District 16 override narrowly defeated

Dennis Webb
GSPI News Editor

A mere eight-vote difference means that Garfield County School District 16 will have to continuing making fiscal cuts rather than being able to boost its budget.

Voters defeated Question 3C, the district’s mill levy override, 630-622, or 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent.

Results are unofficial and the count will be subject to an automatic recount because the margin of defeat constituted less than 1 percent of votes cast.

The measure would have given the district nearly $1 million over its regular annual budget. The money would have been used to raise teacher salaries, add teachers and reduce class size, revive summer school, upgrade computer systems, step up maintenance, add safety measures and employ a full-time police officer to work in the district’s three schools.

District 16 board member Roy Brubacher expressed disappointment at the close defeat, and said it made him wish supporters had campaigned a little bit more.

“I thought it might win by as much as a 3-2 vote. I’m surprised it went down,” he said.

The measure was one of many tax measures to be defeated, both locally and statewide. A mill levy override in the neighboring Garfield Re-2 School District was soundly defeated.

“It’s a tough time to ask people for more money, you know, but the schools are going to have a tough time if they don’t get it to operate on,” Brubacher said.

“We’ve cut quite a bit and I would assume we’re going to have to cut more at this point, but I don’t know where.”

He said it would be up to the board to decide whether to go back to voters with another override question.

“I don’t know how the board will decide on this, but somewhere, some way, the school district has to have some more operating money, that’s all there is to it.”

Also Tuesday, District 16 board president Ron Palmer was re-elected to the board, and board newcomer Jody Williams was elected.

Both were running for two open seats in an at-large race in which there were no other contestants. Palmer received 897 votes, and Williams 898.

Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516

District 16 mill levy override

Yes, 622, 49.7 percent

No, 630, 50.3 percent

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