BY MELANIE WADE –
School Elections were held around the county on Tuesday, September 29, 2017 for all three school districts. Only one district had a race for a school board position, as all others were unopposed. Ouachita River School District’s Zone 5 seat was contested between Annette Hayes and Robby Strother. Hayes won the seat with 78.57 percent of the vote.
All three districts had millages on the ballot as well, although none were asking for an increase. All passed so each remains. Mena School’s millage is 35.9; Cossatot River’s millage is 44; and Ouachita River’s millage rate is 31.3.
All three county districts have adopted resolutions that will move all future school elections to coincide with the primary elections for governmental entities in May of each year. The change will take place in the 2018 election cycle.
Due to the Annual School Election having been held on the third Tuesday in September, having only school-related ballot candidates and issues, the schools have been responsible for the cost, including the use of polling machines and paying poll workers. When the shift is made in 2018, the schools will be able to share the cost of the election with other entities.
The costs involved with holding the Annual School Election varies each year depend on how may polling sites are available, number of poll workers, etc. Although future costs are yet to be determined, the shift is expected to save the school districts valued funding.