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Regional School Elections: Bonds Pass, Incumbents Fail and a Bizarre Email from Sen. Chuck Winder


Once more, voters in select communities throughout Idaho went to the polls May 19, with the majority facing decisions on supplemental funding for their school districts—that, in the shadow of inadequate school funding from the Idaho Legislature (voters in Meridian and Melba decided on school bonds this past March).

In the majority of Tuesday's elections, most of the bonds and/or levies put before voters met with approval.

Notus voters had already turned down two previous bond attempts to help fund a $4.8 million replacement of a 90-year-old elementary school that is plagued by significant heating and water problems. On Tuesday, however, 71 percent of voters—more than the needed supermajority—voted in favor of a bond to fund a new elementary school.

School levies were also approved in the Emmett, Horseshoe Bend, Marsing, Parma and Payette school districts.

Tuesday night was not a particularly good night for school board incumbents. In Nampa, incumbent trustees Daren Coon and Jocabed Veloz were both ousted. The two were part of the group of trustees who were in charge during the Nampa district's budget crisis. Voters decided to approve two new trustees Mandy Simpson and Janelle Stauffer.

In the West Ada (Meridian) School District, incumbent trustee Anne Ritter lost to challenger Julie Madsen while incumbent Mike Vuittonet was successful in his re-election bid. 

In the McCall-Donnelly School District, incumbent trustee Jon Walker defeated challenger Jennifer Campbell.

Additionally, voters in Kuna voted against the creation of a new taxing recreation district, separate from the city of Kuna. Proponents had tried to convince enough voters to increase property taxes in order to build and operate an indoor aquatic and recreation center.

Voters in Meridian approved a supplemental levy to fund their cemetery maintenance fund with a five-year, $157,000 per year levy.

Voters in Middleton, meanwhile, overwhelmingly approved a temporary tax levy, totaling $670,599, to fund their rural fire district.

Finally, Idaho EdNews reports that a puzzling email went out this past week from Boise Republican Sen. and Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder encouraging voters to support a $104 million bond in the West Ada School District. The problem is that the vote took place in March, not on Tuesday. West Ada voters did decide on trustees, but Winder's communication didn't say anything about those races.

For Ada County election results click here.

For Canyon County results click here.