Shake up on Red Lake School board, referendum passes

Red Lake Nation web art.jpg

RED LAKE -- The Red Lake School Board will soon look different, with a familiar face gone and a new one in its place. Red Lake residents also weighed in on a referendum question, overwhelmingly choosing “yes.”

Voters were able to select up to three choices from six candidates to fill three seats on the Red Lake School Board.

Incumbents Jack “Douglas” Desjarlait and Michael Barrett retained their seats. Rob Pemberton Sr. will join the board.

Current Board Chairman Chris Jourdain was not reelected.

Barrett received 946 votes -- 19% of the total. Desjarlait received 845 votes -- 17% of the total. Pemberton Sr. received 963 votes -- 20% of the total.


Jourdain received 727 votes -- 15% of the total.

Tina stately received 703 votes, 14% of the total and Patricia L. Neadeau received 729 votes, 15% of the total.

An excess levy referendum put before voters also passed with more than 77% of the vote.

1,707 people chose “yes” and 509 people chose “no.”

Chairman Jourdain explained the referendum’s purpose in a Facebook post on Nov. 2.

“An excess levy referendum allows voters the opportunity to provide additional revenue to school districts. The excess levy is a mix of local property taxes and state aid for a period of 10 years,” he wrote. “The district's current excess levy expires at the end of the 2020-21 school year. The district currently generates excess levy revenue of approximately $1,471,014 each school year. This amount is $1,546 in local property taxes and $1,469,468 in state aid. The district is asking voters to approve a new excess levy on November 3, 2020, that will generate approximately $2,191,693 in revenue each school year. This amount is $2,500 in local property taxes and $2,189,193 in state aid.”

The local property taxes are paid by those who own taxable property in the district.

Hannah Olson is a multimedia reporter for the Pioneer covering education, Indigenous-centric stories and features.
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