In spite of John Freshwater’s lawyer, R. Kelly Hamilton, speaking against it in a local talk radio interview a couple of weeks ago, the school district’s 2.75 mill renewal levy passed today, unofficially 2,697 to 2,489 (52%-48%). Five funding requests on the ballot from other county school districts failed (some only have a few voters in Knox County), as did a Community and Mental Health Recovery Board levy. So the majority of folks are hanging in with the district in a bad time for school funding requests generally.
This is the second (of two) renewal levies to pass in the district since the Freshwater affair became public and the administrative hearing has been in progress. The first passed with a larger margin (61%-39%) a year ago, but a pass is a pass. Given the economic situation in this county these days, a situation that’s significantly worse than it was a year ago when the first levy was on, that this one passed at all is a strong statement.
And I have to note that “Coach” Dave Daubenmire, the guy who pushed Freshwater into going public in 2008, got 16% of the Republican vote in this county in the Congressional primary. Eyeball-adjusted for the proportion of Republican registered voters in the county, a fair estimate of the overall percentage of complete and total wingnuts in the county is about 10%. That’s not as bad as I feared. On the other hand, it’s a little disappointing. Dave would have been a real entertainment bonanza in the general election.