Mineral and Randolph Counties Vote on School Levies

Nov 9, 2015

The weeks leading up to the vote on the levy were contentious in Randolph County.
Credit Photo courtesy of Katelynn Hanek

On Saturday, Nov. 7, residents of Mineral County voted overwhelmingly for the renewal of their school levy according, to the Mineral Daily News-Tribune. Eighty-eight percent of voters supported the measure, which provides schools with $5.9 million each year for 5 years to support new textbooks, teacher salaries, transportation, libraries and facilities.

However, in Randolph County, the outcome was different as voters rejected the county's excess school levy that would have provided $2.8 million each year for five years to county schools.

The funds were to support instruction materials, technology, extracurricular activities, and maintenance of buildings.  The vote was split as 55 percent rejected the levy and 44 percent supported the levy. 

Outside Jennings Randolph Elementary School, where voters in the 23rd and 24th precincts cast their ballots, residents voiced their opinions. 

Resident Donald Mole was against the levy.

"I actually came out here to vote against the levy because of wasteful spending," he said.

However, Elwood Sites supported the levy.

"This levy has been very important for us, because I am teacher, and we have seen many improvements in school system and many things that we could not do if we did not have the levy,” he said.

Elkins City Council Member Mitch Marstiller reads the results of the Randolph County levy vote on Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Randolph County courthouse in Elkins.
Credit Andrew Carroll / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After the results were announced at the county courthouse on Saturday night, many were disheartened at the levy’s failure, including Randolph County Schools Superintendent Pamela Hewitt.

“We are disappointed and somewhat discouraged with the results, but I think it’s imperative to remember that only 30 percent of our voters have spoken. So we’re not quite certain how our entire community feels because of the low voter turn out," she said. "But the bottom line is that we did have many people in our community who supported our students and supported our schools.”

4,878 of the 16,661 registered voters in the county turned out for the election. Of the 29 percent that turned out, 44 percent supported the levy and 55 percent opposed the levy. This year's turnout was higher than when the levy was first approved, in 2010.