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Brian Stimson and Lisa Loving of The Skanner News
Published: 18 May 2011

Voters around the state appeared to put their wallets first in last night's Special Election.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting in Multnomah County, the Portland Public Schools' massive property improvement bond 26-121 has failed by a nearly one percent margin, 49.3 percent to 50.7 percent.

Voters did however approve the PPS bond that provides funding to teachers 57.59 percent to 42.41 percent.

In Scappoose, voters turned down a police property tax levy that would have funded new vehicles by charging less than one cent per assessed $1,000.

On the other hand Jefferson County voters passed a jail levy extension, while Bend voters approved a hard-fought $30 million transportation General Obligation Bond. And in Eugene, an income tax increase to fund teaching positions was crushed, 64 to 36 percent.

While state economists Monday reported unemployment has dropped to single-digits for the first time in two years, a recent extension of unemployment benefits, the Oregon Emergency Benefits program, was cashed out early because of the number of Oregonians applying.

"OEB was set to run until July 2, 2011, or until the $30 million allocated to the program was used up," officials said in a statement last week. "Due to the high number of applicants, the entire $30 million has been used up, and the program will end early. The week of May 8-14, 2011, will be the last payable week of the OEB program. Individuals will be able to claim the final week of OEB beginning on Sunday, May 15, 2011."

Last night's election results have left many unanswered questions around the region on how educational infrastructure will be paid for over the next few years, and will likely top of the agendas of  this spring's new crop of school board and Educational service District members.

For the Portland School Board, winners were Ruth Adkins, zone 1; Matt Morton, zone 2; Bobbie Regan, zone 3; and Greg Belisle, zone 7.

For Parkrose School Board, winners were Adair Fernee, position 2, and Guy Crawford, position 3.

The winners of the Multnomah Education Service District director races were Gary Hollands, zone 1; Kevin Spellman, zone 3; Doug Montgomery, at large.

Vying for positions at Portland Community College, Harold C. Williams held onto his seat in zone 2 with 46 percent of the vote; in zone 2, Bob Palmer, facing no opposition, won handedly with 94 percent of the vote.

In the Mt. Hood Community College District race, Maggie Nelson pulled 48 percent of the votes for director of zone 3; Robert W. Coen pulled 80 percent of the votes for director of zone 5; and Diane C. Noriega pulled 69 percent of the vote for the At Large position.

In Gresham, Karylinn Echols defeated Brad A. League, 76 percent to 23 percent for City Council Position 3.

For the Gresham Barlow School District, the winners were Katherine Ruthruff, zone 1; Faith Gabrielson, zone 3; Dan Chriestenson, at large.

Winners for the Riverdale School Board, winners are Kristen Kohnstamm, position 2, and Dean Griffith, position 4.

In Beaverton, winners for the school board there were Mary VanderWeele, zone 3; Jeff Hicks, zone 6; and Lisa Shultz, zone 7.

Winners for the Reynolds School District were Tamara L. Schaffner, position 5; Dane Nickerson, position 6; Bruce McCain, position 7.

In Centennial School District, Shar Giard, zone 2; Brenda Clark, at large; and Pam Shields, at large won positions on the board.

For the David Douglas School District, winners were Shemia Fagan, position 4; Mike Price, position 5; and Frieda J. Christopher, position 7.

And to prove that in elections, every vote really does count, the Lake Oswego School Board winners were Patti Zebrowski, position 1, with 30 votes (with not challenger); and Audrey Monroe, position 5, with 18 votes. Monroe beat out challengers Bob Barman, who had 12 votes, and Tamara DiVergilio, who had 2 votes.

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