Duluth ballot question protests school planby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Supporters of a ballot measure in Duluth say Tuesday's election is a chance to register a protest vote against the city's school district for its construction plan, but others say the vote will be confusing.
The $300 million plan, known as the Red Plan, calls for closing seven buildings and building four new ones to address future enrollment.
The group "Let Duluth Vote" protested the fact that the plan never went to a public vote. The group has its own question on the ballot tomorrow that asks whether a less-expensive "Plan B" should be implemented; however the vote is non-binding.
The group's Harry Welty said he doesn't expect the measure to pass.
"Since there's been little we could do to discourage the school board, to dissuade them from pushing this down our throats, we simply wanted to give the public a chance to let the school board know how we felt on it," Welty said.
Mimi Larson with another group called "Move Forward Duluth" thinks the non-binding vote will only confuse people.
"The schools are under construction; people are really happy about them, and I think people want to move on," Larson said. "There are other educational issues we now need to, as a district, look at."
Referendum supporters acknowledge the confusion, but say it's the only way to cast a protest vote.