HLWW referendum results: first two pass; third fails by 84

hlwwHOWARD LAKE, WAVERLY, WINSTED, MN – Voters approved the first two questions on the ballot tonight, with the third question failing by only 84 votes (see an explanation of each ballot question below, underneath the precinct breakdowns).

Unofficial election results for the operating levy questions for Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School District are as follows:

Question one passed, with a grand total of 1,399 yes votes and 801 no votes.

Question two passed, with a grand total of 1,117 yes votes and 1,077 no.

Question three failed with a total of 1,048 yes votes and 1,132 no votes.

Precinct breakdown:

Howard Lake – the total number of voters who turned out were 1,101.  Winsted – the total number of voters who turned out were 610.  Waverly – the total number of voters who turned out were 492.


Question 1:  779 – yes,  322 – no

Question 2: 649 – yes,  449 – no

Question 3: 611 – yes,  478 – no


Question 1:  295 – yes, 195 – no

Question 2: 233 – yes, 255 – no

Question 3: 234 – yes, 250 – no


Question 1: 325 – yes, 284 – no

Question 2: 235 – yes, 373 – no

Question 3: 203 – yes,  404 – no

The following is an explanation of each ballot question:

Question one
The first question voters will see proposes to extend the district’s current $500-per-pupil levy for 10 years. This is an existing levy that the district is asking to renew, and it doesn’t result in an increase in taxes.

If this question passes, annual taxes for a $100,000 home would decrease by $2, because the district’s tax base is spread over more people than in previous years.

Question two
The second question proposes adding an inflationary rate to question one, and can only pass if the first question passes.

“By putting the inflationary factor on there, it’s one way for us to keep up with increases in fuel and other expenses that happen on an annual basis,” board member Al Doering said during a presentation to the Waverly City Council Oct. 13.

Question three
Question number three proposes taking away the existing $50-per-pupil-unit levy and replacing it with a $150-per-pupil-unit levy. The existing levy expires at the end of the 2011-12 school year. If the new $150 levy passes, it would have a five-year term.


  1. Zygmont says:

    I’m sure all this name calling and finger pointing is going to make the “No” voters vote “Yes” next time. Everyone should have the right to an opinion without being called a redneck, hillbilly, ignorant, uninformed,etc… This just brings the “Yes” or “No” voters farther apart.

  2. Lil says:

    HLWWalum says:
    When I think of Howard Lake, though i did grow up there, I think of a bunch of rednecks who spend too much time at the Legion and the liquor store and don’t give a rip about the school system.

    That’s a funny statement Walum, because when I think of the people who voted YES that’s the same description I would give them! Maybe it didn’t occur to some of you that the people who voted NO don’t live in the $100,000 homes and it wasn’t going to cost them $40 but 4 times that. Homes and jobs have stayed the same over 10 years but taxes in the area that used to be $2,000 a year are now $4,000 whether anyone wanted that to rise or not. They could afford the house 10 years ago, and the taxes but then the taxes took over. No means NO and more people voted against another tax increase. From the looks of the voting not even all the parents who attend the district voted yes.

  3. Lewis Fiecke says:

    I think “yes voters” are missing my point and I feel it is illustrated by the lack of an argument for why “yes voters” think they are entitled to the property of “no voters”.

    Would you take from someone against their will if it was something you wanted? I hope you would all answer no. In principle this is no different, you are merely asking the government to do it for you. You want something, you think it’s a noble cause, thus we are wrong and you’ll just get more people on your side and take from those who don’t want to give to your cause.

    Again, this point goes far beyond the referendum it can be applied to health care reform, our military endeavors, or any other controversial subject where the government is collecting the property of individuals to fund projects the individuals are opposed to. This is not freedom and violates the principles on which our nation was founded.

  4. MLN of HL says:

    Yes voters may also want to keep in mind that not all of the no voters send their kids to public schools, or grew up here.
    We pay for private school out of our own pockets and also pay for public school for the rest of you.

    Now that’s our choice, but it’s also our choice to vote no when we don’t agree with new taxes.
    Stop assuming everybody who voted no is broke, cheep, or a redneck. I think the majority are most likely the opposite.

  5. HikingStick says:

    Zygmont, I could not agree more.

    Lewis Fiecke, I’m a yes voter. While I don’t agree with taking away someone else’s property to get what I want, I do believe that we, as a community, have a responsibility to support the local school system. One of the precepts built into our system of governance early on was the availability of public education. Early leaders realized that our nation could not become great if we did not strive to provide a solid education to all. I don’t like the way the State has shifted the funding burden so that districts all across the State (and this is happening in many other States, too) need to go to the voters regualarly to seek funding just to maintain the schools at their current levels. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that we really need to look at overhauling our educational system as a whole, but should we simply withdraw our support now before a viable alternative is available?

    Should any citizen care whether or not someone else’s kids get a good education? I believe there are numerous reasons to answer “yes” to that question. Kids who don’t get a good education won’t be ready to enter the workforce and won’t be able to support the local economy (or any economy, for that matter). Kids who don’t get a good education are statistically more likely to end up in trouble with the law. Kids who don’t get a good education may not see the benefit of such an education, and this could further undercut support for education in the future (or it could, in some circumstances, motivate those individuals to support education so that others will have more opportunities than those which were available to them–only time would tell).

