Baird v. Independent School Dist. No. 3 of Woodward County

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Baird v. Independent School Dist. No. 3 of Woodward County
1981 OK 1
622 P.2d 1072
Case Number: 54898
Decided: 01/13/1981
Supreme Court of Oklahoma

ROBERT BAIRD, APPELLANT,
v.
INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 3 OF WOODWARD COUNTY, OKLAHOMA; CECIL GUTHRIE, EUGENE WANGER, JOHN BRUCE, GERALD COOPER AND LEO HOOPER, MEMBERS; MARY G. NORTHRUP, SECRETARY, WOODWARD COUNTY ELECTION BOARD; HAROLD GARDNER, CHAIRMAN, WOODWARD COUNTY ELECTION BOARD AND RESSEL ADAMS, VICE-CHAIRMAN, WOODWARD COUNTY ELECTION BOARD, APPELLEES.

Appeal from the District Court, Woodward County; Joe Young, Judge.

¶0 Suit to enjoin an election authorizing a bond issue for construction of new elementary and high school buildings. Trial court denied injunctive relief and rendered declaratory judgment for the school board.

AFFIRMED.

Jones & Gungoll by Stephen Jones and James Craig Dodd, Enid, for appellant.

Jack M. Annis and John F. Reichenberger, Woodward, for appellees.

OPALA, Justice:

[622 P.2d 1073]

¶1 The dispositive issue raised by this appeal is: Was the school bond election held in contravention of statutory law that prohibits resubmission of the "same proposition" within four months? We answer the question in the negative and affirm the trial court's refusal to enjoin the election.

¶2 The Board of Education [Board] of Independent School District No. 3 (also known as the Sharon-Mutual School District) held a bond issue election, pursuant to 70 O.S. 1971 § 15-101 , to authorize an indebtedness for the construction of two new buildings at the existing school site in Mutual, Oklahoma. In this election, at which but a single proposition stood submitted for voter approval, the issue was defeated.

¶5 The Board asserts the second proposition differs significantly from that submitted at the former election. Some of the differences called to our attention are: (a) at the second election three propositions, separately to be voted upon, stood submitted for voter approval, while at the former there was only one; (b) the cost items for each of the propositions, when considered individually, are substantially different; (c) the second bond issue proposal includes construction at two separate locations while the former at one only and (d) construction of three buildings is contemplated by the second proposal, while two were sought to be authorized previously.

¶6 A factual situation similar to that in this case presented itself in Hawley v. Snider,

¶7 We are here without the benefit of Oklahoma case law construing "same proposition" interdiction of § 15-102. In popular and common parlance, the term "same" means "being one without addition, change, or discontinuance", "of like nature or identity" and "having one nature or individuality".

¶8 As originally enacted, § 15-102 did not provide a restriction on submission of successive bond proposals.

¶10 We are therefore of the opinion and hold that the multiple-proposition election under review did not offend the § 15-102 prohibition against voter harassment by resubmission of identical proposals.

¶11 Affirmed.

¶12 IRWIN, C.J., BARNES, V.C.J., and WILLIAMS and SIMS, JJ., concur.

¶13 HODGES, LAVENDER, DOOLIN and HARGRAVE, JJ., dissent.

Footnotes:

1 The single proposition submitted at the December 18, 1979 election was:

"Shall Independent School District No. 3 of Woodward County, Oklahoma, incur indebtedness by issuing its negotiable coupon bonds in the sum of Seven Hundred Thousand ($700,000.00) Dollars, to provide funds for the purpose of constructing, repairing, remodeling, and equipping school buildings, acquiring school furniture, fixtures and equipment and improving school sites. . .? * * * [T]he dollar amounts to be expended on each specific project [are]: Constructing a gymnasium on the existing school site of Mutual . . . $315,000.00. . . Constructing a new high school building on the existing school site at Mutual. . . $175,000.00".

2 The three propositions to be submitted at the February 19, 1980 election are:

Proposition No. 1: "Shall Independent School District No. 3, of Woodward County, Oklahoma, incur an indebtedness by issuing its negotiable coupon bonds in the sum of Fifty Thousand ($50,000.00) Dollars, to provide funds for the purpose of constructing, a two classroom addition to the existing elementary school at Sharon, Oklahoma, purchasing school furniture and fixtures and improving said school site. . .?"

Proposition No. 2: "Shall Independent School District No. 3 of Woodward County, Oklahoma, incur an indebtedness by issuing its negotiable coupon bonds in the sum of Two Hundred Eighty Thousand ($280,000.00) Dollars, to provide funds for the purpose of constructing and equipping a new high school building on the existing school site at Mutual, Oklahoma, purchasing school furniture and fixtures and improving said school site. . .?"

Proposition No. 3: "Shall Independent School District No. 3 of Woodward County, Oklahoma, incur an indebtedness by issuing its negotiable coupon bonds in the sum of Three Hundred Ninety Thousand ($390,000.00) Dollars, to provide funds for the purpose of constructing and equipping a gymnasium on the existing school site at Mutual, Oklahoma, purchasing school furniture and fixtures and improving said school site. . .?"

3 The terms of 70 O.S. 1971 § 15-102 provide in pertinent part:

"* * * . . . provided, that no election shall be called on the same proposition within four (4) months after such proposition has been defeated at an election by the school district electors. * * *"

4 This court will take judicial cognizance of those facts occurring subsequent to the appeal which bear directly on its power to review the question sought to be presented. City of Tulsa v. Chamblee, 188 Okl. 94, 95, 106 P.2d 796, 797 [1940].

5 346 Mich. 181, 77 N.W.2d 754 [Mich. 1956].

6 Webster's Third International Dictionary, Third Edition, Unabridged, at 2007 [1961].

7 Black's Law Dictionary, Fourth Edition, at 1507 [1951].

8 Okl.Sess.L. 1913, c. 219, art. 6, § 20 .

9 Okl.Sess.L. 1971, c. 110, § 1.

10 Godwin Heights Public Schools v. Board of Supervisors, 363 Mich. 337, 340, 109 N.W.2d 771, 774 [Mich. 1961]; Groh v. City of Battle Creek, 368 Mich. 653, 118 N.W.2d 829 [Mich. 1962].