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Luverne passes referendum

LUVERNE -- Voters in the Luverne school district passed an operating levy referendum renewal of $401.27 per pupil-unit Tuesday.

From the 1,207 ballots cast by 33 percent of voters, 875 people registered "yes" votes while the remaining 332 registered "no." The referendum renewal will help the administration respond to cost increases in educational materials, utilities, transportation and facilities maintenance.

"It would help with long -range planning for technology and equipment programs. We have to be careful but we don't have to worry as much about the financial picture," Superintendent Gary Fisher said. "Now we can provide those for our kids."

In other Election Day news, current members of the Windom Board of Education, Don Brugman and Rick Frederickson, will continue their positions for three-year terms. The Cottonwood Citizen reported Brugman, the school board chair has been on the board for 15 years. Newcomer Ben Schleicher will fill the third three-year position -- a vacant spot which had previously been occupied by an appointed member.

There was a relatively even split among voters, with Brugman and Frederickson receiving 73 votes each, and Shleicher receiving 62 votes. A total of 83 ballots were cast in Windom.

Elsewhere, five candidates ran for a contested election for the Mountain Lake Board of Education. Out of the five candidates, one was a write-in.

Prior to when the votes were tallied, longtime board member Julie Brugman expressed her concern for the board to be able to retain some longevity in terms of members.

Brugman, who has served on the board since 1997, was one of the two board members who were re-elected -- receiving 164 votes.

"I'm grateful to the people who turned out to vote for me and I will continue to serve district to the best of my ability," she said.

Also re-elected for the next four years is Pam Hoek, who received 243 votes. Newcomer Chad Pedersen received enough votes (148) to beat out incumbent Nathan Fast. Finally, Julie Peters, the lone write-in candidate, garnered the second highest votes -- 217. A total of 272 voters were present.