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Water, sewer, highway districts up for grabs today

by CRAIG NORTHRUP
Staff Writer | May 18, 2021 1:00 AM

A Post Falls School District levy question headlines the issues facing voters today in the 2021 taxing district election.

The Post Falls School District had asked voters in March to approve a supplemental levy reaching $4,955,000 for each of the next two years, which would pay for operational expenses. That measure failed by 33 votes. Today’s levy question, if approved, would raise a tax burden by an estimated $102.18 per $100,000 of taxable assessed value, based on current conditions. The district is taking another swing today.

Many, though not all, Kootenai County residents are being asked to consider a $14.9 million obligation bond, which would go to relocating two fire stations, building an altogether-new fire station and make equipment and training campus improvements for Kootenai County Fire and Rescue. If approved, the tax increase within its district would cost $24 per $100,000 over the next 10 years.

In addition, six candidates are running for three open seats on the Kootenai Hospital District’s board of trustees. Incumbents Katie Brodie and Terence Neff are running a joint campaign alongside challengers Robert McFarland, Chris Nordstrom, Duke Johnson and Kootenai County Treasurer Steve Matheson. The winners will help steer the future of Kootenai Health for the next six years.

Another headline-grabbing race today will decide the future of the Community Library Network and its seven area-wide libraries. Incumbents Robert Fish and Michelle Veale, alongside challengers Vanessa Robinson and Rachelle Ottosen, are all competing for the two available seats. The winners will sit for six-year terms that will help decide the matters of the network’s seven brick-and-mortar libraries — Post Falls, Hayden, Rathdrum, Athol, Spirit Lake, Pinehurst and Harrison — and the bookmobile.

Voters will also choose from a number of candidates for a variety of water, sewer and highway district races. Whether or not those races appear on voters’ ballots depends entirely on the precinct in which they vote. While many races are essentially unopposed — the four candidates for the Bayview Water & Sewer District race are essentially running for four individual, pre-determined seats, making their runs unopposed — some races have been contested.

• Four candidates are seeking out seats on the Alpine Meadows Water & Sewer District race in and around parts of Hayden. Eric Thurman is the only candidate seeking a six-year term, while Carol A. Jones is the only candidate seeing a two-year term. Jacqueline Malinauskas and Bill Zak are competing for the lone four-year term.

• A sliver of Kootenai County voters will lend their support to three candidates vying for two seats on Shoshone County’s Cataldo Water District. Derek Michael Jarvey, Eddy W. Hanson and Don E. McCarver, all with post offices boxes in Kingston, are running for the two available spots. Because the western edge of the Cataldo Water District drifts into Kootenai County, a total of eight Kootenai County residents are eligible to vote on the matter. Those votes will be added to the Shoshone County count.

• Four Coeur d’Alene residents have thrown their hats into the ring for two specific seats on the Kootenai County Water District No. 1 race. Damon Shaw and Kelly Paul are vying for Seat 2, while Norman Milen and Bradley J. Foster are competing for Seat 4.

• The East Side Highway District’s open race consists of three candidates angling for one open seat. Incumbent John F. Austin and challenger Tim Day — both of Cataldo — are running alongside Angela Sieverding of St. Maries for the Sub-District 2 seat.

• The Post Falls Highway District’s Sub-District 1 fight is a three-way battle between incumbent Terry C. Werner, challenger David Russell — both of Post Falls — and challenger Kevin Hanson of Rathdrum.

• Meanwhile, the Post Falls Highway’s Sub-District 2 election is a two-person race between incumbent Todd Tondee and challenger Jeff Tyler, both of Coeur d’Alene.

• Down south, the open Worley Highway District’s Sub-District 2 race between incumbent Corinne Feely Johnson of Coeur d’Alene and Worley’s Daniel Sneve.

Polls open at 8 a.m. today and close at 8 p.m.