By Steve Woodhouse
Pella — Preliminary reports from the Marion County Auditor's Office show that 837, out of 25,439 eligible voters, participated in Tuesday's school election. That is equal to 3.29 percent of the voting population choosing representatives for school boards which control combined budgets of $101,327,771 in fiscal year 2014. That number represents the total amount required by the school districts of Knoxville ($32,749,956) Melcher-Dallas ($4,879,122), Pella ($43,720,780), Pleasantville ($13,041,751) and Twin Cedars ($6,936,162) as reported to the Iowa Department of Management.
In Pella, there were 104 ballots cast. Michelle Van Maanen was elected to represent District 1, Joan Corbin was elected to represent District 2 and Gregg Gustafson was elected to an at-large position. Each of them received 98 votes.
In Knoxville, there were 264 ballots cast out of an eligible 8,415. As with every district in the county, the race was not competitive. Andrew Schmidt and Mike Moats ran for the two open seats. Moats received 223 votes and Schmidt 198. Knoxville voters also renewed the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) with 229 votes in favor and 26 against. There were 242 ballots cast in Melcher-Dallas. Candidate Travis Hansaker received 210 votes and Shane Ripperger received 211. The Melcher-Dallas School District had the highest percentage of voters participating, with 17.4 percent. The next highest was Pleasantville with 7.2 percent.
Ron Danks received 154 votes and Kenny Sutter, 161, of the 183 ballots cast in Pleasantville. As for Twin Cedars, Steve Gilkerson was elected to represent District 3 and Brian Moore will serve in an at-large position. There were 44 votes cast in Marion County for the Twin Cedars District. Gilkerson received 41 votes and Moore received 42.
Also on Tuesday's ballot were representatives for the Des Moines Area Community College Board of Directors. In District 4, Kevin Halterman received 515 votes and Joe Pugel received 93 votes in District 5.
DMACC was also asking for a renewal of two property tax levies, scheduled to expire in 2015, to support its physical building and equipment needs. Marion County voters showed support for these levies, with 604 “yes” votes to 175 “no” on Measure A, and 571-199 on Measure B. The levies passed overall with each of DMACC's counties supporting them.
Results are unofficial as of press time, until the Board of Supervisors' canvass.