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School seeks input from ‘no’ voters

Sarah Giddings

With the passage of the fourth school operating referendum last week, district administrators and board members have expressed relief and gratefulness for the support shown by the community. At a regular school board meeting Monday, Superintendent Ben Niehaus expressed concern about the tight 52% yes – 48% no margin, and specifically where the no votes were coming from. In a detailed breakdown of the past four referendums beginning in 2005, it becomes obvious that while the towns of Commonwealth and Florence strongly supported the measures each time, that the towns of Aurora, Long Lake and Tipler were less supportive, with yes votes falling below 30% in many cases.

To address this discrepancy, and gather more information, Niehaus has proposed a series of town hall type meetings to begin after the first of the year.

“I want to hear the reasons why people voted no. I also want do a better job of educating, what we’re up against and what we’re providing,” he said. He mentioned that the recent referendum in Three Lakes passed at 70% support and hopes to gain insight to increase Florence County yes votes in the  future.

For the full story, see this week’s issue of The Florence Mining News.