The Norman Transcript

February 13, 2013

Bigger budgets, new school board members

By Caitlin Schudalla
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Moore and Norman voters cast their ballots Tuesday and set the course for the future of local public schools and the Moore Norman Technology Center.

All fiscal measures requesting bonds for Moore Public Schools and increased levy funds for MNTC passed, and Andy Sherrer and Cindy Nashert were selected to assume the third seats on the MNTC and Norman school boards, respectively.

Voter turnout at polling locations was reportedly low due to snow and rain.

Fiscal measures: MNTC’s items appearing on Tuesday’s ballot presented voters in Moore and Norman school districts with the question of increasing the center’s four-mill levy revenue to a five-mill levy and whether the increase would be permanent if passed.

Both questions received an overwhelmingly positive vote, meaning MNTC’s budget will get an estimated $1.7 million boost from area taxpayers.

“We are very honored that the constituents have placed their trust in us. This represents a very positive investment in all our students and the community businesses and residents we serve,” MNTC Superintendent Jane Bowen said. “We’re very excited as we move forward.”

Bowen said immediate priorities to be addressed with the additional funds will likely include equipment updates and increasing enrollment space for high-demand classes like welding.

Moore Public Schools also will be able to address some expensive items on the district’s to-do list, as voters passed both propositions for the largest bond issue in the district’s history.

The $126.4 million bond was approved by a majority of approximately 73 percent, much to the elation and pride of MPS administrators.

“We are thrilled with the results and so proud that our community has supported us so well once again,” Superintendent Susan Pierce said.

Bond dollars approved Tuesday will fund two new elementary schools, a new junior high school, transportation equipment, facility expansions, roofing projects, athletic infrastructure, land acquisitions and security updates.

School board elections: Voters from 13 Norman precincts chose Cindy Nashert to assume Office No. 3 on the Norman Board of Education, replacing County Commissioner Darry Stacy, who vacated the seat in January.

Though results indicated that only 648 of more than 13,000 eligible voters made it to the polls, Nashert received a 58.3 percent majority over her opponent, Gary Barksdale.

“I’d like to personally congratulate Cindy,” Barksdale said. “I’d also like to thank all the voters who voted for me and supported my stand on the issues raised, I’d like to thank my loving family and friends who supported me through the campaign and say I think we did a great job. You haven’t heard the last of Gary Barksdale.”

Nashert could not be reached for comment.

MNTC’s new Office No. 3 Board member Andy Sherrer was pleased that Moore and Norman voters selected him over opponent Tammy Maus by a majority of about 57 percent.

“I’m thrilled with the results, I appreciate everyone getting out and voting in the bad weather,” Sherrer said. “I look forward to acting as an ambassador to connect MNTC skilled workers with area businesses and provide opportunities to students.”

Maus could not be reached for comment.

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