By Gus Pearcy
If you look at social media, Danville was a town torn in two by referendums asking for more property taxes for Danville Community Schools. Both referendums were defeated handily. The operating question was defeated 3,079 to 1,596 or 66% to 34%. The question for extra money to repair buildings was defeated 3,518 to 1,037 or 77% to 23%.
The two Danville Community School Corporation referendums were defeated during the municipal election Nov. 5. School Board Vice President Matt Steward said the board will discuss the districts next steps. (Photo by Rick Myers)
School Board Vice President Matt Steward said the board will reevaluate this week for next steps. It will be at least 350 days before Danville Community Schools can attempt another referendum. Steward said the board has not made that decision.
Steward said with tonight’s defeat, Danville falls farther behind.
“There are schools around us that, just tonight, their citizens voted to support their educational efforts, Carmel, Zionsville, Lawrence, Center Grove,” Steward said Tuesday night. “All those folks are saying, ‘Hey look, we either invest in buildings, safety or teachers.
“We were already lagging in competitive pay to a lot of these districts and then on top of that, these districts and these community members have chosen to invest in education which allows them to pay their teachers even more,” Steward added. “So we fall further behind tonight.”
Steward said the good news was that the community was engaged with more than 4,500 votes on each question.
The rest of the races in Danville were Jennifer Pearcy re-elected over Democrat Tracy Jones. In town council Ward 2, Republican Greg Van Laere defeated challenger Patricia Carlin, 2,158 to 540.
The two at-large seats were won by Republicans Nancy Leavitt and David Winters over Democrat Roni Atnip.
In Avon, the contested town council at-large seats saw Republican incumbent Steve Eisenbarth re-elected with 36% or 733 votes. Democrat Robert Pope won the second seat with 704 votes of 35% of the vote defeating Susan Webb who received 29% or 594 votes.
Pope said there is plenty of work to be done and that taxes were the top concern of voters.
“Voters are very concerned not only with the explosion of residential growth, but how are we going to be able to pay for all our services,” Pope said Tuesday night. “We’re seeing services get cut to make sure we don’t raise those taxes. What are we going to do to ensure we are not completely reliant on residential, without raising those taxes. So we have to diversify that tax base was the part of the message that really rang true.”
The race for Avon Town Court Judge was easily won by Republican Jeremy Eglen over Democrat Sherr’ee Dawn Mullins 62% to 38%.
In Brownsburg Town Council race in Ward 3, incumbent Brian Jessen defeated Democrat Cindy Hohman 932 votes to 602 or 61% to 39%.
“It reaffirms the approaches I have been using over the last four years as far as keeping a dialogue with the community and listening,” Jessen said. “It reaffirms my positions. I’m taking the right positions and doing the job I’ve been tasked to do.”
That was the only contested race in Brownsburg.
In Plainfield, Dan Bridget, the Republican, was re-elected over Joseph Fey II, 927 to 466 votes.
The closest race of the night went to Pittsboro for Town Council Ward 1 where Republican Jay Thompson won over Democrat Douglas Joiner by two votes.
Finally, in Clayton, the board will be all Republican as Doug Bignell, John Culley and David Ernst won over Democrat Jeffrey Malkemus. Bignell earned 67 votes or 29% of the total. Culley got 66 votes or 28% and Ernst got 27% or 63 votes.