Voters pass local option levies
Last updated 5/23/2023 at 2:35pm
The results of the May 16 election are in. There are still final numbers coming through and being counted; however, the results are known for the two Sisters School Board positions and the local option levy renewal, which passed by a wide margin.
Jeff Smith was reelected to Sisters School District (SSD) Position 3. He has served on the School Board since 1999. Smith believes his experience sets him apart from other candidates.
Smith has lived in Sisters for 27 years.
After his election win, Smith told The Nugget: “I am so grateful to live in a community that supports good schools. The best news is the overwhelming vote to renew the local option levy that creates small class sizes and unique programs for our children. In the contest for the two board positions, the voters seem to be pleased with the mix of perspectives on the Board. Our schools are in great shape, and I will continue to support the efforts of our employees to make them even better.”
Asa Sarver was the victor for Position 4. An opportunity for Sarver opened in 2022 when longtime School Board member and chair Don Hedrick resigned.
Sarver served for only a year, and when the election cycle came around he knew he had to jump at the opportunity to run again. Sarver also chaired the political action committee (PAC) vying for a re-up of the local option levy, Measure 9-161.
“My goal for serving on the School Board this year, and for the next four years, is to make sure that our low student-to-teacher ratio is maintained, and make sure that students and teachers have the tools they need to be successful. I would also like to work on growing our special programs for our students through partnerships within our community and beyond,” said Sarver.
His focus areas on the Board include classroom sizes, teacher retention, graduation rates, special programs, and continued work on the local option levy.
The local option levy won a majority yes vote, renewing the levy for the fifth time. The 75 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation levy forms approximately 10 percent of the SSD budget, or about 14 teaching positions.
Being the chair of the PAC, Sarver was pleased to see the nearly 75 percent yes vote:
“The local option passing shows how much the Sisters community values and believes in our schools, and how we can count on our neighbors to support our students and teachers. I am so grateful to all the volunteers and members of our community who worked so hard for this measure. The fact that the local option passed with such a huge margin tells us we have a school district and community we can all be proud of.”
Sarver is looking forward to continuing working to make the SSD the best district in the state.
The Sisters Park and Recreation District (SPRD) also passed a renewal of its local option levy, with a 78 percent favorable vote. SPRD and SSD plan to collaborate to make the current elementary school into a community facility after the new elementary school opens next year.
For further special election results visit: https://webapps.deschutes.org/Elections/Home/Results.