Ellis County residents will have several issues to decide when they head to the voting polls Tuesday for the November general election, which includes local city and school board races.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, and advanced voting will continue from 8 a.m. until noon Monday at the county clerk’s office, 718 Main.
As of Friday afternoon, 1,182 ballots already had been cast by advanced and absentee ballots, said Ellis County Clerk Donna Maskus.
“Usually city and school is a lower percentage turnout,” Maskus said. “Maybe with a (Hays USD 489) question and the write-in campaign, hopefully that’s going to bring a few more people.”
There is one change in polling places for this election. Residents in Hays who previously voted at the American Legion on Canterbury should now report to Hays Recreation Center, 1105 Canterbury. Voters can call Maskus’ office at (785) 628-9410 if they are unsure where to go.
A special question for Hays schools has generated high interest. School officials are proposing a 30-year, $78.5 million bond to address facilities needs. The project would include construction of two new elementary schools, repurposing of the O’Loughlin building, and improvements to other buildings.
The current Wilson school would be demolished, and a new building constructed on the same site. A site for the possible second new elementary school has not been decided. Westside Alternative School, Early Childhood Connections and Learning Center would be moved to the O’Loughlin building.
The total project would increase the district’s tax levy by 13.4 mills, two of which would come from the district’s established capital outlay budget. That would bring the net increase to 11.4 mills, amounting to $16.43 per month on a $150,000 home. A tax calculator is available at HDNews.net.
Three seats on the USD 489 school board also will be decided Tuesday. Candidates on the ballot are incumbent Lance Bickle and newcomers Mike Walker and Sophia Rose Young. Kevin Daniels has launched a write-in campaign. While voters should make efforts to spell his name correctly on the ballot, panels will be established to determine voters’ intent when tallying the ballots, Maskus said.
The three winning candidates will serve four-year terms.
There also are five candidates vying for three open positions on the Hays City Commission. The top two vote-getters will serve for four years, while the third-place candidate will get a two-year term.
Candidates are incumbents Shaun Musil and Sandy Jacobs, joined by political newcomers Chris Dinkel, John Mayers and Dustin Roths. A sixth candidate, Roger Agnew, rescinded his candidacy due to an upcoming move.
In Ellis, David McDaniel and Dena Patee are contending for the mayoral office, with five candidates for three city council seats: Bret Andries, Holly Aschenbrenner, Martin LaBarge, Brian Raub and Robert Redger.
There are four candidates for three spots on the Ellis school board: Brian Fischer, Mike Gaschler, Jared Schiel and Vic Winter.
In Victoria, there are five candidates for three school board positions. Candidates are Ryan Mauch, Karen Nowak, Jennifer Pfeifer, Alan Schulte and Jeanna Wellbrock.
There also are six candidates for Victoria City Council, and only half that many open seats. Jerry Brungardt, Zach Kanzenbach, Ryan Lichter, James Pfanenstiel, Harland Rupp and John Toth will be on the ballot.