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Voters to decide re-districting, levy

Granger seeks at-large seat for school board

— Two Lower Yakima Valley school districts have measures on the April 25 special elections ballot.

Granger

The Granger School District’s Proposition No. 1 proposes changing the district boundaries for school board seats.

Rather than the current make up of five geographic districts, the district is asking voters to approve four districts and one at-large seat “… to better facilitate citizen participation as board members,” officials said.

If approved, Granger’s Proposition No. 1 would do away with the existing five districts and reapportion territory into four districts.

“We need to get more word out about this,” Granger resident Peggy Castaneda said. “The ballot doesn’t explain it very well.”

Board member Ron Fleming said the district has had trouble finding candidates for office.

“The last few years we’ve had very few people filing for the school board,” Fleming said. “We talked about it and thought maybe if we had four director districts and one at large that would hopefully improve the candidate pool.”

He said the district is “… kind of in the same boat as Selah,” a reference to that district’s move to two at-large seats.

If approved, it could mean that all five board seats would be open for election this November.

“We’re not even sure,” Fleming said. “We’re waiting to see how it comes out.”

As things stand now, three board seats are already designated for election this November.

If the move is approved, Fleming said the public, especially those interested in running for a board seat, will need to pay attention to the general election filing deadline.

“It’s going to be a quick turnaround, the candidate filing period is the second week of May,” he said. “I hope it works out. We need good, quality board members.”

Toppenish

The Toppenish School District is submitting a maintenance and operations levy to voters, also called Proposition No. 1.

The proposed four-year levy would replace an expiring levy.

And the levy rate would not increase from the existing one, officials said.

It calls for a levy rate of $2 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for 2018-21, records show.

It would collect a total of $5.36 million during the four-year term.

The district will receive a matching amount from state funds, officials said.

District officials said they will spend the levy money on cameras and equipment for school safety officers, preschool needs, library resource materials, technology improvements, driver education, new textbooks, replace worn-out boilers at two school buildings, solar energy improvements, field trips, class size reduction and covering increased utility costs.

Monday is the deadline for in-person voter registration at the County Courthouse, 128 N. Second St.

Ballots need to be postmarked by April 25, or placed in a ballot drop box.

The lower valley’s box is at the Sunnyside Post Office, 713 E. Edison Ave.

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