Voters reject courthouse remodel

A proposal to renovate the Allen County Courthouse because of security issues failed with 76% of voters opposed. The other bond issue on the ballot, for renovations at the Crest school district, passed comfortably. City council and school board races also were decided.



November 8, 2023 - 2:47 PM

Election workers, from left, Dana Dawn, Kim Knavel, Crickett Maley (foreground) and Darcy Burton examine write-in ballots Tuesday evening at the Allen County Courthouse. Photo by Tim Stauffer / Iola Register

Allen County voters overwhelmingly rejected Tuesday a proposed $9.95 million bond issue to renovate the Allen County Courthouse. Of 2,510 advance and election ballots counted, 1,897, or 76%, were against the measure.

Such huge margins represent a stinging defeat for the plan’s proponents, which included District Judge Dan Creitz and Allen County Sheriff Bryan Murphy, who attempted to convince voters the renovations were needed to improve security at the courthouse. Reached Wednesday morning, Creitz offered a sobering assessment.

“I respect the vote. I’m disappointed, of course. But the people spoke, and I respect that. We’ll regroup and maybe come up with another plan,” said Creitz. “In the meantime, we’ll continue to serve. The problems this bond issue attempted to fix won’t go away. But we’ll do the best we can with what we have. We always do.”