In the two county area, only one school board set was contested this year – position number two of the Caddo Hills Board of Directors between incumbent Kinzie Bour and Dennis Davis.
Bour won reelection by an unofficial count of more than a two-to-one margin 342-150, including a popular majority at each polling site.
Voting totals by district included (district name — Davis total, Bour total, total votes)
Absentee — 11, 17, 28
Early Voting – 8, 37, 45
Black Springs – 14, 81, 95
Gaddo Gap & Alamo – 29, 75, 104
Caney – 20, 45, 65
Hopper – 19, 24, 43
Norman (In and Out) – 49, 53, 102
Total – 150 (30.49%), 342 (69.51%), 492
The 492 votes marks a 29% participation rate of the 1,692 registered voters in the Caddo Hills School District.
The “for” or “against” 37.7 mills school tax, which is required by state law to appear on the ballot, was defeated 240-237. However, as no new millage was being sought by the school district, the vote total in no way impacts the previously elected mill total.
The Mount Ida School District, with no contested races, garnered 14 votes for the unopposed candidates and passing the “for” or “against” tax of 34.0 mills by a 19-5 margin.
In Pike County, the only contested election was a referendum on a 1 mill increase proposed by Kirby School District for the dedicated purpose of new bus purchases.
The millage increase passed by a 64-27 (70.33% to 29.67%) margin. That number reflects just a 6.94% voter participation rate of the 1,311 registered voters in the Kirby School District.
“It is strictly for the purchase of new school buses – and it can only be spent on school bus purchases,” said Kirby School Superintendent Jeff Alexander.
Alexander added that either new or used (former leases) could be purchased, but that it was the board’s intention at this time to purchase new.
The tax millage in Kirby moves up to 36. At current value, 1 mill generates slightly more than $30,000 per year. New buses run in the vicinity of $80,000.
“That will put us on a cycle to get a new bus every 2.5-3 years,” said Alexander. “It’s hard for us to come up with $80,000,” he said, noting that there were some monies in the state package for transportation, but most of that funded the fuel cost for the bus fleet every year.
Alexander stated that those owning $50,000 of property, the cost would break down to 85¢ a month, should the millage pass. Those owning $500,000 in property, the cost will be just less than $8.50 per month.
Incumbent Kirby School Board members Darla Crump and Sean Deputy both ran unopposed and each garnered 69 votes.
Both the South Pike County and Centerpoint school districts held early and absentee votes only as neither district had a contested race.
In Centerpoint, Kerry Horn and Charles Swain both retain their seats after running unopposed. Each collected 5 votes, with the “for” or “against” tax of the current 41 mills passed 5-0.
South Pike County’s Scott Maroon notched seven votes to retain the board position, while the “for” or “against” tax of the current 41 mills passed 6-2.