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63 percent of CK voters push school levy to passage

Central Kitsap Citizens for Quality Education members expressed gratitude to the community for the School Support Levy renewal with “Thank you!” stickers on campaign signs distributed throughout Central Kitsap. The stickers will be removed later to store the signs for future levy campaigns. - Photo by Valentina Petrova
Central Kitsap Citizens for Quality Education members expressed gratitude to the community for the School Support Levy renewal with “Thank you!” stickers on campaign signs distributed throughout Central Kitsap. The stickers will be removed later to store the signs for future levy campaigns.
— image credit: Photo by Valentina Petrova

In the minutes just past 8 p.m. Tuesday, the back room of the Yacht Club Broiler in Old Town Silverdale grew as silent as it was dimly lit. A 29-year veteran of Central Kitsap School District, former teacher, librarian and administrator David Peterson was hunched over his cell phone, speaking with the county’s election office staff.

“I know the number by heart and I already called them a few hours ago to check how they’re doing,” said Peterson, former elections deputy and now county clerk.

Julie Goldsmith, executive director of secondary teaching and learning, leaned in across the table as Peterson dialed to get the preliminary numbers of the School Support Levy renewal election.

“The man is smiling,” she announced to the quiet room.

A few minutes later, there was an uproar of applause and congratulations when superintendent Greg Lynch announced the CK levy weighed in with 62.85 percent, a hump over the state-mandated 60 percent supermajority.

“We’re not going to lose it folks,” Peterson told the loud-again crowd.

Central Kitsap Citizens for Quality Education chairman Bob Bentley was all smiles.

“It was nice to see the community supports us,” he said. “In any election that would be a massive win. It is a relief as much as anything.”

Bentley was confident the approval numbers would only grow in the next few days, as last-minute ballots from the all-mail election trickle in.

Last weekend, on the eve of the election, CKCQE members made phone calls to voters, many of whom were levy supporters who had not yet sent in their ballots, Bentley said.

By Wednesday’s election results update, the yes-votes for the CK school levy had climbed to 63.25 percent, as Lynch and Bentley had predicted.

Neighboring school districts that had measures on the Feb. 7 ballot as well, Bremerton, North Kitsap and North Mason, also passed their maintenance and operations/school support levies.

CKSD had teamed up with the Bremerton and North Kitsap school districts for a joint campaign effort, which is now credited as raising voter awareness and helping renew the levy support for all three.

“All of the districts, we all ran a visible campaign,”

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