Voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to drop off their ballots at an official drop site for their votes to be counted.
As an odd-numbered year, this month’s election includes no candidates for state or federal office, with the bulk of the ballot dedicated to local ballot measures, school board races and other local government matters.
Voters in Bend-La Pine, Crook County and Culver school districts are all being asked to consider bonds that would raise money for new schools and school maintenance.
The Bend-La Pine measure would create a 26 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value tax for the next 10 years, raising an estimated $96 million.
Because older bond measures are set to expire, the tax rates paid by district residents would remain flat.
The funds would be used to build one new elementary school and one new middle school in areas where the student population is growing rapidly, and to undertake safety and energy-efficiency improvements at existing schools. Classrooms dedicated to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics would be modernized.
In Crook County, the school district’s bond measure would raise $33.5 million by extending the $1.03 per $1,000 assessed property value tax rate. More than half would go toward a new 700-student elementary school to replace Crooked River Elementary and Ochoco Elementary schools. If the bond is approved, Ochoco would likely be demolished once the new school opens, while Crooked River could be repurposed as offices for district administration or sold for private-sector redevelopment.
Remaining funds would be used to upgrade existing district facilities, with $3.5 million in improvements at Crook County Middle School, $2.5 million at Cecil Sly Elementary School, $1.3 million at Crook County High School, $950,000 to modernize Ward Rhoden Stadium and lesser amounts at other district properties.
Voters in the Culver School District are being asked to pay $2.63 per $1,000 in assessed property value to raise $9.8 million. The funds would pay for the demolition of aging facilities and the construction of new classroom space, as well as the replacement of some heating, ventilation and cooling systems that are more than 40 years old.
Both the Deschutes County 911 Service District and the Madras Aquatic Center are seeking local option levies that would provide a short-term boost to their operations budgets.
The 911 district, which handles police and fire dispatch service for all of Deschutes County and a sliver of Jefferson, is seeking 20 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value over five years, to replace a slightly larger local option levy due to expire in June. The funds would supplement the district’s permanent levy of 16 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value, and allow the district to continue 911 services at their current level while investing in newer technology.
The levy would raise slightly more than $3.4 million in its first year, increasing to nearly $3.9 million in its final year.
The Madras Aquatic Center is asking voters to approve a 40 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value tax, also for five years. Backers of the measure anticipate it will raise $240,000 in year one, and $1.2 million over five years.
Funds raised through the MAC levy would be used to keep the pool open 12 months a year — in recent years, lengthy springtime closures have been commonplace — invest in a capital maintenance fund and develop “dry land” recreational programs like youth and adult basketball, soccer and softball leagues.
Most of the seats on local ballots in this election are uncontested, most notably with the Bend-La Pine Schools board of directors, where five incumbent board members drew no challengers.
Four of the five positions on the Sisters School District board are up for election this month, and three of the races are contested.
Board chairman Don Hedrick, a retired schoolteacher and administrator who’s served on the board for four years, faces two challengers, Erik Pronold and David Marlow.
Retired from the Port of Portland, Marlow has been a member of the Sisters Planning Commission for five years and volunteers with the Sisters Science Club, while Pronold is active in his church and on the board of Little League of Sisters when not working for the U.S. Forest Service.
Melvin Herberger and Edith Ann Jones will compete for a vacant seat. Herberger is the owner of Melvin’s Fir Street Market and a track coach for the school district, while Jones has been a college instructor, director of Together For Children, and the owner/director of Camp Tamarack youth camp outside Sisters.
Board member Justin Durham’s name will appear on the ballot alongside that of Richard Cole, though Cole has since withdrawn from the race.
One of two seats on the Central Oregon Community College Board of Directors is contested. Former La Pine city councilor and city of Bend employee Adele McAfee is challenging board chairman David Ford, a real estate developer who’s served on a variety of volunteer committees and task forces in Bend.
Two seats on the Redmond School District board of directors are contested. Retired mechanic and vocational educator Johnny Corbin is running against Ron Munkres, a retired schoolteacher, principal and educational consultant for a vacant seat. Pat Reck, appointed to the board last November, is being challenged by Lisa Klemp. Reck is a retired educator and occasional substitute teacher, while Klemp is a business and land use attorney.
Two of four school board races on Crook County voters’ ballots will be contested.
Board chairwoman Patti Norris is facing a challenge from Ray Graves. Norris is an adjunct business professor with COCC, while Graves is a software developer who also runs the Prepper Up store in Prineville.
Three candidates are vying for an open seat on the board: Mike Stuart, Brad Peterson and Gwen Carr. Stuart is a retired teacher and principal, Peterson is a disabled former truck driver, upholsterer and longshoreman, and Carr runs a medical transcription company out of her home.