NEW PLYMOUTH — Voters in the New Plymouth School District approved a two-year, $700,000 supplemental levy in the consolidated May 18 election, with its canvass approved Monday by the Payette County Board of Commissioners during its regular meeting at the Payette County Courthouse.
“We had a really busy election … not,” said county election clerk Teri Nichols during the meeting. “I’m finding out that these little supplemental levies seem to be pretty uneventful, to say the least.”
According to district superintendent David Sotutu, the levy is a renewal of a maintenance and operations levy passed in 2019.
“The New Plymouth School District had a $350,000 per year supplemental levy from 2010 to 2016. From 2017 to 2018, our supplemental levy was for $290,000 per year,” wrote Sotutu. “In 2018, voters did not approve a levy so the district operated without a supplemental levy for one year.”
The official data presented by Nichols indicated a lack of response by most New Plymouth voters.
According to unofficial election results given to the newspaper, a total of 183 voters cast their ballots for the supplemental levy election, with 93 voting in favor of the levy and 90 against. This represents a mere 6.71% of the 2,727 registered voters in the district prior to cutoff for the election.
Nichols noted that the New Plymouth’s precinct 7, with a mere 82 registered voters, saw the greatest concentration of voter turnout with 29 of them sending in ballots. This precinct was a mail-only precinct for this election, according to her.
“We did hope there would have been a higher percentage of voter turnout for the levy. We advertised the levy election as legally required,” according to Sotutu. “Additionally, we mailed information about the levy to all the residents of our school district in a newsletter in April, hosted two informational meetings about the levy for the public the week before the election, and used our website and social media to remind people about the election.”
Nonetheless, Sotutu expressed gratitude to those who did vote in this election.
“While we wish the voter turnout would have been higher, we are grateful that the levy was renewed. We appreciate all that our community does to support our students, staff, and schools.”
Commissioner Marc Shigeta moved to approve this canvass, seconded by Commissioner Georgia Hanigan. The vote to approve was unanimous, 3-0.
Information on where the district publishes legal notices was unavailable as of press time.