Thursday, March 17, 2016

Election included school referenda, board election, and consolidation

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The unofficial school referendum results in the March 15 Illinois general primary election indicate that five of 11 tax increase questions, nine of 18 bond propositions, and six of nine county sales tax proposals were approved by local voters.

Tax rate propositions were successful in Grand Prairie CCSD 6, Centralia; Lexington CUSD 7; Reavis THSD 220, Burbank; Roselle SD 12; and St. Libory CCSD 30. Voters rejected tax propositions in Liberty CUSD 2; Neoga CUSD 3; Peotone CUSD 207U; Pinckneyville CCSD 204; Streator ESD 44; and Taft SD 90, Lockport.

Building bond issues were approved by voters in Burbank SD 111 in Cook County ($27 million to replace Burbank Elementary School); Dongola CUSD 66 in Jefferson County ($400,000 to repair and equip two existing schools); Midland CUSD 7 in Marshall County ($9.8 million to acquire and improve a school site, and build and equip a new building); Morton CUSD 709 in Tazewell County ($10.5 million to make repairs and additions to three elementary schools and two junior high schools); and Winthrop Harbor SD 1 in Lake County ($6 million, to build and equip additions to one school). Most of the building bond issues were approved by wide margins, although one was approved by fewer than 100 votes.

Four of five working cash bond issues won approval, as well, including a second successful bond referendum in Dongola CUSD 66 in Jefferson County ($400,000); Homewood SD 153 in Cook County ($9 million); Iuka SD 7 in Marion County ($300,000); and Valmeyer CUSD 3 in Monroe County ($1.5 million).

Voters said no to bond issues in: Hinsdale CCSD 181 ($65 million); Galena Unit SD 120 ($15.7 million); Hillsboro CUSD 3 ($34.5 million); LaMoille CUSD 303 ($2 million to maintain a K-3 building); LaMoille CUSD 303 ($3.5 million to create a K-8 facility and build a gym addition); Metamora THSD 122 ($18.6 million for building improvements); Monticello CUSD 25 ($40.9 million to build a new high school and update two other buildings); Mt. Olive CUSD 5 ($795,000 for a working cash fund); North Shore SD 112, Highland Park ($198 million to renovate district buildings); and Valmeyer CUSD 3 ($1.5 million for a working cash fund).

Six of nine countywide sales tax increase proposals earmarked for school facility purposes were approved in Bond, Brown, Edwards, Hardin, Macoupin, and Monroe Counties. That included a 17-vote margin (591-574) in Brown County. However, voters rejected countywide sales tax referenda in Carroll County, DeWitt County, and Jefferson County.

A consolidation involving two districts in Riverdale “in order to eliminate duplicative administrative expenses” was approved by an overwhelming margin. It consolidates Gen. George S. Patton SD 133 into Dolton SD 148, meanwhile continuing the operation of Gen. George S. Patton School. The unofficial count was 1,955-1,062.

The lone school board election on the March 15 ballot saw two new members elected to the Peoria School District 150 Board of Education. Robert Davison Aviles, who ran unopposed, will represent the second district made up of East Bluff, West Bluff, and part of central Peoria. Dan Walther defeated Terry Spayer by earning 65 percent of the vote in the third district, which covers the northern portion of the school district. Walther will take the seat currently held by Rick Cloyd, board vice president.

The Peoria school board holds elections every year, with members serving five-year terms. Elections occurring in even-numbered years are held in March, while elections that take place in odd-numbered years are hosted in April.