LAMOILLE — As it stands today, yes, the referendum asking LaMoille School District voters whether the school board seats should be elected at large rather than by township is in good standing to pass.
It was difficult to tell with this one at the end of last week’s consolidated election when the results came out. The results for this referendum came in broken down into five ranges within the school district. The unofficial results of those ranges are:
• T17N R10E — 2 “Yes” and 3 “No” votes.
• T17N R11E — 36 “Yes” and 9 “No” votes.
• T18N R10E — 129 “Yes” and 23 “No” votes.
• T18N R11E — 10 “Yes” and 10 “No” votes.
• T19N R10E — 2 “Yes” and 0 “No” votes.
There were two ways the results of this referendum could be interpreted, which caused Bureau County Clerk Matt Eggers to seek out clarification to determine whether the referendum was on track to passing of if it had failed.
The results could have been read that every range had to pass for the entire referendum to be approved and/or by at least 2/3 of ”Yes” votes within the entire school district.
Turns out, that this particular referendum just needed at least 2/3 of the votes, which Eggers confirmed it has, therefore it is set to pass.
Election results will not be finalized until Tuesday, April 20. Eggers said that’s when the final determination will be made.
On election night, LaMoille School Board President Jeff Pinter said the passage of this referendum will be a good one for the school district.
The reason for the referendum comes from the difficulty of keeping all seven school board seats filled. The board has had difficulty keeping the seats filled because members have to be elected based on the township they live in vs. “at large.” There can be no more than three board members from each township elected to the board.
Pinter said demographics have changed over the years and not as many people are living in the rural areas like they used to. With less people willing to donate their time to the board, it’s been difficult trying to fill the positions. In fact, the last open seat on the board had to be filled by the Regional Office of Education. Pinter said they had to persuade an old board member to fill the position. Today, there is another open seat on the board that hasn’t been filled in almost a year.
“This will give us the opportunity to fill that seat with someone who wasn’t able to join before because of the current township format,” he said.
“It should allow us to be able to fill the board and maybe not a bad thing to have people contesting seats because you hopefully get the best candidate for that position. You want a little competition to get the best out of everybody.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle