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Voters decide NKSD levy, port annexation today | Feb. 11 election
POULSBO — Today is Election Day.
Today, North Kitsap voters will decide whether to renew the North Kitsap School District’s maintenance and operations levy. Voters in Lemolo, Scandia, Virginia Point and parts of Poulsbo will decide whether to be annexed into the Poulsbo Port District.
Ballots must be postmarked today. Deadline for putting your ballot into a ballot drop box is 8 p.m.
In North Kitsap, ballot drop boxes are located at North Kitsap Fire and Rescue, 26642 Miller Bay Road N.E., Kingston; and at Poulsbo Fire Station, 911 N.E. Liberty Road, Poulsbo.
Election results will be posted on the Kitsap County Auditor Elections website at 8:15 p.m. Comprehensive coverage of the election will be posted on NorthKitsapHerald.com shortly after results are posted.
Going into Election Day, NKSD levy campaign chairwoman Tania Issa was confident that voters would renew the school district’s M&O levy — $2.83 per $1,000 of assessed home valuation. The levy is expected to generate $16.5 million for the school district in 2015.
According to the school district, here’s how each dollar is spent.
— 25 cents: teachers' salaries
— 24 cents: classified staff
— 17 cents: materials, supplies and operating costs
— 8 cents: special education
— 8 cents: transportation
— 8 cents: administrator salaries and benefits
— 6 cents: extracurricular activities and sports
— 1 cent: all-day kindergarten
— 1 cent: special programs
— 1 cent: the pool
— 1 cent: the copy center
If the levy is not renewed, the school district would need to try again in April, Issa said. The school district receives funding from a variety of sources, federal and state among them. The local levy funds about 23 percent of the school district’s overall budget.
“I do believe we’re going to win,” she said in an earlier interview. She’s likely correct: In 2010, voters renewed the levy 74.25 to 25.75 percent.
The Poulsbo Port District’s annexation proposal is more controversial.
The port is asking residents of Lemolo, Scandia, Virginia Point and parts of Poulsbo to join the port district; the levy is 30 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation.
Supporters say annexation would give more people a say in the day-to-day business of the port, particularly decisions that affect them; and would enable the port district to engage in economic development and safeguarding the health of Liberty Bay.
"I live outside [the] port district," David Wells said at a forum in October. “This is part of what we call economic responsibility. The port district isn't just there for the marina. It's economic development."
At the same forum, Dennis Beach of Scandia said, “I’m like everybody — against raising my taxes. “I have enough being on the water. But that investment pays in the future. I think it's a small step for the taxes I pay to have Poulsbo succeed. If we don't support (annexation), then we don't have any voice over there."
But at a second forum in January, opponents of annexation presented another view. "All of us waterfront homeowners, we got the DNR, we got the Army Corps of Engineers if you got a dock, we got the county, we got septic people, and now you (want to) put another layer — you guys — over that,” said Joe Prevost, whose family has lived on Pearson Point for 25 years. “We're worried. We got enough already.”
He added, “This is a 71 percent increase (in the port's taxing area). I’m very opposed to this."
Some residents said they could not see the benefit of joining the port.
"I'm not unsympathetic to you," said Carl Shipley of Scandia. "But I'm not in favor of this. If you had actually presented something that talked about how I would be drawn more into a community of Liberty Bay, I would have been much more sympathetic. The idea has attraction. There is a sort of natural configuration for a community here. But I just didn't hear it tonight."
According to the Auditor’s Office, 2,483 ballots were mailed out to eligible voters in the proposed annexation area. As of Election Day morning, 2,274 ballots had been received.