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Paynesville Press - October 24, 2001

School Board Election 2001 (Part IV)

Nine candidates are vying for four open spots on the school board. Throughout the month of October, the candidates and their positions on some key educational issues will be featured in the Press. The election is on Tuesday, Nov. 6, from noon to 8 p.m. in the west lobby at Paynesville Area Elementary School.

A candidate forum will be held on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 7 to 9:15 p.m. in the new school auditorium.

Today's Questions:
(1) Do you support the excess levy referendum on Tuesday, Nov. 6?
(2) If it fails, do you think the board should present a smaller levy option to the voters of the district? Why or why not?

Sandy Spanier Sandy Spanier
(1) Yes, I do. I think we need to make some adjustments, so our children can get the best they can.

(2) Yes. A little is better than nothing at all.

Tami Stanger Tami Stanger
(1) Yes. I believe the current governing state legislation has decided for us. In my understanding, the current excess levy if passed will replace the existing levy that the state rolled into our general education taxes. The current levy was for another seven years. As a district, we need and are counting on that money.

(2) Yes. I believe the $315 per student excess levy is needed but a smaller amount is better than nothing.

Bob Stoneburner Bob Stoneburner
(1) Yes, definitely. We are presently in a financial bind, for whatever reason, and must pull together for the common good. The current proposal may be the only way to restore our system to financial health and appears to have been made necessary (at least in part) by legislative shifts in school funding.

(2) Yes. Additional funding is necessary if we are to provide our children with the educational programs and extracurricular opportunities they deserve. Again, it appears the excess levy is necessary (in some amount) to help our school board deal with recent legislative cuts (changes) in state funding to local school districts.

Mark Dingmann Mark Dingmann
(1) Yes, because the aid that we receive from our state is not enough to cover our school's needs. There are a large number of school districts in the state that rely on excess levy referendums. We need to pass this levy in order to give our children the best education that we can.

(2) Yes, because any amount of money that the district receives will help in improving our children's education.

Deb Glenz Deb Glenz
(1) Absolutely! I know our district has to have funding or we will have no other choice but to make serious cuts again. I believe this district supported an excess levy last time because we truly do support our kids, and I am hoping that now since that levy no longer exists that this district will once again come out in favor of our kids and pass it.

(2) If this referendum fails, I believe the board will have no choice but to present another smaller one. Not only do we need that funding but in order to receive any equity funding from the state we as a district have to prove our good faith by having an excess levy in place.

Gary Heineman Gary Heineman
(1) Definitely. This is one of the most reasonable and affordable ways for funds to come to our district.

(2) Yes. Once again, this is a necessary option to us. Until there is more consistency from legislative funding, many districts will need to rely on referendums.

Don Kelm Don Kelm
(1) No. Because our board did not look ahead. Enrollment was declining and they still went ahead with the building project. I feel they pushed everything under the table and did not inform the community of the declining enrollment.

(2) No. We have to live with a certain amount of dollars in our budget. Most of us have a budget to live by.

Steve Olson Steve Olson
(1) I feel that I cannot support the excess levy referendum because the primary reason for the need for it is lack of discipline in spending monies already in hand.

(2) No. My reasoning reflects back to my answer of the previous question.

Allen Schmidt Allen Schmidt
(1) I support the proposed operating levy referendum. I believe it would help balance the budget and still provide tax relief for many property owners. The tax structure is likely to continue to change to less local contribution and more from the state.

(2) I believe if the levy fails, there would need to be a more intense public educational period about the levy and the possible effects without it and a revote on the same levy to maintain high quality education.

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