Two area school districts, Aitkin and Wadena-Deer Creek, passed operating levy referendums Tuesday.
Voters in the Staples-Motley School District and city of Staples elected board and council members.
Aitkin School District voters overwhelmingly approved the renewal of 6-cent operating levy referendum. The vote was 860-163.
Wadena-Deer Creek School District voters approved two operating levy referendum questions. The first question, which passed 1,850 to 1,058, sought to revoke the existing $101.17 per pupil levy, which expires in 2011, and replace it with a $650 operating levy to fund basic math, reading and science curriculum.
The second question, which passed 947 to 787, asked for an additional $150 per pupil for technology to support the curriculum covered by passage of the first question.
Wadena-Deer Creek Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom said results were not in until nearly 1 a.m. Wednesday. The district had 79 absentee ballots, which contributed to the delay.
"It feels great," Dahlstrom said of passing the $800 per pupil levy. The district failed to pass a referendum two years ago. "I'm just so proud of the community. I think people are supportive of our community and see a need as a community to support education."
In other area races, Staples-Motley School District voters elected candidate Brad Anderson and incumbents Mary Freeman and Barb Schmitt.
Vote totals for the seven candidates for three open board seats were:
• Incumbent Mary Freeman, 500 votes.
• Brad Anderson, 490 votes.
• Incumbent Barb Schmitt, 424 votes.
• Incumbent Roy DiGiovanni, 409 votes.
• Frank Odell, 398 votes.
• Carrie Beachy, 369 votes.
• Brian Smith, 319 votes.
Staples city residents also voted for contested mayoral and council member races.
In Staples, incumbent Chris Etzler defeated challenger Terry Minnick for mayor. Etzler received 315 votes and Minnick received 202 votes. Incumbents Rob Schmieg, 356 votes, Roy J. Miles, 342 votes, and Joel Quance, 323 votes, were re-elected to the city council while challenger Mike Isenberg received 300 votes.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.
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