Issaquah school levies, King County library measure lead in latest election results

February 11, 2010

By Administrator

NEW — 10:40 a.m. Feb. 11, 2010

Celebration was in the air as Issaquah School District officials gathered to welcome election results Tuesday.

The celebration continued Wednesday: Results released at 4:30 p.m. showed district ballot measures leading with 64 percent for a maintenance and operations levy, 63 percent for a transportation levy and 64 percent for a technology and repairs levy.

If the measures pass as expected, taxpayers would pay $4.81 for every $1,000 of assessed property for the levies and the remainder of the 2006 bond.

Levy supporters gathered Tuesday night to await early results. As the numbers appeared on the King County Elections Web site just after 8 p.m., sighs of relief, high fives and victory cries erupted from partygoers.

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen thanked voters for their support.

“This campaign was a community effort and took an army of volunteers stepping up because they know it is the right thing to do for our community,” he said. “Schools are the cornerstones for thriving and wonderful communities to live in. I think this bodes well for our community because they know the value and importance of education.”

If the levy package passes, the measures would supplement the district budget with more than $214 million by 2014.

“First, I would really like to thank the whole community for standing behind our schools and this campaign and passing the levy,” Issaquah Education Association President Neva Luke said. “It is thrilling to me because we will be able to maintain existing programs and continue to provide an excellent education for our students.”

Assistant Superintendent Ron Thiele welcomed the election results. He had a bet going with himself that the levies would pass with 64 percent.

Other district officials also praised voters.

“I think it is imperative that the levies pass, especially, the maintenance and operations,” school board member Marnie Maraldo said. “With all the critical decisions we will have to make once the legislative session is finished, this is such a victory for our kids and it means that the impact to our kids won’t be as great in the classroom. It is imperative and our voters recognized that.”

Levies in other King County school districts also appeared likely to pass. In the Snoqualmie School District, a maintenance and operations levy and a technology capital projects levy accumulated 59 percent and 60 percent of the vote, respectively, by Wednesday.

In the Lake Washington School District, educational programs and operations, capital projects and general obligation bonds lead with 59 percent, 57 percent and 54 percent, respectively, in results released Wednesday.

A levy lid lift requested by the King County Library System also led in returns released Wednesday. The measure led with about 51 percent of the vote. Furthermore, a measure in Renton that would discontinue the city’s library system in favor of joining the KCLS also led in returns released Wednesday with about 51 percent of the vote.

Proposition 1 asked King County voters to restore the property tax rate to 50 cents per $1,000 in assessed value in 2011. A homeowner with a $400,000 home would pay $32 more next year if voters approved the measure. The measure would raise the rate for a year.

The next round of results will be released at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The elections office predicted 35 percent turnout countywide in the all-mail election.

Tuesday marked the deadline to mail or drop-off ballots. Officials tallied 19,055 ballots — or about 33 percent — from school district voters by 4:30 p.m. The district stretches from Sammamish to Newcastle; the elections office mailed 56,313 ballots to district voters.

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