School board election results tallied
Counting votes by hand took a little longer Tuesday night in Fairfield Community School District’s board election, but it was necessary because of write-in votes throughout the district.
The unofficial results show clear winners.
Out of the field of seven candidates known to The Ledger, Jennifer Anderson, the only name on the ballot and an incumbent, received the most votes with 688; Joe Carr received the second highest with 598 votes; and Kate Van Pelt rounds out the top three with 391 votes. Steve Burgmeier was 87 votes behind, with 305 votes.
Carr and Van Pelt, two of six write-in candidates to advise The Ledger of their willingness to run and serve on the Fairfield school board, will each fill a four-year term, as will Anderson.
The election will be official after the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors canvass the votes in an open meeting at 9 a.m. Friday in the courthouse.
“I’m appreciative of the people who voted for me,” said Carr. “I look forward to having a good working relationship with other board members.
“I’m encouraged that Jennifer got a high proportion of the votes. I will try to be a fair board member,” said Carr.
Van Pelt said she looks forward to working with the other school board members and school district personnel.
“I want to say thank you to the voters,” she said. “I’m honored to serve the community in this way.”
Fairfield school board’s reorganization meeting to swear-in new board members is at 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Administrative/Curriculum/Technology Center.
Poll workers at each voting site in Jefferson County manned the polls from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, then counted the ballots at each site and hand-carried the results to the Jefferson County Auditors Office at the courthouse.
Ballots from Lockridge and a final tally arrived a little after 9:30 p.m., and shortly after, Fairfield’s votes were all counted.
Poll workers at the Jefferson County Courthouse, Doris Eklund, Joan Salts, Jim Salts and Ray Woody, counted the ballots Tuesday night in the second floor courtroom. The two women worked together on a pile of ballots and the two men worked together on a separate pile. One person read aloud the name of the vote getter and the other person tallied with pen and paper. It was a time consuming process because other than Anderson’s name on the ballot, the write-in names were written in any order on the ballots, making the tallying slower.
For Anderson to receive a vote, the oval in front of her name had to be filled-in. Write-in candidates did not need the oval filled in but it was OK if voters filled it.
A poll worker from Lockridge said they had to recount the ballots after realizing some voters chose four candidates instead of three. If a ballot had the oval marked for Anderson plus three write-in candidates, the complete ballot was discarded.
Van Buren Schools
The Van Buren Community School District had five school board positions out of seven up for election this year and two ballot measures for voters to decide.
The votes are unofficial until canvassed by the Van Buren County Board of Supervisors Friday.
Proposition A was approved with 384 yes votes to 263 no votes. It will continue the physical plant and equipment property levy, not to exceed 67 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation of taxable property within the school district, beginning with the levy for collection in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, for 10 years. PEPL is a school tax used for making facility improvements in districts. The funds can be used for repairs, energy efficiency, technology, bus maintenance and any way to improve physical facilities.
PEPL funds cannot be used for teacher salaries, curriculum, food or other expenses not related to the physical plant of the district.
Proposition B also was approved, with 391 yes votes, to 239 no votes. This allows the school board the authority to use PEPL funds, the one-cent sales tax, the services and use tax for schools, for a list of purposes outlined on the ballot, mostly to improve facilities. The school district will adopt a new revenue purpose statement to replace the district’s current statement.
Van Buren school district elects five board members by district and two members at-large.
In District 1, one school board seat was available. Challenger Richard Plowman defeated incumbent Terry Jester. Jester had 265 votes to Plowman’s 365.
In District 2, with one seat available and one name on the ballot, Cindy Lowe, won easily with 463 votes; there were 83 write-in votes for Doug Dick.
District 3 also had one seat available and one candidate on the ballot, incumbent Bob Steingreaber, who garnered 517 votes.
District 5 had one seat available with a contest between incumbent Kirt Horn, who received 251 votes, and Andrew Lydolph, who was elected with 327 votes.
One at-large position was available with a contest between incumbent Sheila Parsons, who won with 345 votes and challenger Tim Roush, who received 273 votes.
Pekin and Cardinal schools
Pekin Community School District had three of its seven-member board positions on the ballot.
Incumbent Mark Wittrock was unopposed and received 259 votes, to serve in District 3, which also had six write-in votes.
In District 5, Jared Greiner received 170 votes, beating out Dustin Coleman with 132 votes.
In the district-at-large contest, Heidi Baker had 138 votes; Mike Telfer, 91 and Lynn Winn, 83.
Cardinal school board incumbents Mike Kayser and Todd Hart were re-elected to two seats open on the board.