Apr 03, 2024

St. Joseph voters approve school bond issue, re-elect School Board President

Posted Apr 03, 2024 3:00 PM


St. Joseph Post

St. Joseph voters gave overwhelming approval to a $20 million school bond issue and re-elected the president of the St. Joseph School Board during the municipal elections Tuesday.

The Buchanan County Clerk’s office reports all but one precinct has reported results. The Sojourn precinct remains out in the unofficial vote tally released by the office.

[CORRECTION:  The Buchanan County Clerk's office reports the Sojourn voters have been combined with the St. Peter location, making a total of 23 precincts. The totals released are the unofficial total votes. We regret the error and any inconvenience it might have caused.]

More than 7,000 St. Joseph voters cast ballots in favor of the school bond issue that requires no tax increase with only about 3,600 voting against the proposal. That nearly 66% margin well surpasses the 57% threshold needed to approve the bonds.

St. Joseph School Board President LaTonya Williams garnered the most votes in a crowded field for three St. Joseph School Board seats, receiving more than 4,000 votes. Mike Moore came in second with Ronda Chesney third; both those candidates also breaking the 4,000 vote barrier. Jacob McMillian came in fourth with former St. Joseph School Board member, Tami Pasley, coming in fifth. School Board Vice President Kenneth Reeder lost his bid for re-election, coming in sixth.

The proposal by the Rolling Hills Consolidated Library District to reduce its overall levy by three cents in exchange for voters lifting the sunset clause on about half the levy passed overwhelmingly in both Buchanan and Andrew Counties. The question received 62% approval in Buchanan County with 63% approving in Andrew County.

The City of St. Joseph placed seven changes to the city charter on the ballot. All but two won approval, though the two that failed were fairly close. Proposition 4 which would allow the city council to modify city departments by city code rather than by city saw 52% vote no with 48% voting yes. Proposition 5, moving the Personnel Board and the Museum Oversight Board from the charter to the code received saw 53% vote no to 46 percent voting yes. All other proposals received nearly 70% to more than 70% approval.

Voter turnout exceeded expectations. Buchanan County Clerk Mary Baack Garvey predicted a turnout of 15%. The actual turnout topped 22% with more than 11,000 of the county’s 52,000 registered voters casting ballots.

This article has been changed since first published, making a correction on what city charter changes passed.

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