Aug. 2019 election

Middleton residents vote at the Middleton Community Center on Tuesday, Aug. 27 in Middleton. Three school board seats were up for vote during recall elections.

In tight races Tuesday, Middleton voters did not have the numbers to recall school board trustees Aleisha McConkie, Tim Winkle and Marianne Blackwell, while Parma voters approved a two-year levy for the school district.

Fifty-five percent of Middelton voters were in favor of McConkie’s recall, but it was not enough. According to Idaho statute, the number of votes in favor of recall (115) did not exceed the number of votes she earned when she was elected in 2017 (120). Approximately 51% of voters wanted Winkle and Blackwell to stay.

A recall petition for McConkie, Winkle and Blackwell was circulated months ago, following their vote to approve the superintendent’s personnel report without a contract for Ben Merrill, a popular principal at Middleton High School.

The petition to recall Blackwell, who objected to not renewing Merrill’s contract, said, “Marianne Blackwell has consistently violated the Idaho School Board Association’s Code of Ethics for School Board members which has created a hostile work environment for employees of the Middleton School District and set an unprofessional and unacceptable precedent for the school board trustees in Middleton.”

Earlier this month, Blackwell told the Idaho Press in an email that she “never had a code of ethics violation filed against” her.

McConkie also told the Idaho Press earlier this month that, “the division has been hard to watch. There is so much good here, and we are ready to move forward.”

The Parma School District levy, which has been part of its general fund since 1978, will generate $450,000 each year for two years.

The levy passed with a simple majority of 54%.

The supplemental levy makes up 18% of the local tax revenue collected by the district, and about 4% of the general fund. The district’s property tax rate is expected to go from the current $498 per $100,000 of taxable property value, to $473 per $100,000 of taxable property value next year. (The decrease is possible in part because the district’s market value is growing.)

Middleton School Board Trustee Zone 1 Recall (McConkie)

For: 115 votes, 55%

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Against: 93 votes, 44%

Middleton School Board Trustee Zone 3 Recall (Winkle)

For: 145 votes, 48%

Against: 151 votes, 51%

Middleton School Board Trustee Zone 4 Recall (Blackwell)

For: 103 votes, 48%

Against: 108 votes, 51%

Parma School District Supplemental Levy

For: 146 votes, 54%

Against: 123 votes, 45%

The percentages are based on the unofficial Canyon County election results at 9:38 p.m. Tuesday. Voter turnout was 11%, with 986 ballots counted.

Rachel Spacek is the Latino Affairs reporter for the Idaho Press. You can reach her at Follow her on twitter @RachelSpacek.

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