Tonganoxie voters defeated two questions related to funding for the city's recreation commission.
The first asked whether the school district and city should be authorized to levy a tax not to exceed 3 mills to fund the recreation commission. It would have enacted a 1-mill increase, bringing the recreation commission levy to 2.5 mills as limited by a state spending lid. The measure failed, with 2,065 opposed and 1,061 in favor.
The second question asked whether the school district and city should enact a charter resolution to remove itself from a current state spending lid. Voters cast 1,873 no ballots and 1,023 yes ballots.
The vote on the mill levy increase resulted from a protest of the school board's June decision to levy an additional mill to finance the city's recreation commission budget, which falls under school board authority.
Susie Huffman, who chairs the commission, said today she thought the ballot questions were unclear and might have confused voters who otherwise would have supported the increase.
The commission operates on a $35,000 to $40,000 budget and the 1-mill increase would have generated about $23,000 more, Huffman said.
Mary Journey, a Tonganoxie resident who helped with a petition drive to put the issue on the ballot, said the vote demonstrated that patrons would like to see the recreation commission generate funds on its own, rather than depending on the mill levy.