Vote for A Better Plan


August 9th, 2022

What is a Primary Election?

A primary election determines which candidates will be on the ballot in the November general election. The School District will hold a Special Election for their bond referendum at the same time as the Primary Election on August 9th.

Find your polling place and learn more about what will be on your ballot by clicking on the Secretary of State website link below.



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MN State Primary Election Day

Early voting begins June 24th and ends August 8th. Vote by mail or in person.

The Demand a Better Plan 833 political committee is made up of parents from the City of Newport who have children enrolled in District 833. Despite the Facility Plan’s motto of “Building a Better Future”, the School District has neglected to meet the needs of this city by closing the only school in their community, Newport Elementary. The committee has identified concerns for the district as a whole, and they ask that you, the voter, consider the reasons WHY a better plan is needed.

“We know a better plan can be developed that will serve all communities at less cost. As we oppose the August 9th referendum, we will seek to have conversations about how we can better address our students’ needs in a fair and cost-effective manner. We hope you will join with us to vote NO on August 9th and DEMAND A BETTER PLAN.”

Marien Fernandez-Paris Borras, Becky Kermes, Mike Kermes, Nicole Kogler (Treasurer), Jennifer McDonough, and Marvin Taylor (Chair)

How to Support A Better Plan

In FIVE easy steps

Display a Yard Sign

Jaime is a volunteer with “Demand a Better Plan” on the North end of District 833. You can request a sign here, and Jaime will make sure you are added to the distribution list!

Share, Share, Share

SHARE A Better Plan at neighborhood gatherings, at community sporting events, on Social Media, and online.


The committee is spreading the word through flyers, signs, and social media. This all takes money. Since the political committee is working on a ballot question and not an individual person, it is not subject to contribution limits. Read Marvin Taylors request attached here which states, “Individuals (or businesses) can donate up to $500 without having their specific donation be publicly disclosed.”

The committee asks you to please make checks payable to “Demand a better plan 833” and mail your donation to …

  • Demand a Better Plan 833
  • P.O. Box 187
  • Newport, MN 55055

VOTE !!!

Plan a day to vote and invite your neighbor to go with you. Take a photo of your “I voted” sticker and share it on Social Media. Early voting begins June 24th! Vote EARLY or Vote ON THE DAY.

Sample Ballot Question

2022 Bond Referendum

The SoWashCo School District wants voters to approve the largest referendum in Minnesota State history on August 9th, 2022. If voters approve SoWashCo’s 10-year facility plan and the coinciding bond referendum, WILL THIS STRENGTHEN OUR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES, OR WILL IT WEAKEN THEM?

If the district is willing to gamble on outdated demographics projections from a 2019 pre-covid report using Fall 2018 data, then what else is the district gambling on with our tax dollars? After closing our oldest elementary schools with the most diverse student populations (ie. lNewport Elementary) and replacing them with 1000 seat elementary fortresses, what is the future of similar schools, like Woodbury, Pullman, and Armstrong Elementary? And finally, if High School overcapacity is where we see the greatest need for expansion, and the $462 million referendum addresses this need only in a temporary band-aid renovation, then doesn’t that make this referendum “Phase One” of a “Two Phase” process?

Please take a moment to learn more about the counter arguments and why voting NO will give our families, communities and kids the opportunity and time necessary for the district to DEVELOP A BETTER PLAN.

JAiME for SCHOOLS has covered 833’s Facility plan process since January 2022, when the district began facility plan discussions. Jaime is a volunteer for the political committee, “Demand a Better Plan 833”, however JAiME for SCHOOLS is a separate entity.

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Thank you, Jaime Kokaisel

Bond and Facility Blogs


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Q&A Largest Referendum in State History

PART 2 QUESTION ANSWER & COMMENT Ten audience members participate in discussion with Marvin. Senate District 47 Republicans Meeting from May 24th, 2022 Guest Speaker, City Council Member Marvin Taylor A TWO PART SERIES CLICK HERE for PART 1 – “Largest Referendum in State History” Marvin Taylor has lived in Newport nine years and was elected…

Largest Referendum in State History

PART 1 LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT WITH Marvin Taylor, from Newport’s City Council If voters approve SoWashCo’s 10-year facility plan and the coinciding bond referendum at the Special Election to be held August 9th, 2022, will this strengthen our families and communities, or will it weaken them? If the district is willing to gamble on…

Public Comment: April

SoWashCo School Board Meeting Video On April 21st, 2022 the School Board voted 6 to 1 to approve the $462 million Facility Plan, which will close Newport Elementary School. I think Public Comment is the most revealing part of a School Board Meeting. Policy might appear perfect written on a page and graphed out in…

Building on Optimism: QUILT OF QUOTES

PART 2 Meet some of the teachers, parents and business owners of NEWPORT Author, Jaime Kokaisel published, April 21st, 2022 A TWO PART SERIES CLICK HERE for PART 1 – “Building on Optimism: FACILITIES” Sara Bonine has been a Teacher at Newport Elementary for 17 years with a child who attends there as well. Small…

Building on Optimism: FACILITIES

The plan is large. The plan is expensive. The plan meets district goals. It is about “Building Our Future” says the headline. “Community. Growth. Student Success.” For everyone, you ask? Yes, for everyone … except for students currently attending Newport Elementary and 3,800 residents living in the City of Newport. For them, the plan represents…

To the Voters of South Washington County, Thank you for being involved, keeping informed and doing your part! Whether you vote “Yes” or “No” on the Bond Referendum in August, I respect your voice and involvement in the process.

by JAiME for SCHOOLS June 22nd, 2022

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