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Yes, there is an election on Nov. 5

By Staff | Nov 3, 2019

I saw something startling on TV last week.

I know what you are thinking. You think it was a commercial for Christmas shopping. And, you think I am going to do the old person whine and say something like, “It isn’t even Halloween yet, and here they are selling stuff for Christmas. Why, back in my day, it was almost a rule that there were no Christmas ads, or Christmas decorations up, or Christmas music playing until after Thanksgiving.”

But, no, I am not going to say that. I have pretty much gotten used to the fact that Christmas ads and sales start earlier and earlier each year, and soon they will begin on the Fourth of July. Eventually, I guess, they will never end, and just be on year around.

What startled me was almost just as bad.

Political ads. For the next presidential election. Which, in case you don’t know, is a year away.

One was for President Donald Trump. The other was for a Democrat who wants to be the one selected to run against President Trump.

I have a bad feeling this is going to be one nasty year when it comes to political ads on TV. Why, there may not be any air time left next year for Christmas ads.

But, I digress.

This is what is known as an “off year” when it comes to elections. That means there are only a few elections being held, with no major federal, state or even local elections.

However, as I have pointed out before in this space, there is going to be an election held for voters in the Blue Earth Area School District. And, that election will be held on the normal annual election date, the first Tuesday in November, which is this week, on Nov. 5.

Hopefully, if you are a resident in the BEA School District, you are aware of that. Hopefully, you have educated yourself about the whys and wherefors about this election. (If not, please stop reading this column and immediately go to our front page story about the election in this week’s Register and read it thoroughly.)

Then, I hope you take the time to go and vote on Tuesday.

In a nut shell, you will be voting for two items. One does involve voting to raise your property taxes, never an easy thing to do.

However, there is a good reason for it. The School District needs the funds in order to continue to provide the current level of education at our schools. You read that right. It is not to increase any programs, it is just to maintain all the things that are offered now.

The numbers have been presented several times. Basically, the School Board is asking for $900 per student in additional funding to come from property owners. Since there are roughly 1,000 students in the system, that would translate to $900,000. If the referendum does not pass, then they will be doing around $1 million in cuts the next year.

You can make several arguments against voting for the referendum. You could say the School Board should have already made some cuts to balance their budget, which they have. They should have used up their reserve funds first, which they have. They should have kept the previous excess levy referendum in place, and perhaps they should have, instead of letting it lapse.

All pretty much water under the bridge, or over the dam. In other words, that is in the past, and it is now time to look toward the future.

As you can tell, I plan on voting on Tuesday, and I plan to vote yes.

Several people have asked me how I think the election will go. Will it pass? Will it not? Will there be a big turnout of voters or just a few? And, is a big turnout or a small one better in order for the referendum to pass?

I long ago gave up on trying to guess what is going to happen in any election, whether local or national. You just have to look at Donald Trump, Jesse Ventura and Al Franken to see that when it comes to elections anything can happen.

I guess I would predict a small turn out for this Tuesday, since it is an off year for elections. As to whether it will pass, I think there is a good chance it will, but we won’t know for sure until late Tuesday night.

And yes, there is something else on the ballot. BEA District residents will be electing a School Board member. Jeff Eckles has been serving on the board for the past several months, filling in for the position which had been held by Jeremy Coxworth who had resigned.

Eckles had been selected by the board to fill out the term only until the next election, which is, of course, on Tuesday. He was the only person who filed so he is the only person listed on the ballot although there is a write-in vote space.

I’m still going to go out on a limb here and predict Mr. Eckles will be elected to a full term on the School Board.

So, just to repeat. There is a School Board election this Tuesday. So please exercise your civic duty and take a little time to go vote.