Voters Approve Millage Renewals in All Requesting Districts

The Nov. 4 elections were important to the funding and governance of the Kent ISD’s 20 local school districts. All held elections for school board openings, while voters in five districts approved requests to renew their non-homestead operating millage rates. These are property taxes of 18 mills levied on land and buildings that are not taxpayers’ primary residence.

Non-homestead tax renewals were approved in all the districts that requested them, including Cedar Springs, Godfrey-Lee, Northview, Rockford and Thornapple-Kellogg. Renewals were especially decisive in two districts: Northview, where voters approved the request 4,365-1,660, and Rockford, with an 11,146-4,548 margin.  The result was closer in Cedar Springs, with a vote of 3,013-2,670.

School board elections featured contested seats in eight districts, while candidates in the other 12 were unopposed. Although most incumbents were re-elected in the contested races, they were defeated in two districts and tied in a third. Following are results in the contested districts:

Byron Center: Incumbents Bruce Dennett and Jason Pierson were elected to four-year terms along with challenger Chuck Fedewa. Incumbent Chris Shride was defeated.

Caledonia: Newcomer Chris Behm was elected to one six-year term.

Godfrey-Lee: Incumbent Tammy Schafer and challenger David Blok were elected to six-year seats, while incumbent Robert Baker Jr. and challenger Josephine Coleman tied for the third six-year seat. School officials are waiting for the Wyoming Board of Canvassers to certify the tie vote. If it is certified a drawing will be held to determine who assumes the board post.

Grand Rapids: Incumbents Tony Baker, Wendy Falb, John Matias and Maureen Slade and challenger Jose Flores were elected to six-year terms.

Grandville: Incumbents Robert Blitchok and Barbara Palmer were elected to six-year terms along with challenger Bob Persky.

Kelloggsville: Incumbents Tim Pomorski and Laura Tanis and challenger Marie Groters were elected to six-year terms. Incumbent Crystal Reidzans was defeated.

Northview: Incumbents Tim Detwiler and Douglas LaFleur were re-elected to six-year terms. Newcomers Michelle Gallery and Jeff Lambert were elected to four-year terms.

Sparta: Incumbents Kim Eluskie, James Kerby and Pamela May were re-elected to six-year terms.

CONNECT

Summary of Kent County School Elections

Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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