Portland school bond: Hard-earned lessons in Portland’s bond nail-biter

Susan Nielsen:

Portland isn’t the kind of city to have nail-biting elections over school taxes. Levies “coast to victory” in the news headlines here. A special income tax will “pass easily by wide margins,” even during an economic downturn.
Bonds pass, too — until this week, when Portland voters narrowly rejected a $548 million capital bond and upended conventional wisdom about their loyalties and limits. This man-bites-dog result provides some invaluable lessons for the district and its campaign team as they regroup for the next bond effort.
Starting with this lesson: Never take voters for granted. Listen to what they’re saying now — not what they’ve said in the past.