Voters have approved a ballot measure calling for an increase to the elementary school general fund levy.
The measure received 7,160 votes, for 57.15%, and 5,368 votes against, 42.85%, in the preliminary results for school election.
These results include all ballots counted. However, election results will not be official until after the governing body canvasses the election. Any provisional ballots will be added to the count after 3 p.m. Monday.
A total of 13,738 ballots were cast, representing a 34.24% voter turnout.
The levy will raise $103,594 per year for Helena Public Schools elementary district. Trustee Luke Muszkiewicz said at the candidate forum late last month that the money wouldn't be earmarked for any specific item. Rather, the money will supplement the district's general fund and allow the district to continue offering competitive benefits and salaries to teachers and employees.
The levy adds a property tax increase of about $1.35 on a home with a $100,000 market value and $2.70 on a home with a $200,000 market value.
In the race to fill three seats on the board of trustees for Helena Public Schools, Elizabeth "Libby" Goldes, John H. McEwen and Siobhan Hathhorn seem to have clinched victory.
Goldes and McEwen were the only two candidates to appear on the ballot.
Incumbent Goldes received 8,059 votes, or 37.59%, and has served on Helena Public Schools' board of trustees for the past 12 years.
"I'd like to thank the voters of the school district for their support," Goldes said, after the preliminary results were released. "I look forward to another three years of working for the students, teachers and staff to help provide the best education possible for our children."
Goldes will soon have a grandchild attending school in the district.
"It's an exciting time with the opening of the three new schools," Goldes said. "But there is a lot of work to be done. I'll do my best to use my experience to address the ongoing challenges."
McEwen received 7,619 votes or 35.54%. This election marks the third time McEwen has sought election to the school board.
"I'm excited to be on the school board and help out," McEwen said. "To use my knowledge and expertise to help the school district grow."
The retired state government worker ran for the past two elections. McEwen said he enjoyed participating in the election.
"I think everybody should run for public office at least one," McEwen said.
Hathhorn took the lead over the other seven write-in candidates. During the final preliminary account, Hathhorn received more than 2,600 votes. The next closest write-in candidate was Ella Currier, who received just over 1,100 votes.
"I am honored to be elected as a school trustee, and look forward to working with fellow board members," said Hathhorn, after hearing the preliminary results. "It is also exciting to have the opportunity to represent the people of the Helena School District, and will make student learning the focal point of my mission."
Hathhorn holds a master’s in educational leadership from Western Governors University and has a long education career. She spent 15 years as an elementary teacher at Helena Public Schools and three years as a principal at Cascade Public Schools.
"I would like to thank everyone who worked hard on my behalf to secure a spot for me on the Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees," Hathhorn said.
Who is running:
The candidates on the ballot are John H. McEwen and incumbent Libby Goldes. The write-in candidates are Douglas (Doug) Hansen, Michael Spreadbury, Angela Ewing-Hyyppa, Ralph A Moody, Ella Currier, Justin Stolp, Siobhan K. Hathhorn and Phoebe Williams.
Ten candidates are running for the three seats up for election on the Helena Public Schools Board of Education this year. Ballots will be mail…