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Waupun Area Operations Referendum (2009)

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The Waupun Area Operations Referendum was one of three school bonds brought to the February 17 ballot in the Waupun School District, which is in both Fond du Lac County and Dodge County. Each of the measures was defeated.

The three referenda were proposed after the district failed to pass a referenda in 2008 for $10 million. (See Waupun Exceed Revenue Limits (2008).) Read about the other two in 2009 here: Waupun Area Materials Referendum (2009) and Waupun Area Maintenance Referendum (2009).

The Operations Referendum sought to exceed state-set revenue limits by $4,000,000 over three years and to use those funds to pay for basic operational costs.

Annual breakdown:
09-10: $800,000
10-11: $1,200,000
11-12: $2,000,000
Total: $4,000,000


This measure was defeated by the largest margin of the three on the ballot, with 1,516 "yes" votes and 2,214 "no" votes.[1] See the results for the other races here and here.

Tax impact

The tax rate would increase by 1.1 percent in 2009-10, 1.19 percent in 2010-11 and 1.81 percent in 2011-12[2] for a total estimated tax impact of $410 over three years on a $100,000 property if all three of the measures pass.[3]

Wording of referendum

"Be it resolved by the School Board of the Waupun Area School District, Dodge and Fond du Lac Counties, Wisconsin, that the revenues included in the School District budget be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, for three years (by $800,000 in 2009-2010; $1,200,000 in 2010-2011; and $2,000,000 in 2011-2012) for the non-recurring purposes consisting of ongoing operational expenses."[1]


Bill Bruins, Andy Derksen and Andy Glewen have organized a campaign called Yes x 3 to support the passage of all three of the 2009 Waupun school referenda. The group is working to make sure district voters are all aware of the referenda, saying: "We need all three questions to pass, not just one or two. The largest portion of the referendum is what's going to keep our schools open."[4]


Some Fox Lake residents are opposed to the measures, saying that they have already made their wishes known twice before when the questions were brought to the ballot. "Town of Fox Lake resident Tim Meekma, who challenged the School Board to withdraw the referendum, said the school district has gone to referendum so many times in the past that the effort has lost its credibility with voters."[5]

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