Special election today in Jefferson County school districts

Brinnon and Quilcene residents at 39 percent ballot return

PORT TOWNSEND — Today is Election Day for voters in the Quilcene and Brinnon school districts.

The Jefferson County Auditor’s Office has received 39 percent of the ballots sent to those registered voters for the special election on three levies.

The two districts have 2,609 active voters and 1,019 ballots had been returned as of Monday, said Sandi Eldridge, Jefferson County voter registration coordinator.

Quilcene School District is asking voters to approve an Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) levy and a capital levy while Brinnon School District placed an EP&O levy on its ballot.

All three levies require a simple majority of 50 percent plus one to pass.

Ballots must be postmarked by today or dropped off no later than 8 p.m. today inside or outside the county Auditor’s Office at the Jefferson County Courthouse, 1820 Jefferson St., Port Townsend; the Quilcene Community Center, 294952 U.S. Highway 101; or the Brinnon Community Center, 306144 Highway 101.

Quilcene

The four-year approximately $2.4 million EP&O levy for Quilcene (Proposition 1) is a replacement of the current levy.

If passed, property owners will pay the same $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value as they have been paying, Frank Redmon, Quilcene School District superintendent, has said.

The EP&O levy helps support the district’s breakfast and lunch program, a full-time counselor, district transportation, and allows the district to have single grade classrooms and art and music programs.

The capital levy (Proposition 2) for Quilcene will have property owners paying an added $1.97 per $1,000 assessed value.

It would be in place for two years for a total of $1.63 million in preparation for a possible bond proposal, Redmon said.

The capital levy would be used to replace the aging bus barn, move the barn to across Rose Street and move the student bus pick-up and drop-off to the same side of the street as the school while updating the parent drop-off area.

The capital levy would also help fund long term facility planning to replace the aging elementary school through a possible future bond and allow work to begin on an outdoor educational space.

Brinnon

The Brinnon EP&O levy (Proposition 1) is an approximately $600,000 levy that at most would have property owners paying $1.02 per $1,000 per assessed value, which is similar to the current rates of the EP&O levy, Trish Beathard, Brinnon School District superintendent, has said.

The EP&O levy supports the free preschool program for 3- and 4-year-old students; supplements the breakfast and lunch program; helps with building maintenance and repairs, utility and operating expenses and required fees for sending high school students to neighboring districts; as well as an extra day of counseling for student and classroom support and unfunded educational programs.

More information about the three levies can be found at tinyurl.com/PDN- School-Levies.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski contributed to this report.

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