    If one were to carry out your logic, you also believe that the government should not be able to use your tax dollars to fund other projects to which you are personally opposed (e.g., some military actions). Please correct me if I misunderstood you. How would that work out? The government may only collect volunteer contributions to support projects? Only those who want to contriubte to the war effort give to the war effort? Our government would not survive. On a local level, should citizens who have never had the police visit their home ask to withold their taxes from paying for a police force? What about fire services? The fact remains that all of us benefit from these public works, even if we may not agree with all decisions regarding their ongoing operations.

    I hope the antagonists in this discussion have not dissuaded you from an open dialogue. I simply believe that our entire community benefits from our ongoing support of the local school system, and that our communities would suffer should we allow funding to drop further when the school board has already trimmed the fat.

  6. Lil says:

    Everyone can appreciate dialog without the name calling, even when we don’t agree, so I appreciate your thoughts HikingStick.

    Maybe for me, it is what constitutes a “good education”. I don’t consider opportunities galore and the phrase a good education to be apples for apples. I think the students of HLWW DO get a good education, I think they will continue to get a good education even without additional funds to create more opportunities. The newspaper quotes that the High School offers 35 electives. Surly that does cover the likes and wants of a very diversified group of student interests. I believe the students will still have that want met even if they have to cut back to 30 electives while the economy has time for families to bounce back in their own wallets. We all have things we want, and creating a school with every want and desire fulfilled would be quite something wouldn’t it, but I don’t believe it is necessary, and I don’t believe endless electives are doing anything more than costing the taxpayers. When they don’t have math books, and they don’t have an English teacher, that is an outright cause for alarm and I would be on the band wagon too asking everyone where is the support for our kids. But I don’t see that to be the current situation.

  7. Lynda Jensen, Editor says:

    We cover five districts in this area and HLWW is the very last one that I would describe as being extravagant with money. For example, they pay their athletic director on a teacher’s salary and not as an administrator, like the others (you can double his pay if you want to do the reverse). When they start “scheduling” buildings to be closed, then it’s time to pay attention.

  8. Tom says:

    The great thing about our communities is that we all have a choice. We can send our children to Pulbic School, Private School or out of the district. Those who choose not to have their children attend HLWW are not bad people they are only exercising their right of choice. Just the same as those who voted yes or voted no, just exercising their right of choice. Isn’t that what this country was founded on, isn’t that what our sons and daughters and many of you fight for?
    Don’t tell me one year that the old high school cannot be used and we need to build a new one and then two years later tell me we are going to close the elementary schools in Waverly and Winsted and oh, guess what, we’ll use the old high school for those students. A big part of the problem is the the School Board has lost it’s credability, too many mixed messages, too much confusion.
    Just tell us the truth for once and for all.

  9. Lewis Fiecke says:

    Hiking Stick, thank you for the civility and thoughtfulness of your comments. I regretfully find it lacking in many of my liberal friends.

    I absolutely agree the system is broken and feel that if we continue to fund a broken system, we will never have the resources or motivation to rebuild a viable system for truly educating people. I don’t have a detailed plan, but I know enough about human nature to know that without a crisis to motivate us, nothing changes.

    In my opinion, we are a society of highly educated individuals who know a great deal about the irrelevant and the inaccurate, I fault our educational system for that. As an example, I personally have a degree in mechanical engineering, but I left college without a clue on how to be an engineer (except for what I learned on the job), I’m not alone. I could go on about all of the silly things people get degrees for and then get a job as an “administrator” or something completely unrelated to their line of work. I think the purpose of education is to prepare you to become a productive member of society, high school should be sufficient for a majority of the population.

    I am curious how you came to the conclusion that “One of the precepts built into our system of governance early on was the availability of public education.” Our Constitution does not give the federal government the authority to create a Department of Education. I find it inconsistent with the philosophy of freedom for our nation to be educated by the state, especially when many of the founders were basically anarchists thinking government was but a necessary evil. The role of the government in our republic was to protect our inalienable rights of life, liberty, property; and to keep commerce regular. Again, I am not opposed to education, just education by the state. I feel that education is of the utmost importance, and that is why it is vitally important to rebuild the system so it can prepare young people for the real world. I feel that the poor quality is evidenced by our kids lagging much of the world in most subjects. Additionally, look at the current economic situation, our country has lost it’s mind and it’s because our people are not grounded in the real world. The average American consumes far more than they produce (if memory serves me, 50% more), it doesn’t take a PHD in Economics to realize that is not a viable system (in fact the PHD may inhibit your ability to make that conclusion). I think this is a result of the DOE and no amount of funding, testing, or regulation will fix that.

    I like freedom, but I don’t like free stuff… when it comes from the government it’s too expensive and regardless of the source it’s usually poor quality.

    I’ll leave my thoughts on other subjects for another forum, I think I’ve digressed enough.

    Thank you again for the thoughtful discussion.

  10. citizen says:

    One thought.

    I have never seen a report that proved more money meant a better education.

  11. Anti HLWW says:

    I think the district is a very poor district and does not offer many benefits. I hope it continues to fail as I will continue to vote NO!

  12. The Big Easy says:

    Good News, Recovery.gov reports the HLWW School District is to receive
    $462,860 in Obama money. That should tide them over until the next levy vote.