/ Articles / LUHS referendum fails; four school board candidates move on

LUHS referendum fails; four school board candidates move on

February 21, 2020 by Brian Jopek

Editor's note: This story has been updated since being printed in the newspaper.


Following several months of committee meetings, school board meetings and then six public information meetings over the course of the past two weeks, a referendum authorized by the Lakeland Union High School Board of Education failed Tuesday. 

Voters were asked whether the district should be allowed to exceed its revenue limit by $3.45 million annually beginning in the 2020-21 school year. 

In June of last year, an ad hoc LUHS committee began reviewing the district’s capital and operational needs, essentially coming to the conclusion to pursue going outside the district’s levy limit each year in order to “keep up and maintain” the district’s facility, leave the district in a “strong financial position,” and prevent the school from returning to referendum in the near future.

The vote totals were 3,073 no votes and 2,402 yes votes.

There was one other matter on the ballot for voters in the Lakeland area concerning LUHS and that was the two at large seats up for election this year on the school board. 

Tom Maulson and Dana Schmidt were eliminated from the field of six candidates with 1,282 and 1,110 votes respectively.

Advancing to the April 7 general election will be incumbent and Shari Nimsgern with 4,417 votes, Heidi Fink with 2,791 votes, Mark Pertile with 2,453 votes and Brian Jackson with 1,369 votes.

Voter turnout, as many expected, was low.

In Vilas County, 15,310 people are registered to vote but just 6,305 did so, a 41% showing. 

The total number of registered voters in Oneida County is 23,768 and just shy of 40% — or 9,467 — turned out at the polls Tuesday. 

Brian Jopek may be reached via email at [email protected].

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