Hayden Lake tax hike shot down
Staff Writer | May 19, 2021 1:15 AM
Hayden Lake voters turned out in force Tuesday to overwhelmingly reject a proposed one-year budget increase of more than $969,000.
The hike would have been more than seven times the current budget, which clearly called voters to action.
“We’ve had to run extra ballots up to Precinct 16,” Kootenai County Clerk Jim Brannon said Tuesday afternoon. “We now print on demand, so we were able to print some more ballots for them. As of 3:20 in the afternoon, that precinct was over 22 percent voter turnout, including over 14 percent at the polls. A big election in Hayden Lake.”
Of the 270 Hayden Lake citizens who voted, 241 — a whopping 88 percent — voted against the budget increase. It was but one issue on an unusually stacked ballot that attracted voters countywide.
Tuesday night’s election turnout dwarfed the last odd-year May election in 2019, when 6,175 voters cast ballots while representing just over 7.5 percent of the roughly 82,000 registered voters that year.
But on Tuesday, absentee and early voting alone had produced 6,210 votes before the polls had even opened at 8 a.m. By the end of the evening, 18,875 of the 101,250 registered voters in Kootenai County would vote, marking a healthy 18.6 percent turnout.
“What we’re seeing is, a lot of polling places are over 10 percent at the polls alone,” Brannon said. “That doesn’t even count our absentees or earlies. We’re seeing turnout in excess of 20 percent at several locations.”
Candidates also ran in targeted local races for nonpartisan positions. Here are those results:
— Angela Sieverding defeated John F. Austin and Tim Day to claim the East Side Highway Sub-District 2 race.
— David Russell bested Kevin Hanson and incumbent Terry Werner for the Post Falls Highway Sub-District 1 seat.
— Challenger Jeff Tyler handily beat incumbent Todd Tondee to take the Post Falls Highway Sub-District 2 seat.
— Corinne Feely Johnson will continue to represent the Worley Highway Sub-District 2, beating Daniel Sneve.
— Bill Zak beat Jacqueline Malinauskas for the Alpine Meadows Water & Sewer District board’s four-year term.
— Kelly Paul beat Damon Shaw in a battle for Kootenai County Water District’s Seat 2.
— Norman Milem beat Bradley Foster for Kootenai County Water District’s Seat 4.