Unfortunately for the Northwest School District, their proposed levy of general permanent improvements did not pass, but the margin of difference was only 153 votes with 662 votes for the levy and 815 votes against the levy.
Speaking with Superintendent of the Northwest School District, Todd Jenkins, he said, “We, about a year ago, did a public forum and invited the community in just to talk about arming staff and about a resource officer and this prompted the board to put it out to the voters and see. We didn’t go out and promote it, we just thought we’d see how it goes.”
As for the levy not passing, Jenkins said, “Though overall, I’m pleased and I understand how the comminity feels about this, there is a lot that’s going on and we just wanted to see. We weren’t going to be totally disappointed if it failed, but obviously we’d be excited if it passed. It was all about the kids and seeing the response time of getting someone out here to the Northwest Schools (here he was speaking about security/police) and at least we would have then had someone out here that would be close.”
Jenkins said he really hadn’t gotten to talk to the board yet, as far as whether they will run the levy again. He also mentioned that this wasn’t a good turn out with voters, it could have passed or may have been defeated even worse, he said they’ll have that discussion and go from there. “If we do, we’ll do a little more promoting with it.” He also said that their biggest concern was that if there was nobody within 15 or 20 minutes and they are at the other end of the county, things could go bad very quickly.
Jenkins talked about the process on the way it was on the ballot, if it was just someone who’d come up and read the ballot it just read as a levy that it does not necessarily distinctly say its for safety and security reasons, it shows as an improvement levy and that’s probably a misconception as well, that probably has a lot to do with it.” He clarified that the money they would have gotten with this levy was strictly for safety. Jenkins says that with this election, the Northwest School Board stayed the same and they appreciate the community and how they voted on a good group of board members. “They work really well together and are all about the kids. It’s good to have a good steady board and we are all about that.”
When Jenkins was asked what they do from this point, he stated, “We continue business as usual and we’ll go out there and look and see if there are grants and apply for those and see what we can get from it. Whatever we do it’s in the safety of our students and that’s what we want.” Jenkins said of the future and this levy not passing, “There’s always that level of dissappointment, but it’s not dissatisfiying, we are okay and we just know what we’ll do next time and we’ll work at it and we’ll see if can get one to pass.”
The voters may get another chance to vote on improving the safety for their children sometime in the future, and perhaps that levy would be promoted and clarified as to what it is strictly meant to be used for within the school district.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928
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