A roundup of west metro school board races and school referendums

  • Article by: STAFF REPORTS
  • Updated: October 31, 2013 - 9:00 AM

Voters in several west metro cities will choose new school board members and weigh in on ballot questions on Nov. 5. Some of those races:

School board

Bloomington

Seven candidates are vying for four open four-year seats on the seven-member board. They are Lyle Abeln, Tom Bennett, Tim Culver, Arlene Bush, Ricardo Oliva, Dawn Steigauf and Jim Sorum. 

Eden Prairie

Three seats are open on the seven-member board. The candidates are Holly Link, Ranee Jacobus, Elaine Larabee, Tim Laurie and Murshid Barud. Jacobus is the board’s current chair.

Edina

 

There are four seats open on the Edina School Board. The candidates running for office are: Danielle Mitchell Busby, Gayle Castro, Leonel Dorvil, David Goldstein, Randy Meyer, Regina Neville,
Lisa O’ Brien, Mark Sparano, Vivien Talghader.

 

Hopkins

Vying for three open seats are Katie Fulkerson, Warren Goodroad, Heather Hansen, Gang Gary Jing, Michael Doobie Kurus, Betsy Scheurer Anderson and Tobias McKenna. McKenna announced after the deadline for withdrawing one’s name from the ballot that he is no longer campaigning. 

Minnetonka

Three of the board’s seven four-year seats are up for election. The four candidates are John Holcomb, Pam Langseth, Heidi Garcia and Deirdre Keller-Zucker. Holcomb and Langseth are incumbents.

 

Orono

The four candidates for three seats, each with a four-year term, are Sarah Borchers, Don Germanson, Bob Tunheim and Martha Van de Ven. The last two are incumbents.

 

Richfield

Seven candidates are running for three seats. They are Sandy Belkengren, John Easterwood, David Lamberger, Peter Toensing, Brenda Biever, Christine Maleck and Tim Pollis. Belkengren, Easterwood and Lamberger are incumbents.

 

St. Louis Park

Five candidates — Jim Beneke, Christine Johnson, Bruce Richardson, Karen Waters and Jim Yarosh — are vying for three seats open for four-year terms. Richardson and Yarosh are incumbents. Incumbent Ken Morrison is running for the open one two-year term seat.

Wayzata

Three of the district’s seven seats are up for election. The nine candidates are Andrea Cuene, Derek Diesen, Dan Haugen, Sarah Johansen, David A. Lloyd, Chris McCullough, Phil Napier, Bill Pritchard and Ted Victor.

Westonka

Four candidates — Loren D. David, Gina Smith, Pete Wiechert and Gary W. Wollner — are vying for three seats, each a four-year term.

 

Ballot questions

Bloomington

The ballot question is whether to revoke an existing capital projects levy of $3 million a year and replace it with one of $6 million a year for 10 years, with the money raised to be spent on safety, security and technology measures. School officials say Question 1 would not result in any property tax increase for the first four years of the 10-year levy due to the district’s current finances. If current conditions persist, the levy would result in a $25 annual tax increase after the fourth year.

Chaska (Eastern Carver County)

Two questions: The first asks voters to renew for 10 years an $874.35 per-pupil levy scheduled to expire at the end of this year. The second proposes a capital projects levy that would raise $2.45 million per year for six years to improve security and technology across the district. For an average $285,000 home, both questions would result in a $135 annual tax impact. But the district stresses that due to other tax deductions set to kick in, the net increase on both questions is $4.

Eden Prairie

Two ballot questions: One proposes revoking the existing operating levy of $1,306 per pupil for a year and replacing it with one of $2,269 per year for 10 years. The second proposes renewing for 10 years the current technology/capital projects levy after it expires at the end of 2014. The median market value of a house in Eden Prairie is $317,850. If Question 1 passes, the tax impact would be $379 per year, or $31.50 per month.

Hopkins

Two ballot questions: One proposes revoking the current levy of $1,901 per pupil per year and replacing it with one of $2,319 for 10 years, generating an additional $3.1 million for school programming and services the first year it is levied. The second asks voters to consider adding a capital projects levy to generate $1.75 million a year for 10 years; it would go for security updates, kitchen improvements and classroom technology updates. For a home with a $300,000 market value, Question 1 would result in a $108 annual tax increase. Question 2 would result in a $58 annual increase. That’s $166 a year, or $14 a month.

 

Orono

The ballot question proposes revoking the current levy of $1,462 per pupil per year and replacing it with one of $1,862 per pupil for 10 years. For the owner of a $300,000 home in Orono, the tax impact would be $125 a year or $10.42 a month. 

Osseo

Voters will decide two ballot questions. The first would propose revoking the district’s existing operating levy of $1,535 per pupil and replacing it with a new authorization of $1,989 per pupil that would provide an additional $9 million per year for the next 10 years. The second question proposes $5 million per year for 10 years for technology improvements. For a home with a $300,000 market value, Question 1 would result in a $257 annual tax increase. Question 2 would result in a $125 annual tax increase.

Richfield

Two ballot questions: The first proposes to renew an existing capital projects levy that had been set to expire this year to raise $13.4 million over 10 years for technology and equipment. The second question, which could only pass if the first one were approved, authorizes raising $9.2 million over 10 years for capital projects. The owner of an average $164,000 Richfield home would see an annual tax increase of $44 a year, or $3.67 a month, if Question 2 passes. Voters must approve Question 1 in order for Question 2 to pass. 

St. Louis Park

Three ballot questions: The first proposes renewing an existing technology levy of $1.75 million annually for 10 years. The second proposes raising $14.9 million over nine years to add space at Aquila, Peter Hobart and Susan Lindgren elementary schools, as well as other building projects. The third would raise $1.1 million annually for 10 years, beginning in fiscal year 2015, to fund general operations that affect things such as class size and educational programming. An average St. Louis Park home is valued at $200,000. Question 1 would result in a $15 tax increase. Question 2 would result in a $18 tax increase. Question 3 would result in a $49 tax increase. That’s a total of $82 annually or $6.83 a month.

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