Only three dozen votes made the difference in the Staples-Motley School District operating referendum Tuesday.
The referendum failed by 36 votes, 1,167 no votes to 1,131 yes votes. The referendum, which would have generated about $1.5 million per year for six years, sought to increase revenue by $794 per pupil unit.
The results were not determined until 1:30 p.m. Wednesday because of a technical problem with a Todd County auditor's office vote scanning machine late Tuesday night.
"I have mixed feelings," said Staples-Motley Superintendent Ken Scarbrough on the results. "I am disappointed that we will not be able to offer more to our kids and to continue to provide them services. But at the same time I am pleased that the vote was closer than it was last year."
Scarbrough said the district may have to cut between $1 million to $1.5 million in its 2004-05 budget because the referendum failed.
In the Staples-Motley School Board election, five people sought three four-year terms on the board. The three incumbents were re-elected -- Chad Longbella, with 1,720 votes; Ken Swecker, 1,495 votes; and Paul Anderson, 1,307 votes. They were challenged by Randy Jenkins, who received 952 votes, and Scott Deegan, with 545 votes.
Staples city results
Staples will have a new mayor in 2004. Challenger Bruce Nelson defeated Mayor Mike Goff for the two-year mayoral term. Nelson received 579 votes and Goff received 258 votes.
There were three four-year terms open on the city council. Only one of the three incumbents was re-elected. Elected were incumbent Michael Verlennich, who received 475 votes; Rich Japke, 638 votes; and Al Northquest, 547 votes. Incumbents defeated were Bruce Drone, who received 237 votes, and Brian Niemann, 401 votes.
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