Fewer school referendums in November

  • Article by: KIM MCGUIRE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 11, 2012 - 7:56 PM

Most western districts won't call on voters for more money.

Only a handful of west metro districts will feature school board races in November, and even fewer are poised to ask voters for more money.

The slowdown comes a year after a record number of Minnesota school districts asked taxpayers to help fund everything from technology upgrades to cost-of-living adjustments for existing operations.

This year, however, only 30 districts in the state so far have announced plans for referendums, according to the Minnesota School Boards Association.

In the west metro, those schools include Osseo and Richfield. The Eastern Carver County School District is contemplating holding a referendum but has not decided yet.

"There were so many [referenda] last year, it makes sense that we would see significantly fewer this year," said Greg Abbott, spokesman for the association. "You just don't repeat that."

While most Minnesota schools are on an even-year election cycle, many in the west metro won't be featuring school board races this year.

Still, a few area schools -- Waconia, Osseo and Robbinsdale among them -- are holding contests to fill expiring school board terms. Candidates have until Tuesday to file the necessary paperwork to run for office.

Some of the local school elections include:

Waconia: Three board members -- Cathy Thom, Don Johnson and Teresa Kittridge -- have terms slated to expire in December. As of Thursday, Thom had filed paperwork to run again.

Robbinsdale: Three board members -- Helen Bassett, Sherry Tyrrell and Barb Van Heel -- have terms set to expire by the end of the year. So far, Tyrell and Bassett are planning to run again. As of Tuesday, other candidates who have filed to run include Ron Stoffel, John Vento and Andrea J. Bejarano-Robinson.

Watertown-Mayer: Four board members -- John McCain, Chad Koehler, Jennifer Hoover and Steve Burns -- have terms set to expire. As of Thursday, Koehler was seeking re-election.

Eastern Carver County: Three board members have terms that are expiring: Jim Leone, Heather Nelson and Dick Tirk. Tirk has announced plans to retire from the board. The board is also considering holding a referendum to renew an existing operating levy -- possibly with a cost-of-living adjustment -- and a technology levy. Members are slated to discuss the issue on Thursday.

Osseo: Three terms belonging to Dean Henke, Kim Green and Laura Cottington are set to expire. So far, Henke has filed for re-election. Voters will be asked to approve a five-year operating levy and a 10-year technology levy.

Richfield: School board members meet Monday to discuss finalizing ballot language for a referendum. Voters will be asked to renew an existing operating levy for 10 years and consider a cost-of-living adjustment.

Kim McGuire • 612-673-4469

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