By SYLVIA LOBATO
DEL NORTE — The Del Norte Schools were big victors in Tuesday’s election, as the school district’s proposed mill levy override passed with a 1,229-896 margin.
The measure will pump new funds into the school district, making up for state budget cuts and other funding losses.
Del Norte Superintendent of Schools Nathan Smith thanked the voters for getting behind the schools when it was needed most.
The state of Colorado has not adequately funded school districts for a number of years.
In 2011-2012, the Del Norte School District received $750,000 less than in the 2009 funding. The state also announced that there would be additional cuts in school funding for the current academic year.
The Del Norte School District has had to cut classes, programs, services and 33 staff positions.
A lot of classes, programs and services were reduced, including the elementary music and high school music.
In addition, the middle School health/PE was reduced by 50 percent and the high school math and science classes were reduced by 33 percent.
Nursing services and monies for athletic uniforms were also sliced in half and attendance support was reduced.
The mill levy override will restore critical budget cuts; allow for purchase of high-quality academic books, technology and resources; enhance safety and security of students and staff; restore support programs to prepare students for the future; and prevent more job cuts.
Smith said the Friends of the Del Norte School District went above and beyond in their support of the proposal — and so did the kids.
“They got out there and talked about it,” Smith said.
“We need the money so our students can be competitive and leave school prepared to succed,” Smith said.
Passage of the mill levy override won’t result in a spending spree, however.
“We are going to be careful with the way we spend our money,” Smith said. The district will conduct a Survey throughout the community seeking input on the matter, then take the public’s wishes to the school board for a final decision, he said.
Rio Grande County reported a 65.49 percent voter turn-out, which Smith said was huge compared to four years ago when a similar measure was defeated.
“This shows great community support for the schools,” he concluded.
Bricker wins BOCC seat
Independent Pam Bricker is Rio Grande County’s new commissioner in District 3, pulling in 1,973 votes to 1,722 for Republican Gene W. Glover and 902 for Marty Asplin, also an independent.
The tallies are unofficial, since the county had 15 of 16 precincts (93.75 percent) reporting at press time.
Running unopposed for the seat in commissioners District 3, Republican incumbent Doug Davie drew 3,780 confidence votes.
Running for the seat in newly created State Senate District 35, Republican Larry Crowder was the winner in Rio Grande County with 2,585 votes to 2,094 for Democrat Crestina Martinez and 167 for Libertarian William Stuart Bartley.
District-wide, voters favored Crowder.
Vigil retains seat
In the race for State House District 62, Republican Tim Walters pulled in 2,504 Rio Grande County votes to 2,290 for Democrat incumbent Edward Vigil, who emerged victorious in state tallies.
Mahonee remains DA
The hotly contested race for 12th Judicial District Attorney saw Republican Peter Comar drawing 2,570 votes in the county to 2,152 for incumbent Democrat David Mahonee.
Mahonee went on to win the seat by a narrow margin.
Tipton bests Pace
Rio Grande County backed the incumbent in the U.S. House District 3, giving 2,785 votes to Republican Scott R. Tipton, 1,811 to Democrat challenger Sal Pace, 92 to Libertarian Gregory Gilman and 134 to independent Tisha T. Casida. Tipton emerged victorius in final statewide tallies.
The county went Republican again in the race for regent of the University of Colorado-at large, according 2,200 to Brian Davidson and 1,969 to Democrat Stephen C. Ludwig. ACN’s Tyler Belmont drew 166 votes and Libertarian Daniel Ong, had 163 votes.
In the race for Regent of the University of Colorado Congressional District 3, Republican Glenn Gallegos won the confidence of 2,442 Rio Grande County voters to 1,995 for Democrat Jessica Garrow.
Chief 12th Judicial District Judge Pattie P. Swift drew 3,454 votes of support from Rio Grande County electors and 951 against her service.
Constitutional Amendment S dealing with the state personnel system was narrowly defeated in Rio Grande County, 2,345 to 2,194.
Amendment 64, regarding legalization of marijuana, also lost by a narrow margin with Rio Grande County voters, 2,424 to 2,411.
Amendment 65, regarding the state’s right to limit political contributions passed 3,469 to 1,242 in Rio Grande County.