Three school referendum questions, all passed. Two incumbents and Ryan Clarke for school board. Keith Franke the mayor of St. Paul Park, with Tim Conrad and Charlene Whitbred Hemmingson as council …
Three school referendum questions, all passed. Two incumbents and Ryan Clarke for school board. Keith Franke the mayor of St. Paul Park, with Tim Conrad and Charlene Whitbred Hemmingson as council members. These, in summary, are the results of the Nov. 7, 2023 election in South Washington County. Franke running unopposed for Mayor with 94.73 percent of the vote, while the St. Paul Park council candidate vote totals were as follows:
Tim Conrad, 427 votes (26.36 percent)
Charleen Whitbred Hemmingson 278 votes (17.16 percent)
Jeff Haggerty 265 votes (16.36 percent)
Kelly Mullan 242 votes (14.94 percent)
Tim Jones 148 votes (9.14 percent)
Sharon Ornquist 128 votes (7.9 percent)
Tanya Foote 125 votes (7.72 percent)
Additionally, there were seven write ins for St. Paul Park council, totaling 0.43 percent of the vote.
As for the school referendum questions for ISD 833, results saw all three questions pass, the all important Question 1 passing with a 3,001 vote majority or 13.62 percent, while Question 2 passed the simple majority threshold by 2,225 votes, translating to a margin of 10.1 percent. Question 3 to fund district technology needs passed with a majority of 780 votes, or 3.56 percent.
Rules prior to voting required the passage of Question 1 in order to pass Question 2. The three votes allow for need renovations and additions at the districts elementary, middle, and high schools, with the present referendum totaling $250 million with the technology levy.
Failure to pass the referendum questions would have resulted in school district attendance boundary changes moving forward.
Also decided Nov. 7, the school board saw return of two incumbents with one new member. Ryan Clarke was voted in with 8,432 votes or 13.99 percent of the total, while Simi Patnaik received 9,686 for 16.07 percent and Melinda Does received 9,583 votes for 15.80 percent. Other vote totals were as follows:
Satonia Moore 8,248 votes (13.69 percent)
Jaime Kokaisel 7,560 votes (12.54 percent)
Anthony Mahmood 6,991 votes (11.6 percent)
Molly Schaefer 3,604 votes (5.98 percent)
Chad Borseth 2,901 votes (4.81 percent)
Randall J. Johnson 1,422 votes (2.36 percent)
Priscilla Kathryn Dimbo 1,240 votes (2.06 percent)
Fekadu Kassa Ayichew 473 votes (0.78 percent)
Additionally, there were 184 write-in votes, totaling 0.31 percent of the total.
The Journal reached out to each of the three successful school board candidates post election, Melinda Dols sharing the following.
“We had a nice turnout for an off-year election, which shows that our voters care about our students and community, and wanted a voice in who makes decisions for their students and how their tax dollars are being spent,” she said. “I am overall pleased with the results of the election, and I am honored to have been voted in another four years to continue the important work I have been doing for our students and our district. I would like to thank the voters in our community for my re-election to the school board so I can continue to prioritize academic excellence, special education and mental health support, equity and inclusion, and fiscal responsibility for our district. I would also like to thank the community for approving the 5-year facility plan to secure our future and support our students. I know that the two bond questions and the technology projects levy question on the ballot were a big financial ask for our voters, so I am beyond grateful for the community's support in addressing our students’ safety, growth and security. I would also like to thank everyone who helped me on my campaign and supported me through this journey. I couldn't have done this without the vast number of volunteers and supporters who helped out on my campaign, and I am so thankful for every single one of you. I am excited to get back to work to serve our students and district!”