Voters Look Ahead to Tuesday's IRSD Referendum - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Voters Look Ahead to Tuesday's IRSD Referendum

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SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. - One day before the Indian River School District's $7.35 million referendum, voters in the district are questioning whether or not they trust the district with their money.

Many voters told WBOC they wanted to support the Indian River School District students, but a recent audit  makes them wonder if the referendum would be well spent. The district says if approved, property owners in the district will pay about $95 more a year in property taxes, which will go to funding school security, technology, hiring teachers, and more.

The referendum was scheduled far before the state audit into the district's spending, the results of which were released on Thursday. In the audit, the report says "Not only did the district lack appropriate oversight and internal controls to prevent and detect financial improprieties, the blind faith placed in the CFO allowed him to create an environment ripe with intimidation tactics, favoritism, and nepotism."

Al Herman in Millsboro says that's enough for him to vote no on Tuesday's referendum. 

"If they can prove to me that their books are in balance and they're doing things properly, then I would be more than willing to help out," he said. "But until then, I don't think so." 

Samantha Moore from Long Neck disagrees, saying a vote against the referendum punishes people who had nothing to do with the district's financial processes.

"It's not the students' or the teachers' fault that the administration and the school board hired someone who misspent their money," she said. "It definitely needs to pass."

In a press conference Friday, Indian River School District Superintendent Susan Bunting noted that of the $700 million dollars spent during the investigation's five year period, only 0.02% were found to be questionable or unclear. Bunting says she hopes voters keep that in mind when they go to vote tomorrow.

"We will move forward with doing what we have been asked to do, but we don't think that miniscule amount of money is something that should be a detriment to our students' future," she said.

More information on who can vote and where to vote in the referendum is listed below, from the district's website: 

Voting on November 22 will be from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Residents of the Indian River School District who are U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age are eligible to vote at any one of the following polling places: East Millsboro Elementary School, Georgetown Elementary School, Indian River High School, Long Neck Elementary School, Lord Baltimore Elementary School and Selbyville Middle School. Proof of identification or residency is required at each polling place.

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