Measure L brings healthy turnout
Hours before polls closed, voters filing out of precincts at Meyers and Al Tahoe elementary schools voiced support of Measure L for different reasons and with some trepidation.
“I like the idea of neighborhood schools and not busing (students) far because our winters can be pretty bad but I also don’t like spending unnecessary money,” said Dolores Ciafardone, who has four grandchildren within the Lake Tahoe Unified School District.
Voter Sue Jackson believed the measure’s resolution was “poorly written” and expected litigation from the time-share industry if it passed.
“I thought about voting no but I have custody of my grandchild,” she said. “I think there will be lawsuits though.”
Some said they didn’t want two elementary schools to close next year. One voter said they wanted the physical education program to flourish with the addition of specialists the tax would fund.
Another, 18-year-old Sam Fernald, son of school board member Madeline Fernald, said he didn’t want the music program at South Tahoe High School to diminish.
One person who declined to give her name voted against the measure. She didn’t elaborate.
The two precincts reported a relatively healthy turnout for the special election, which fell on LTUSD’s spring break.
At 2:30 p.m., the Meyers Elementary precinct reported more than 50 percent of its 770 registered voters casting ballots.
“This district has pretty good turnouts,” said inspector Carolyn McKissock.
One Meyers’ voter, Justin Child, brought his 6-year-old daughter Jade with him into the polling place. Child didn’t want his first-grader to be riding a school bus for long hours. Since the measure failed, Meyers Elementary will close, causing long bus routes to Tahoe Valley Elementary for some students.
“We would like to see Meyers stay open and the teachers we have to keep their jobs,” he said.
An hour later, election official JoAnn Conner said the Al Tahoe precinct had an “average” turnout with 14 percent of 570 registered voters.
The number of registered voters in the district increased by 765 compared to November’s 12,692 who were able to choose candidates in the school board election.
Barbara McBride, a parent of a South Tahoe Middle School student who went to Meyers Elementary, didn’t want long bus rides for students.
“I think the school district needs help,” McBride said. “I know a lot of people who are teachers and I don’t want them to lose their jobs.”
– E-mail William Ferchland at email@example.com