Tribune Editorial: Here are our picks for Willmar School District levy and board
Voters in the Willmar School District face two questions on their Nov. 6 ballots: renewal of a portion of the 2008 operating levy and the election of three individuals to the school board. Both are critical to the future of this school district a...
Voters in the Willmar School District face two questions on their Nov. 6 ballots: renewal of a portion of the 2008 operating levy and the election of three individuals to the school board. Both are critical to the future of this school district and its students.
Operating levy question
Voters in the Willmar Public Schools passed an operating levy of $221.36 per student in 2008 and this levy is expiring soon. The Willmar School Board had exercised its authority, granted under Minnesota Statute, to renew $176.26 of the 2008 levy. The school board is asking district voters to approve the balance of the levy - $45.10 per pupil - for a period of 10 years.
Since this is a renewal of a portion of the 2008 budget amount, the school district portion of the property tax for landowners would remain the same or even be reduced slightly. This is not a new levy.
If the levy is not approved by voters, the school district’s levy revenue will decrease by about $227,000 per year. A levy failure would require the district to adjust its budget to match the reduced income. This adjustment would, in turn, lead to budget changes, including some program elimination or increased class sizes.
This operating levy only impacts the homestead portion of a property, which is the house, garage and one acre of land. All other farmland is not taxed for this operating levy’s purpose.
It is time to continue this wise investment in the Willmar School District. Approving this operating levy will help sustain the current programming and class sizes in their current capacity. The revenue is not intended to be used to expand any programs.
The West Central Tribune’s Editorial Board recommends voters vote yes on the Willmar operating levy question.
Willmar School Board
Voters will be voting on three at-large seats on the Willmar School Board on Nov. 6. Voters should select the individuals most committed to serving on this educational board.
The West Central Tribune believes Mary M. Amon, Jay Lawton and Michelle Marotzke are the best candidates for the Willmar School Board. The other two candidates are Michael O’Brien and Teresa Larsen.
Mary M. Amon was elected in a 2017 special election to fill a school board vacancy. She is seeking re-election to the board. She deserves to continue as a board member.
Amon is a physician and owner of Family Practice Medical Center in Willmar. She understands the function of a public school district and the responsibility of the school board. And she believes in the value of a good education.
Jay Lawton is seeking election to the school board. He is an inventory logistics coordinator at Jennie-O Turkey Store. He has a long record of public service, serving on various boards and task forces in the past. He would be a good addition to the school board.
He is committed to supporting the school district’s goal of providing a quality education for all students. He has commended the school board’s strategy change for facilitating timely contract negotiations with staff.
Michelle Marotzke is seeking election to the school board. She is an analyst and safety coordinator for Willmar Municipal Utilities. She would be a good addition to the school board.
Her business and analytical skills would be a valuable asset to the board. She believes Willmar is a terrific community and believes the school district is needed as a strong community asset.
These three candidates have shown the most interest in the school board. They also were the only candidates to attend both Willmar School Board candidate forums during this election cycle.
The West Central Tribune’s Editorial Board recommends voters elect Mary M. Amon, Jay Lawton and Michelle Marotzke to the Willmar School Board.