School levy approved for Great Falls

The operational school levy has passed by nearly 2,000 votes.

The unofficial results show that 10,795 voted in favor of the $1.75 million operational levy and 8,893 voted against.

By the end of the night, 20,426 ballots had been counted, but the results are still considered unofficial until elections officials conduct their canvas with the school district. There are a handful of ballots that did not have signatures and haven’t been counted yet. Elections officials have contacted those voters and if they get their signatures in by 3 p.m. Wednesday, those votes will be added.

School election is May 5, here’s candidate info and levy background

According to the Cascade County Elections Office, for the school election, there are a total of 40,042 active and inactive voters. Of those, 31,942 are active and of those, 27,589 are absentee.

Superintendent Tom Moore said “thank you to the citizens of Great Falls for the resounding yes vote. It shows our teachers and our staff that the community truly cares about public education here. The community has spoken, we care about our teachers we care about our kids, we care about out future in Great Falls.”

He thanked parents, volunteers, donors and businesses who supported the effort to pass the levy.

The approval “staves off having to continue to make cuts and reductions,” Moore said.

It will also provide teachers the resources that they need to do their jobs, be able to help employees that need wage increases so that they have competitive salaries, and start restoring things that had been cut such as staff training.

“But first we’ve got to get through this COVID situation and reopening school in the fall,” Moore said. “The idea of having adequate resources in our general fund for the next couple of years certainly takes the pressure off our team right now.”

For the three three-year school board positions, the vote tallies are:

Jan Cahill, incumbent: 13,372

Kim Skornogoski, incumbent: 12,929

Bill Bronson: 10,750

Eric Hinebauch: 10,303

Also on the ballot is the Sun Prairie Water and Sewer District for three open seats.

The results are:

C.B. Blue Corneliusen: 75

Ilona Olson: 51

Alan Jarrett: 50

Dennis Schwecke: 41

Dave Hickman: 29

Also on the ballot is the West Great Falls Flood District for one seat.

Scott Lankford: 251

Nicky Putnam: 222