UPDATE: Mixed results for Mason County levies
2022 GENERAL ELECTION
November 10, 2022
WEB UPDATE: There were no lead or significant margin changes among the three levies in the county, nor the PUD 3 race after Wednesday’s second ballot count.
Mixed results for Mason County levies
In the initial election ballot count Tuesday evening, the Southside School District’s replacement levy was passing, as was Mason County Fire Protection District 17’s, but Mason County Fire Protection District 16’s levy was failing, and 936 votes separated the candidates seeking a six-year term on the PUD 3 Commission.
The results of the second ballot count were scheduled to be released at 5 p.m. Wednesday, after the Journal had gone to press.
In the contest for a seat on the Mason County Public Utility District Commission representing District 1, Juli Tuson had 8,539 votes for 52.48%, and Randy Lewis had 7,608 votes for 46.72%.
The Southside School District’s replacement levy on the first ballot count was passing with 441 “yes” votes for 57.57%, and 325 “no” votes for 42.43%. The measure needs a simple majority to pass.
The district, which has about 200 students in kindergarten through the seventh grade, asked for the replacement of an expiring Educational Programs and Operations levy that would collect $1.97 per $1,000 assessed property value in 2023 through 2026. That levy would collect $641,803 in 2023, $673,894 in 2024, $707,588 in 2025 and $742,968 in 2026.
The district reports that the current levy represents 17% of the operating budget for the 2021-22 school year, and it will expire at the end of the year if it is renewed on the Nov. 8 ballot. If the levy fails, the district will have no local taxes by the end of 2023, and 17% of the school’s educational programs, operations and staffing would be eliminated.
“Southside students, staff and families are grateful to our community for voting to keep Southside’s 123-year heritage alive as an independent public school district,” Superintendent Paul Wieneke wrote in an email to the Journal. “The state does not fully fund all the operational needs of rural schools, so sustaining local contributions is critical. Today, our voters have once again assured that they support their local community school.”
Mason County Fire Protection District 16’s levy in the initial count was failing, with 562 people voting “no” for 54.30%, and 473 people voting “yes” with 45.70%.
Mason County Fire Protection District 17’s levy was passing overwhelmingly, with 196 “yes” votes for 72.59% and 74 “no” votes for 27.41%.