Lake Bluff Pool Referendum Fails with Voters: 59% to 41%
Supporters of the pool's reconstruction to decide the best way to move forward.
Lake Bluff voters chose not to have their community pool rebuilt Tuesday. At least not as soon as some would have hoped.
The Lake Bluff Park District's proposed $10.7 million referendum, which focused on the reconstruction of the Lake Bluff Pool, and its bath house, failed in Tuesday's election with nearly 59 percent (1,580 votes) of voters casting ballots against the proposal. Approximately 41 percent (1,099 votes) voted in favor of the referendum, according to the Lake County Government election website.
"The Lake Bluff Park Board would like to thank the Park District Task Force members, the Yes Committee, and the countless residents who took the time to attend informational forums, ask questions, and learn the facts about challenges facing our community. The Board will assess the election results and determine the appropriate next steps to best address the needs of our community," said Park Board President Kurt Gronau in a written statement.
Supporters of the referendum stated their disappointment in Tuesday's results, but expressed hope that the park district and Lake Bluff residents would be able to come together in the near future with a plan for the pool that would be more acceptable to voters.
"I think it is unfortunate it didn't pass, but I think the 'no' vote camp raised a number of important issues that need to be addressed, and it's time to do that," said Hugh Jackson, who played a role in the campaign to pass the referendum passed. "I have to believe that the vote was not 'no' to the pool, but no to this proposal."
Neil Dahlmann, who campaigned against the referendum, agreed with this Jackson.
"If the referendum was a referendum to repair the pool, it may have been a different outcome," he said. "I might have been one of the people trying to get the referendum approved."
Exit polling showed that many of those who voted against the referendum did so because of the added $3.5 million in infrastructure improvements to other areas, such as the beach and village parks.
The Lake Bluff Pool will open for the 2011 summer season, but the future after that is uncertain.
"Staff will submit a budget based on the results and discussions will occur as to what services or programs might be impacted," said Gronau.
Resident Lynette Foss, who worked hard to help pass the referendum, said although she is disappointed the vote didn't go the way she had hoped, the issue of the Lake Bluff Pool is far from over.
"We missed opportunities for great low bond rates, and possibly the 2012 swim season," she said. "We look forward to coming to the park district with a recommendation for a ballot initiative that could actually pass."