By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
Voters on Tuesday approved two levies to support Havre Public Schools, while incumbent Kathie Newell and newcomer Norman Proctor won three-year terms on the school board.
Voters in other school districts in north-central Montana also approved the requests for higher taxes to support public education.
When the ballots were tallied in Havre late Tuesday, 65 percent of voters had approved tax hikes for both Elementary District 16 and High School District A. District officials had asked voters to help the district cope with increasing energy costs, the rising cost of textbooks, general building maintenance, and teacher recruitment and retention.
Voters approved a 3.22-mill increase - about $47,202 - for the elementary district, and a 6.32-mill increase - about $107,202 - for the high school district.
"We appreciate that people are willing to support us with their tax dollars," said HPS Superintendent Kirk Miller Tuesday night. "I believe this election is an endorsement of the trust they have in the district."
Miller said he was pleased at the turnout at the polls. About 23 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, compared with between 12 percent and 16 percent in the last few school elections, Miller said.
Newell received 833 votes and Proctor had 532, according to unofficial returns. The losing candidates were Michael Ley with 460, and Bonnie Benson with 403.
"I'm very pleased. I wasn't sure what to expect with four of us running," Newell said. "I think it's great that there was that much interest in the trustee position, and appreciate everyone who ran."
Newell said she was thrilled at the level of support the two levies received from voters.
"It's a great indication of the support this community continues to give education," she said.
Here are results of other area elections:
In the Rocky Boy school district, Thelma Stanley and Larry Morsette Jr. won three-year terms on the school board, with 80 votes and 36 votes, respectively, beating candidate Matthew "Matt" L. Denny Sr., who received 22 votes.
incumbent Ernest Friede, who was unopposed, had already been declared the winner by acclamation .
In Chester, Brett Earl with 253 votes and incumbent Dave Wicks with 247 votes won the two available seats on the school board. Incumbent Patty Markuson, who had 234 votes, was not re-elected, according to unofficial returns. Voters approved two levies of 4.21 mills, each raising about $20,000. The levy for operation and maintenance costs passed 304-109, while the building reserve levy passed 313-104.
In Kremlin-Gildford Public Schools, voters approved a 6.75-mill levy to raise $25,418 for the elementary district and an 11.80-mill levy to raise $48,732 for the high school district. Incumbent school board member Dave Stevenson was unopposed and declared winner by acclamation last month.
Unofficial election results for Blue Sky Public Schools show that two levies - a $38,034 general fund levy and a $28,767 technology fund levy - were approved by votes of 115-8 and 111-12, respectively. School board incumbents Lyle Petersen and Terry Hybner were declared winners by acclamation last month.
In Joplin-Inverness Public Schools, a $257,582 general fund levy was approved by voters 157- 89, according to unofficial election results. School board candidates Craig Henke and Ronald Tempel won three-year seats, while Dale Pimley won a two-year term. The three candidates ran unopposed.
In Turner Public Schools, unopposed school board candidates Tim Conlan and Kurtis Welsh each won a three-year term. Voters also approved the transfer of a bus depreciation fund to the district's general operating budget by a vote of 44- 4.
In Chinook, Richard L. Stuker and Scott McIntosh won three-year terms on the school board, defeating Carla Neibauer and Vanessa Surber. Voters also approved a 2.68-mill levy to raise $20,481 for the high school district by a vote of 336-94.
In Bear Paw Elementary District 67, incumbent Blanche Kellam was re-elected. She was unopposed.
In Davey Elementary District 12, Lisa Overlie was elected to a three-year seat. She was unopposed. The 12 people who cast ballots in the election voted unanimously to approve a $20,625 levy for the district's general operating budget.
In Big Sandy, residents voted 149-25 to approve a 7-mill levy to raise $35,664 levy for the elementary district, and voted 164-35 in favor of an 11-mill levy to raise $64,196 for the high school district. Incumbent school board members Randy Williams and Gordon Moes were unopposed and declared winners by acclamation last month.
In Harlem, incumbent Charles Kulbeck was re-elected to a three-year term. He defeated Raymond Gone and Dianna Longknife Main.
In Hays-Lodge Pole District 50, incumbent school board members Arlene Gardipee and Gerald Martin lost their re-election bids. Newcomers Tescha Hawley and Brian Wing were elected from a field of seven candidates, including John F. Doney, Brenda Essert and Lois Kaye Morin.