Archive for Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Voters say yes to Bernard, new school, sales tax

April 5, 2005, 8:31 p.m.

Updated: April 6, 2005, 8:51 a.m.

Incumbent Kenneth Bernard won his quest to remain Lansing mayor, and voters gave overwhelming approval to the Lansing school bond issue, unofficial results from Tuesday's elections show.

With all of the votes counted, Bernard - a 20-year incumbent - held off a challenge by Ward 4 City Council member Harland Russell. Voters gave Bernard a 1,237-1,090 edge. The Lansing school bond referendum, which proposes spending $23.6 million for a new elementary school and high school auditorium, received the approval of 56 percent of the votes cast, 1,727-1,361.

News of the school bond issue's passage was somewhat bittersweet for Lansing School Board incumbent Stuart Lyon, who was denied re-election. Instead, three newcomers will take a seat on the board. Homemaker and longtime school volunteer Beth Stevenson was the top vote recipient in the school board race, with 1,723 votes. She'll be joined on the board by Dr. Gary Courtney, a Lansing dentist, who received 1,373 votes, and former Lansing schools band instructor Robert Nicholas, who received 1,337 votes. Lyon, who is completing his first four-year term on the board, finished out of the money with 1,130 votes; Realtor Mike Nielsen received 810 votes.

Karalin Alsdurf, who ran unopposed to fill the unexpired term of Michelle Fattig-Smith on the Lansing School Board, also won election. Alsdurf had been appointed to the board last year.

Lansing City Council incumbents Don Studnicka, Billy Blackwell, Kenneth Ketchum and David Trinkle Jr., all of whom were unopposed, won re-election.

Voters in Leavenworth County joined their fellow Kansans by overwhelmingly approving a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution banning same sex marriages. Nearly 74 percent of the county's voters supported the amendment, which was approved 9,866-3,557. Statewide, the easily won approval with about 70 percent of the vote.

Leavenworth County voters also gave the county and its cities what amounts to an extension of the existing 1 percent sales tax. Voters approved a new 1-cent tax, 8,724-4,632, to go into effect Jan. 1, 2007. The current 1-cent tax expires Dec. 31, 2006.

County Clerk Linda Scheer said turnout was 31 percent, higher than the norm for spring elections. She attributed the higher turnout to the bond question in Lansing, the countywide sales tax question and the vote on the marriage amendment.

Votes will be canvassed and results made official on Friday by the Leavenworth County Commission.

Unofficial results

Lansing Mayor's Race

(4 of 4 precincts reporting)

Kenneth Bernard ... 1,237

Harland Russell ... 1,090

Lansing school bond issue

(9 of 9 precincts reporting)

Yes ... 1,727

No ... 1,361

Lansing school board

(9 of 9 precincts reporting - top 3 elected)

Beth Stevenson ... 1,723

Gary Courtney ... 1,373

Robert Nicholas ... 1,337

Stuart Lyon ... 1,130

Mike Nielsen ... 820

Countywide 1 percent sales tax

(37 of 37 precincts reporting)

Yes ... 8,724

No ... 4,632

Constitutional amendment on marriage

(37 of 37 precincts reporting)

Yes ... 9,866

No ... 3,557

For reaction to Tuesday's vote, pick up this week's Lansing Current.

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