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GMR levies fail, but mission remains the same

Greenbush School site

Middle River School site

On November 7, Greenbush-Middle River residents had another opportunity to determine the future of their district at the ballot box, as part of a special election. At this election, residents had the chance to vote on two questions, one related to an operating levy and the other a capital project levy. The voters rejected both levies. 

“As a superintendent, I’m disappointed for our students in the election result, but understand that lots of factors go into people’s decision making for their vote,” Greenbush-Middle River Superintendent Tom Jerome said.

The two levies residents voted on were as followed: 1.) Revoking the existing operating levy and replacing it with a new levy that would generate approximately an additional $400,000 (compared to the current levy) annually over 10 years; 2.) Putting into effect a capital project levy that would generate $400,000 annually for 10 years.

All district residents living in Roseau or Kittson County voted at the Greenbush School site, and all residents living in Marshall County voted at the Middle River School site. The GMR School Board canvassed these 2017 election results on Tuesday, November 14 in Greenbush.

The vote breakdown of each levy was as followed (with the votes by precinct in parentheses): The first question on the operating levy received 289 yes votes (Greenbush: 262; Middle River: 27) to 722 no votes (Greenbush: 286; Middle River: 436), or failed by an approximate 29% to 71% margin.

The second question on the capital project levy received 257 yes votes (Greenbush: 240; Middle River: 17) and 754 no votes (Greenbush: 309; Middle River 445), or failed by an approximate 25% to 75% margin. 

Despite these two levies failing, Jerome said the GMR staff’s mission remains the same. 

“Our staff members have been hired to teach and to make a difference in the lives of our students. My message has always been, to our teaching staff, to focus on serving our students,” Jerome said. “In despite (of) the disappointing results of the two levy questions, we are going to continue to represent our district in the finest way that we can and we’re going to continue to take care of every student that steps into our classrooms… We’re going to continue to serve our students because they are the most important thing in our district, have always been, and will always be.”

To see the complete story, read the November 15 issue of The Tribune in print or online. 

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