School levy passes 60-40

Voters within the Sequim School District boundaries support their local school district.

The last-minute 990 votes that elections workers counted reiterated that sentiment.

After a Feb. 9 election night victory showing 60 percent of early voters approve the district's three-year, $14.7 million levy proposal, school proponents saw that number budge slightly upward in the ballots counted between then and Feb. 12.

The special election will be certified on Feb. 24, election officials said.

E. Michael McAleer, president of Citizens for Sequim Schools, said his community group members did a stellar job selling the levy proposal to voters.

"I think information was on our side," McAleer said. "We ran an honest, truthful campaign.

"When people realized that a district relies on levies - you simply can't run a school district without them - and realized Sequim (had) one of the lowest levy contributions in the state, putting our kids in a disadvantage, they were willing to step forward for the kids of our community."

Sequim school levy supporters hold up a poster thanking voters for approving a three-year, $14.7 million levy last week. Pictured are Citizens for Sequim Schools board members (from left): Sarah Bedinger, Kristin Glenn, E. Michael McAleer (president); Dave Brasher and Virginia O’Neil.  Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

No 'super majority'

Three years ago, last week's vote would have been a nail-biter, considering school districts needed a "super-majority" of 60 percent to pass maintenance and operations levies.

But state legislators nixed the 60-percent standard for a "simple majority" of 50-plus percent to pass school levies in 2007.

Tough sell

McAleer said he knew he and other Citizens helpers had a tough sell for this levy campaign.

"I knew we had things working against us - the fact that the economy stinks (and) that the district is asking for more (funds), on par with what other districts are asking for across the state," he said. "This Citizens group did a good job of getting the word out."

The group can rest from levy campaigning for another three years, though McAleer noted the group will continue to host fundraisers to be financially prepared for a possible 2013 levy vote.

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