11/14/2012 3:25:00 PM Douglas County voters say 'yes' across the board for levies
By Jennifer Marshall Staff writer
A presidential election year has drawn out more than 78 percent of registered voters so far in Douglas County.
With 14,995 ballots counted as of Friday evening, only about 100 remain to be tallied before final election results are certified Nov. 27.
In county-wide contested races, voters seem to be sticking with their incumbents. Republican commissioners Ken Stanton and Dale Snyder could each serve another term. Stanton has collected a decisive 55 percent of votes over his challenger, fellow Republican Carol Kavanaugh. With a total of 13,119 votes counted for that race so far, it breaks down to 7,232 to 5,887. This will be Stanton's fourth term on the three-member county board of commissioners.
During his campaign, Stanton referred to the board's "baseline budgeting" approach to save nearly $500,000 a year through actions such as dissolving its partnership with the Chelan County Regional Jail and renting more beds for less at the Okanogan County Jail.
In District 2, Snyder is edging out his opponent, Ed Daling, at 51.5 percent to 48.4 percent, or 6,423 and 6,028 votes each. It's a change over the prima ry election in August, when voters had given Daling half a percentage point over Snyder. If a majority of the remaining 100 votes go his way, Snyder will be sworn into a second term.
Four maintenance and operations levy requests made it onto the Douglas County ballot this fall. The first, which so far is passing 57 percent to 42.9 percent, is a $0.15 tax per $1,000 of assessed property value for the Coulee Area Park and Recreation District. The levy would stretch over six years beginning in 2013.
The request is being decided not only by Douglas County, but by voters in Okanogan, Grant and Lincoln counties as well. Douglas County is approving the levy by 31 votes, 100 to 69. The levy is passing with slightly more narrow margins in the other three counties, and a total of 1,036 votes have been counted so far.
The next levy request is from Douglas County Hospital District No. 2, which has asked Waterville-area voters for an excess tax totaling $65,000 next year, or $0.40 per $1,000 of assessed property value. A commanding 71 percent of the 902 votes counted so far are in support of the levy, which will fund the maintenance costs for the Waterville Clinic and Ambulance facilities and equipment.
The Eastmont School District in East Wenatchee has requested a four-year replacement levy to fund operations and replace money being lost for some of its educational programs. It's passing with 59 percent approval, or 6,966 to 4,760 votes. The levy, which would go into effect in 2014, will generate a gradually increasing revenue from $8.5 million the first year to about $9.3 million by 2017. The first year, taxpayers will pay $0.10 more than they'll pay in 2013; about $3.21 per $1,000 of assessed value.
About 60 percent are in favor of a $40,000 excess tax levy for Douglas County Cemetery District No. 2, based in Waterville. The yes votes are up by 172, with a total of 786 counted. The levy, about $0.30 per $1,000 of assessed value, will be collected next year.
In local uncontested races, PUD Commissioner Ron Skagen has received 10,504 votes, and Douglas County Superior Court Judge John Hotchkiss has brought in 10,588 votes.
The next round of ballot results will be announced next Wednesday, Nov. 21.