg received 238 votes over Elizabeth Warren, who received 115 votes. 

Bloomberg and Warren have since dropped out of the presidential race. 

Colusa County Republicans voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump with 96.60 percent (2,359 votes) support over primary challengers Joe Walsh (28 votes), and Bill Weld (25 votes). 

There were a sprinkling of other votes cast for other presidential primary candidates in the Democratic, Republican, Green, and Libertarian parties. ■

Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker is the Editor and Reporter for the Pioneer Review. She started her position with the Pioneer Review in January 2017 as the Advertising Manager. Susan specializes in local crime, government reporting. She also loves covering the various topics and events in our county. You can send her a message at