Coyle measure being defeated for lack of 60 percent supermajority

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

COYLE — A measure to continue funding the Toandos Community Center through a property tax levy is failing in the Nov. 6 general election because it has not received a 60 percent supermajority approval from voters.

That point was both incorrectly reported in the Peninsula Daily News and was not immediately clear to commissioners for the Jefferson County Parks & Recreation District 1, who clarified it this week.

Original election reports in the PDN were incorrect in saying that the measure needed only a simple majority — 50 percent plus 1 — to pass.

The measure received 157 votes or 56.2 percent in favor and 122 votes or 43.73 opposed out of 279 votes cast.

If the measure had received 10 more approval votes it would have passed.

The next vote count will be when the election is certified Nov. 27.

District commissioners who supervise the center also were confused about the supermajority requirement.

In a Monday e-mail from Commissioner Jillian Greenwood to Jefferson County Auditor Donna Eldridge, Greenwood said she was under the impression that a supermajority was needed to pass the initial levy but only a simple majority was needed for its continuance.

Greenwood requested that Eldridge review the matter and verify state law.

Jefferson County Assessor Jack Westerman III contacted the state to clarify the law and was informed that 60-percent passage was needed to continue the levy.

Eldridge then sent an email to Greenwood saying that the measure is failing.

Proposition 1 for Parks and Recreation District No. 1 would have imposed a levy of 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation for six years.

If it had been approved, the owner of a $200,000 house would have paid $30 a year for the levy.

The measure was last approved in 2006 and expires at the end of 2013.

Approval would have continued funding for the community center until the end of 2019, generating approximately $22,000 each year for the maintenance and upkeep of the center, which hosts many community activities.
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Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 15. 2012 11:36AM
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