After 18 years on the O'Fallon School District 90 school board, president John Coers has been voted out.
From the unofficial results from Tuesday's election, Coers received 3,103 votes, which was not enough to retain his seat.
Incumbent Steven Springer retained his seat with 4,000 votes, and three newcomers will join the board: John Wagnon, who received 4,287 votes; Todd Roach, who received 4,739 votes; and Chris Pulcher, who received 3,848 votes.
Springer, Wagnon, Roach and Pulcher will all serve four-year terms.
June Wilkey-Isselhardt, secretary to District 90 Superintendent Todd Koehl, said the new school board will take the oath of office at 5:30 p.m. May 3, and new officers will be elected by the board during that meeting.
District 90 voters also firmly rejected a property tax increase Tuesday. The vote was 4,512 no votes to 2,476 yes votes.
The district was asking voters for a 49-cent increase, which would have brought the education fund rate from $1.40 to $1.89.
Citizens Against District 90 Tax Increases, a group that organized the effort to defeat the referendum, released the following statement from Chairman John Hughes, "The citizens of O'Fallon sent a message of fiscal responsibility. Raising property taxes is not the solution. We need our elected officials to work together with the community, educators and parents to solve our financial problems."
With the referendum defeated, Koehl said the district will move forward with its cost-reduction plan, which includes eliminating extracurricular activities, cutting elective classes and laying off certified and non-certified personnel.
O'Fallon parent Dawn O'Leary, who has two students in the district, said she is "extremely unhappy" about the tax referendum failing.
"District 90 was already forced to eliminate the gifted program and art from the elementary school curriculum. Now they are being forced to eliminate music, P.E. and computer classes," O'Leary said.
Smithton voters reject building new school
Smithton School District 130 voters rejected a proposal to issue $12 million in school building bonds for a period of 20 years to build a new middle school and upgrade the existing school. With all precincts reporting, the vote was 1,441 no votes to 163 yes votes.
Concerned Citizens for Smithton School, a group that lobbied against the referendum, posted the following statement on its Facebook page: "It was our collective effort that has sent a clear message to the school board and administration: a message of maintaining (and improving) a high quality of education, of ensuring fiscal responsibility and, ultimately, of being held accountable to district voters through the transparent execution of this public position's responsibilities."
Brian Lester, spokesperson for the group, said they commend the efforts of the 'Vote Yes' group and would like to work with its members "to find creative solutions to the issues we face."
Superintendent Steve York said he was disappointed that the referendum did not pass. "I hope that everyone can come together to find a creative solution to our growing student population," he said. "We at Smithton will continue to provide quality education for all the children of the district."
The existing kindergarten through eighth grade school has 506 students, but district officials said the school has a capacity for 412 students.
Four newcomers were elected to the Smithton school board Tuesday: Gabrielle Schwemmer, who received 955 votes; Sara Sutherland, who received 1,009 votes; Jason A. Weiss, who received 900 votes; and Kenneth (Jason) Chandler, who received 759 votes. Incumbent Rich Maue, who received 709 votes, was not re-elected to the board.
All election results are unofficial and will be certified later this month.
Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 618-239-2562 or firstname.lastname@example.org.