Voters pass local option levy by wide margin

Renewal will allow Siuslaw School District to continue to offer classes, enhance learning

Friday, Nov. 10 — Florence voters had only one ballot measure to consider in Tuesday’s special election — the renewal of a local option levy for the Siuslaw School District, Measure 20-281.

A total of 5,606 votes were cast in the district’s three precincts, with 3,511, or 62.63 percent, voting to continue the levy and 2,095, or 37.37 percent, voting against.

Siuslaw School District Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak was hopeful the measure would pass and was pleased with the strong support the renewal received once the ballots were counted.

“The general comments people have shared with me over the past few weeks have been very positive with regards to the renewal of the operating levy,” he said. “I was fairly confident the levy would pass, and when I downloaded the first results Wednesday night I was surprised that the margin of victory was so significant. With the ‘yes’ votes coming in over 62 percent, that really shows that our community cares about education and kids.”

The funds generated by the passage of 20-281 will provide the money needed to fill in the fiscal gaps in a number of district programs.

In the last year, the federal administration has significantly cut the funding for the Department of Education and has scaled back or completely eliminated the funding for many after school programs, the teachers for those programs and needed technology upgrades.

According to Grzeskowiak, the renewal of the levy option will bridge these funding gaps.

“The school district is very appreciative of the support the community has shown for education here locally as demonstrated by the election results,” he said.

Grzeskowiak continued, “The availability of programs for students, including some expansion of electives, and smaller class sizes than many other schools in the county, are proof that the community’s money has been well spent by the board of directors. The district will continue this wise stewardship of resources, from both local and state sources, to see that Siuslaw students are prepared for their future.”

The Lane County clerk has until Nov. 27 to certify the election results.

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