Preliminary results are in for the February special election as two school levies in North Clark County districts have leads geared toward approval, while a levy and bond are trailing behind in numbers
As of the Feb. 10 count, replacement levies for the Green Mountain and Hockinson school districts had the majority of voters in favor of the measures.
The Green Mountain School levy, projected to be $1.99 per $1,000 of assessed value on properties, garnered 151 votes, or about 60.9% in favor, while 97 people voted against it. The replacement levy would be slightly higher than the current $1.90 per $1,000 levy set to expire at the end of the year.
The Hockinson School District levy had a slimmer lead percentage-wise as of the latest count on Feb. 10, with 1,703 votes, or 53% in favor, and 1,060 ballots in opposition. Hockinson’s replacement levy is expected to cost $1.89 per $1,000 of assessed value, or 39 cents more than the current $1.50 per $1,000 levy that is set to expire.
In a news release, Hockinson School Board President Patrick Carter said the district will continue to be good stewards with the voter-approved funds.
“We have been working hard to keep rates as low as possible to minimize the burden on our local taxpayers, while still providing funding for essential programs and services,” Carter stated.
Hockinson superintendent Steve Marshall said “in spite of the challenges of the past two years, it shows how much the Hockinson community values and supports its students and schools.”
While two district levies have been approved, La Center School District’s replacement levy was trailing in the preliminary results. In the Feb. 10 count, the levy had 1,317 votes, or about 47.2% in support of the measure, and 1,472 in opposition. The replacement levy would have cost taxpayers about the same as the current $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value of the measure set to expire.
La Center Superintendent Peter Rosenkranz thanked the voters in the district who cast ballots on the measure. Rosenkranz said the district had about 10% more voters than the county turnout as a whole.
“We asked them to vote. Regardless of the answer, the voters have spoken,” Rosenkranz said.
If the school board decides not to run another levy measure this year, the superintendent estimated the absence of the levy would amount to $1.9 million less in funding for the 2022-2023 school year.
“We can run another levy, but one of the biggest things we’ve heard is folks are feeling overtaxed,” Rosenkranz said. “Between inflation and everything else going on … they’re saying ‘enough is enough.’”
“That’s some tough conversations we’re going to have with the school, staff and parents,” Rosenkranz said.
All of the levy measures on the ballot were set to replace levies which make up between 10-15% of each district’s operating budget.
Ridgefield School District’s roughly $62.6 million construction bond saw the majority of voters in support, but numbers landed below the required 60% approval as of the latest count of ballots. On Feb. 10, the measure had 4,643 votes, or about 57.4% in favor, while 3,447 people voted against the measure. If approved, the bond is projected to cost district property owners 25 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The bond would fund construction of a new middle school and an expansion at Ridgefield High School.
“Naturally I’m disappointed,” Ridgefield Superintendent Nathan McCann said.
The result wasn’t surprising, however, with the district, and society as a whole, facing numerous issues, McCann said.
“It’s a tough time right now,” he said. “That makes getting 60% on anything a real challenge.”
The superintendent said the school board may decide to run another bond measure this year.
“The fact remains that we desperately need this third elementary school,” McCann said.
Clark County Elections estimates there are only about 400 ballots left to be counted. Based on the 51,641 ballots already counted, the election — which also includes ballot measures in Vancouver and the Evergreen School District — has seen a 29.5% voter turnout in the county.
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Monday, February 14, 2022 Report this