Voters reject MAPS referendum, elect two incumbents, one challenger to school board
By Tina L. Scott
MERRILL – Voters in the Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS) District turned down the referendum that was on the April 5, 2022, Spring Election ballot wherein MAPS was asking voters to exceed the revenue limit specified in State Statutes by $2.5 million per year for four years beginning with the 2022-2023 year.
The 2018 referendum for similar funding, which passed in the 2018 election, will expire at the conclusion of the 2021-2022 school year. However, this time around, voters didn’t support the district’s request for funding. Of the 4,145 votes cast in response to the referendum question, 2,359 voters (56.91%) said “no” and 1,786 voters (43.09%) said “yes.”
That means taxes will go down in the district when funding for the 2021-2022 school year expires and MAPS will be challenged to adjust spending accordingly for future years.
In a statement released on April 6, 2022, MAPS Superintendent John Sample expressed his disappointment that the referendum did not pass and said the Board of Education would review the district budget and discuss how to proceed without the additional revenue as soon as practical.
MAPS school board race
In the race for MAPS School Board, Paul C. Proulx and Robert Wegner challenged incumbents Norbert “Nubs” Ashbeck, Jacqueline L. Gremler and Linda Yingling for three available spots on the school board.
Gremler had been appointed and was seeking election to the board, and she succeeded, collecting 2,732 votes in the election.
Challenger Proulx was elected to the board with 2,492 votes, the next highest number of votes.
Incumbent Yingling was re-elected to the board with 2,047 votes.
Incumbent Ashbeck lost his bid for re-election with 1,879 votes, and challenger Wegner also lost the opportunity to serve on the board this term with 1,765 votes.