Local referendums on Nov. 8 ballot
TINA L. SCOTT
Depending on precisely where residents live in Lincoln County or the Merrill area, one or more referendums may appear on their Nov. 8, 2022, ballots. Here are the issues on the ballot posed in the form of referendum questions that will affect some or all local residents.
MAPS District Operational Referendum (MAPS District voters)
Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS) is asking voters to approve a $2.5 million per year operational referendum, for each of the next four years, granting voters’ permission to add that amount to their property taxes to fund District expenses until the conclusion of the 2026-2027 school year.
MAPS Superintendent Shannon Murray said the District is not asking for funding beyond the four years at this time, but if this one is approved, it is likely another referendum will follow this one when it expires, similar to how this referendum is following the expiration of the last four-year referendum that expired at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. He said it is becoming commonplace and the norm for districts to go to voters for operational funding of schools because State funding doesn’t go far enough and that, while this particular referendum is non-recurring (meaning it expires at the end of the four years), some districts are passing recurring (ongoing with no expiration) referendums, so that could also be a possibility for MAPS at some point in the future.
For now, though, Murray said the four-year term for the referendum provides more accountability to the community for how funds are spent, and this is the wording of the current referendum that appears on the Nov. 8 ballot. The exact language on the ballot reads:
Question: Shall the Merrill Area Common Public School District, Lincoln and Langlade Counties, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $2,500,000 per year beginning with the 2023-2024 school year and ending with the 2026-2027 school year, for non-recurring purposes to fund District operational and maintenance expenses?
Vote: Yes or No.
Lincoln County Referendum (All County voters)
The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors approved the following referendum question to be posed to voters on the Nov. 8 ballot:
Question: Should the State of Wisconsin prohibit election officials from soliciting or using private funds, technology, or services from special interest groups, people, or other private entities for the purpose of administering elections and referendums?
Vote: Yes or No
Rhinelander School District Operational Referendum (Town of Harrison voters)
The Rhinelander School District is asking voters in their District to approve a $4 million per year referendum for non-recurring purposes, similar to the MAPS referendum, except that theirs is not specified as an operational referendum. Town of Harrison voters in the Rhinelander District will find this question on their ballots. Their referendum question reads as follows:
Question: Shall the School District of Rhinelander, Oneida, Lincoln and Langlade Counties, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $4,000,000 per year beginning with the 2023-2024 school year and ending with the 2026-2027 school year for non-recurring purposes?
Vote: Yes or No.
Town of King Referendum (Town of King voters)
Town of King voters are being asked to help the Town Board establish policy pertaining to the Town Clerk position. The question on their ballots reads:
Question: “Shall the person holding the office of Clerk in the Town of King be appointed by the town board?”
Vote: Yes or No.