Voters who live in the Wayzata and Orono School Districts and Independence residents will have reasons to cast ballots in the Nov. 5 election. Here are summaries of where to vote and when, along with what will be on ballots.
In Independence city elections, three candidates will be unopposed on the ballot. Mayor Marvin Johnson, City Councilor Steve Grotting and City Councilor Ray McCoy are seeking repeat four-year terms that would begin in January 2020. Voters also will have the opportunity to cast ballots for write-in candidates for Independence City Council.
Some Independence residents will find candidates for the Orono School Board and an Orono technology referendum question on their ballots. (See below) Voters who will be absent from the precinct on Election Day or unable to vote in person may vote by absentee ballot. Ballots may be obtained by mail or in person at Independence City Hall during regular business hours. City Hall also will be open Saturday, Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for absentee voting. In-person absentee voting will end at 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4.
The precinct polling place will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Independence City Hall, 1920 County Road 90.
ORONO SCHOOL DISTRICT
Orono School District residents live in Medina, Independence, Long Lake, Maple Plain, Minnetonka, Orono and Wayzata. The Orono School Board is asking them for authorization to levy approximately $2,109,804 for taxes payable in 2020 to pay for technology projects. The levy is expected to fund projects for 10 years at a total cost of $21,098,040.
The Nov. 5 ballot says, “The money raised by the proposed authorizations will be used to provide funds for the acquisition, installation and maintenance of technology to improve teaching and learning.” A yes vote would allow the school district to revoke the current technology levy, dating from 2011, and replace it with a new levy that would extend through 2030.
Replacing the levy now would bring in additional $1.1 million in funds in 2020 for the school district. If the referendum question gets voter approval, property taxes for school district property owners would go up, with the amount depending upon the market value of the property. In 2020, the owner of a $200,000 home would see an $89 property tax increase, and the owner of a $1 million home would see a $492 property tax increase.
The per pupil technology levy for Orono School District students is $344.54. Per pupil levies in neighboring school districts range from $194.09 in Mahtomedi Schools to $1,520.04 in Hopkins Schools. Wayzata Schools levy $565.61 per pupil, and Minnetonka Schools levy $552.76.
Orono Schools also will hold a School Board election. Three seats are up for election this fall. The four-year terms will begin in January 2020. Current Board Clerk Michael Bash and Director Laura Wallander are seeking re-election. Two new candidates – Ali Howe and David Shuler – also are on the ballot. Current Treasurer Dick Lewis is not seeking re-election.
Absentee ballots are available through Monday, Nov. 4 at the Orono School District Office, 685 N. Old Crystal Bay Rd. during weekday business hours and by mail from Hennepin County, www.hennepin.us/elections. Independence residents can get absentee ballots through Nov. 4 at Independence City Hall, 1920 County Road 90, or via Hennepin County.
Early voting will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 29 and run through Nov. 4, with voting also from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Orono School District Office and, for Independence voters, at Independence City Hall.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Orono City Council Chambers, 2780 Kelley Parkway, Orono. Independence voters will cast ballots at Independence City Hall.
WAYZATA SCHOOL DISTRICT
The Wayzata School District includes all or part of Corcoran, Maple Grove, Medicine Lake, Medina, Minnetonka, Orono, Plymouth and Wayzata.
Eight candidates are running for four open School Board seats. The candidates are Linda Cohen of Minnetonka, Emily Fair of Plymouth, Seanne Falconer of Plymouth, Vishala Kamojjala of Plymouth, Bonita Lucky of Plymouth, Bindu Moram of Plymouth, Cheryl Polzin of Plymouth and Sheila Prior of Plymouth. Lucky, Polzin and Cohen are incumbents.
Early Voting and Absentee Voting runs Friday, Sept. 20 through Monday, Nov. 4 at the Wayzata Public Schools District Administration Building (210 County Road 101 N, Plymouth). Hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Monday, Nov. 4, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Direct balloting begins Tuesday, October 29.
Residents of Minnetonka vote at Minnetonka City Hall Friday, September 20 through Monday, November 4.
For Election Day voting (Tuesday, November 5), use the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Polling Place Finder at sos.state.mn.us to find your voting location.