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Compromise Would Put Two School Renovation Questions on Portland Ballot

A compromise is in the works that could end weeks of pitched battle in Portland over the scope of a school bond to go before voters.

Mayor Ethan Strimling and city councilor Nick Mavodones announced a deal to give voters two choices: pay $64 million to fund renovations to four city elementary schools, or just $32 million to renovate two of them. Strimling says that without a compromise, the council might not have agreed to put any measure before the voters.

“For those of us who who have been advocating so hard for the $64 million ballot question, getting it on the ballot was the most important piece,” he says.

Some councilors argued that the city should wait to see how much money the state might kick in for renovations before asking voters for the full $64 million.

Under the compromise, which still has to be approved by the entire council, whichever question on the November ballot gets the most “yes” votes will win, as long as it’s more than 50 percent of the total votes cast.