WATERLOO — Northeast Iowa voters casting ballots in contested school board races Tuesday elected to keep incumbents in place. Other measures on school district ballots across the region received overwhelming approval, as well.
Sitting board members who ran in six races were all re-elected, according to unofficial results. In some cases, one incumbent didn’t run in an at-large contest, allowing for a newcomer to win a spot on the board.
But in the case of the Jesup Board of Education, none of the four incumbents whose seats were up for election ran again. One candidate, Nate Clayberg, previously served a term on the board from 2011 to 2015.
The top vote-getter in the at-large race was Nick Donlea. He received 696 votes followed by James Masteller with 652, Clayberg with 569 and Andrea Covington with 535. All will have a place on the new board.
Rich Glaspie, the other candidate, got 471 votes. There were eight write-in votes.
In another Buchanan County school district, most of the current board members will be returning. Two of three seats on the Independence Board of Education were contested. The two incumbents running retained their positions, including Kim Hansen, who had no challenger for the Director District 3 seat.
Three people competed for the Director District 2 seat. Current board member Eric B. Smith received 534 votes. Gary Waters got 399 votes followed by Beth Hilliard with 181.
Matt O’Loughlin and Heather Hupke went head-to-head in Director District 1. O’Loughlin came out ahead with 659 votes to 461 for Hupke. Brian Eddy, who currently holds the seat, didn’t run for another term.
On the Janesville Board of Education, all three members up for election ran again and won, defeating challenger Amy Oltmann in the at-large race. Teresa Gergen received 131 votes while Jodi Durnil and Barbara Reid each garnered 122. Oltmann had 109 votes and there were 26 write-in votes.
Aplington-Parkersburg Community Schools’ voters returned Amy Truax and David Schneiderman to the Board of Education for another term. They received 403 and 383 votes, respectively, while newcomer Deb Grandon got 320 votes. Nate Steege also ran, winning the votes of 291 people, and there were two write-in votes.
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Two of three incumbents ran for another term on the Starmont Board of Education, as well. Julie Ulenkamp came out on top with 327 votes followed by Kevin Powell with 270. The third seat was won by Anthony Robert Recker, who was close behind with 266 votes. Terry Seedorff trailed with 238 votes and there were 13 write-ins.
Incumbent Jerry R. Van Daele topped challenger Lavonne E. Teem for the Waspie Valley Board of Education’s Director District 4 seat. He had 43 votes compared to 24 for Teem.
Wapsie Valley Community Schools was one of eight Northeast Iowa districts that put a revenue purpose statement on the ballot along with the board elections. The measures were being placed before voters after the Legislature extended the collection of 1% sales taxes for schools another 20 years, to the end of 2049.
Districts developing plans to bond against the proceeds that would be collected after 2029 need to get voter approval for the potential uses. The majority of voters gave their OK in the case of each area school district.
Aplington-Parkersburg Community Schools’ residents did so at the highest percentage, 95.33%, or 469-23. Dike-New Hartford Community Schools’ residents approved at a rate of 90.7%, or 390-40. In North Tama County Community Schools, 89.04% approved the use, or 382-47. Denver Community Schools’ voters approved the measure 338-70, or 82.84%.
Charles City Community Schools saw 78.04% of its voters approve the measure, 1,446-407. In Oelwein Community Schools, voters approved the measure with 77.59%, or 817 people, voting yes to 236 no votes. Gladbrook-Reinbeck Community Schools’ residents approved the measure at a rate of 77.52%, or 438-127. Wapsie Valley passed its measure with 77.36% voting yes, or 328-96.
A physical plant and equipment levy on the ballot in Sumner-Fredericksburg Community Schools was also approved with 489 residents, or 59.42%, favoring the measure and 334 voting against it.
The approval will raise the PPEL from 63 cents to $1.34 per $1,000 of taxable value for a decade beginning July 1. Funds raised by the property tax levy can be used for a variety of building maintenance needs along with purchases from buses to computers.
Based on 2019 tax rates, the levy is expected to generate $498,000 annually for the district. A portion of that amount, up to 10%, can be assessed through an income surtax rather than property taxes. The Board of Education will decide annually whether or not to use the surtax.