Lynda Smith, Tim Masters elected to Dora school board, Gainesville voters turn down both funding proposals
Tim Masters was elected and Lynda Smith was re-elected to the Dora Board of Education Tuesday, and voters in the Gainesville school district turned down two funding requests, continuing a longstanding tradition of denying the district’s funding-increase proposals.
These total votes were cast for the six candidates who were vying for the two expiring positions held by Lynda Smith and Jeff Strong:
• Jay Smith, 59
• Lynda Smith, 85
• Jeff Strong, 45
• Tim Masters, 81
• Dan Hurd, 59
• Dustin Howard, 44
Only two issues appeared on the Gainesville school district ballot. The first proposal asked voters to increase the school's operating tax levy ceiling by 47 cents, with the additional income slated to fund capital improvements, including the renovation of the high school and junior high school, student lockers, HVAC, roof replacement, computer equipment, classroom furniture and other facility maintenance and improvement projects.
Total votes cast were 474 for the levy increase and 504 against it, a difference of 30 votes. A simple majority was required for passage. If approved, the increase would have increased the school’s operating levy from the state minimum $2.75 to $3.22 per $100 assessed valuation.
In the second proposal, the district asked voters to approve the issuance of $1.9 million in general obligation bonds to pay for a new multipurpose gymnasium. On that issue, 401 total votes were cast in favor of the bond issue, and 575 votes were cast against it, a difference of 174 votes. The matter required a four-sevenths (57.14 percent) majority for approval. In this case 41.09 percent voted for the proposal, and 58.91 percent voted against it.
Gainesville superintendent Jeff Hyatt said Tuesday night he was “sorely disappointed” in the results.
“At least we know where we stand with the gym. There are enough people who feel the gym we have is good enough, going forward. We anticipated that proposal might not fare well,” he said. “But we were very hopeful that, by splitting it up and taking out that portion [the gym] we might see a better result. There’s definitely a population here that won’t support their school district. I don’t know how to correct that.”
It’s believed the last time a funding increase proposal was approved in the Gainesville school district occurred in 1993, when Gainesville voters approved funding to build a new elementary school.
We'll have detailed election results in next week's Times.