Harrison, Kohnstamm elected to school board; levy passes

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Voters on Tuesday elected incumbent Ruth Harrison and newcomer Betsy Kohnstamm to the Whitefish School Board. They also approved a general fund levy.

Harrison will stay on the board for her fifth term and Kohnstamm joins the board for the first time, while Marguerite Kaminski did not retain her seat.

Kohnstamm won the largest share of votes in the election with 1,311, or 38.9 percent of the total. Harrison came in at 1,193 votes or 35.4 percent and Kaminski earned 866 votes or 25.7 percent.

Voters also passed a request for a $95,000 general fund levy in the elementary district, which raises the 2018-19 maximum budget for the elementary and high school districts from $13.3 million to $13.8 million.

The estimated taxpayer impact for homes with a taxable valuation of $100,000 will be about $2, and for a $200,000 home about $4. However, state legislation passed in the previous session increased the guaranteed tax base reimbursement for each district, so taxpayers may actually see a slight tax decrease even with the levy request, according to the district.

The increased budget allows for adding an eighth-grade and a fifth-grade teacher as well as a music technology and choir director position.

Voter turnout was 19.27 percent, with 2,046 ballots cast. That number is a slight increase from last year’s 17.9 percent voter turnout and 2,006 ballots cast.

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