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Mount Hood Community College Bond Fails — Again

Mount Hood Community College at night in 2005.

Mount Hood Community College at night in 2005.

Holger Selover-Stephan/Flickr

School districts in Portland, Lake Oswego and Deschutes County are celebrating big wins for bond measures in Tuesday’s election, but Mount Hood Community College was handed its sixth bond defeat since 1974. 

Voters rejected a $75 million bond that would have gone toward improving school infrastructure, repairing aging buildings and constructing a new technology center.

Returns show the measure lost by 55 percent to 44.

“We have to keep tightening our belts, doing what we can with what we have, and scaling back programs while still providing the same quality instruction for the programs that remain,” said Michael Calcagno, who serves on the MHCC Board of Education. He said the school needed those funds to make necessary upgrades.

“Unless the business community or political leaders or the voter constituency in East Multnomah County and the Mount Hood district decide that they really want to see different outcomes, we’re sort of stuck in neutral and that’s not a good feeling,” he said.

Voters in the district also overwhelmingly agreed to oust Mount Hood board member George Sonny Yellott. Opponent Annette Mattson won with an overwhelming 79 percent of the vote.

Yellott made inflammatory comments about immigrants at board meetings last summer and posted racist images to social media, including a post of President Barack Obama with a noose hanging around his neck.

“I’m going to work hard to make that connection and rebuild that trust,” said Mattson, who lives and will represent East Portland on the school board.

The Mount Hood Community College voting district spans three counties: Hood River, Clackamas and parts of Multnomah County.

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