April 21, 2024 7:41 am

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Marysville schools levy lead widens in second day of returns

MARYSVILLE, Wash., February 15, 2023—Results from the February special election are making it look like third time’s a charm for the Marysville schools replacement levy.

With second day ballot returns of 11,977 votes counted at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, February 15, 54.83%, or 6,567 voting “yes” for the levy against 44.17% or 5,410 no votes (45.17%).

Superintendent Zach Robbins, approaching his one-year anniversary as the top schools chief, was elated with the results, and grateful to Marysville and Tulalip voters for supporting the Educational Programs and Operations levy.

“The passage of this measure means so much to our students, our schools, our district, and the overall Marysville and Tulalip community,” Robbins said. “It also sends a strong message that we are moving forward together to support all of the community’s children.”

Our local levy dollars stay in our schools and district, providing educational experiences for students beyond the state definition of basic education, he said.

Mayor Nehring said he is encouraged and thankful to the community for the results of last night’s levy election.

“A strong and successful School District plays an essential role in a strong and successful community,” Nehring said. “With new leadership at the District, I appreciate that the community is willing to move forward with approving necessary resources for them to continue to push forward with improvements.”

The replacement levy represents one of the district’s most significant school funding measures since the 1970s.

The levy failed twice in 2022, causing budget cuts across two school year cycles. A third “no” vote would leave the district facing “impossible choices” with the loss of about a sixth of its budget.

Robbins called it the most critical levy in the Marysville and Tulalip community.

With passage, the levy would raise about $108 million over four years, including $25 million in 2024, peaking at $28.9 million in 2027.

The proposed levy is about $1.67 per $1,000 of assessed property value and 68 cents per thousand less than the expiring state Educational Programs and Operations measure.

Residents now are paying $2.35 per $1,000 assessed property value. On a $500,000 home, that would amount to $1,175. With the new rate in place of $1.67 per $1,000 of assessed property value, that amount would drop to $835, for a saving of about $340 a year, school finance official said.

The levy helps pay for staff and supplies not fully funded by state or federal dollars. In Marysville that includes:

  • 15 custodians, grounds or maintenance employees;
  • 6 security officers
  • 16 health services employees; and
  • 27 counselors or social emotional support staff.

It also funds other daily operational needs, like transportation and curriculum; the Marysville-Pilchuck High School pool accessible to the public; and all of school athletics.

The levy got strong political support in recent months, and valiant efforts by the Best Schools Marysville citizens committee kept the levy in the minds of residents and businesses.

Cindy Gobel, chairwoman of the pro-levy Best Schools Marysville political action committee, said supporters spoke with various groups and individuals to spread the message.

“Our goal is to get the levy passed, and we’re here to say please vote ‘yes’,” Gobel said. “This levy is important to Marysville.”

School levies need a simple majority to pass. Last year’s similar levies in Marysville garnered 40.7% approval in February and 45.8% approval in April.

District officials thanked the Best Schools Marysville group of volunteers who worked tirelessly to achieve this positive outcome.

Arlington’s Transportation benefit District was overwhelmingly renewed by voters with a super majority of 68.43%. Voters also overwhelmingly approved two additional commissioners to the Board of Commissioners of Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue.

The election will be certified, and the official results will be posted on the Snohomish County elections website in ten days.

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