Elections

Tax measures for some Pierce County school districts were too close to call Wednesday

Pierce County school districts with tax measures on Tuesday’s ballot saw mixed results.

Operational levies to fund things like school resources officers, nurses and support staff were passing in many districts, but those outside Tacoma saw construction bonds failing.

As of Wednesday’s results, Orting’s levy was not passing by 11 votes. Spokesperson Tara Long said the district hoped later counts would swing the vote in its favor.

“The community has been supportive. We are hopeful that by the next count, they still are,” Long said.

Eatonville’s levy was passing with 53 percent of the vote as of Wednesday’s results. Its bond measure was headed for defeat, with only 44 percent approval. The $4 million bond would have rebuilt the high school’s 85-year-old, wooden stadium, turf the field and renovate the track.

Extracurricular-focused bonds usually don’t do that well, Superintendent Krestin Bahr said. The district plans to re-assess the bond before deciding whether to ask voters again.

“Our community deserves that, but it comes at a cost,” she said.

Sumner-Bonney Lake School District’s bond also nosedived, garnering only 45 percent approval. It asked voters for a $205 million bond to rebuild Sumner High. That district’s levy was passing with 511 votes.

“We are watching returns closely and will keep you posted,” Sumner-Bonney Lake superintendent Laurie Dent said in a statement posted to the district’s website.

Tacoma’s bond measure was passing with 67 percent of voters approving $535 million to renovate and build eight schools.

Levies passed in Auburn, White River, Peninsula, Dieringer, Clover Park, Carbonado and Yelm.

Josephine Peterson covers Pierce County and Puyallup for The News Tribune and The Puyallup Herald. She previously worked at The News Journal in Delaware as the crime reporter and interned at The Washington Post.
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