Forrey, Tuscano and Terland win school board seats

Voters approve high school mill levy
Jeffrey Durham
Thursday, May 9, 2019

Karen Tuscano retained her seat on the Big Timber Grade School board, while Yancy Terland joins the board as a result of voting in Tuesday’s school trustees election. On the Sweet Grass County High School board side of the ballot, Melanie Forrey edged Aaron Boshart for the one open seat.

Sweet Grass County Clerk-Recorder Vera Pederson also reported that the high school mill levy was passed by a vote of 577 for to 307 against. Pederson said the results are unofficial until a count at 3 p.m. Monday regarding two “provisional” ballots that were sent absentee, and possibly not returned. Those voters voted at the polls. On Tuesday, official results will be determined regarding those votes.

The high school board election was close, with Forrey receiving just four more total votes than incumbent Boshart. She received 234 absentee votes and 92 at the poll, while Boshart came in with 212 absentee votes and a count of 110 at the poll. Matt Kleinsasser trailed with 71 absentee votes and also 71 at the poll, for a total of 142.

The grade school vote also was close, but there were two seats open so Tuscano and Terland both won in their bids.

Tuscano, an incumbent, came up with 283 absentee votes and 181 at the poll for a total of 464. Terland actually outpaced her with 304 absentees and 170 at the poll, totaling 474. Megan Arnold lost her bid for a seat, coming up with 173 absentee votes and 100 at the poll, totaling 273.

Pederson said the turnout was impressive, considering this is the first such election in eight to 10 years when mail balloting was not employed in favor of voters going to the poll. The percentage of absentee ballots returned was 54.66 percent, while 20.42 percent of registered voters cast their ballots at the Civic Center.

High School Supt. Al Buerkle said he recalls that the turnout for school trustee races in previous years was sometimes much lower in years past before mail ballots were used, according to Pederson. The combined turnout of both absentees and poll voters stood at 35.70 percent.

The SGHS mill levy was passed by a large margin. Of the total 884 ballots cast, those in favor of the levy outdistanced those opposed by 577 votes to 307.