Salem referendum defeated

The Salem tax levy referendum was defeated with 1,257 no votes to 774 yes votes.

The referendum asked voters to approve the district exceeding the state-set revenue limit by $1.6 million a year for three years.

We’ll have more later as we reach those who pushed for and against the referendum.

UPDATE: Board President Patty Merrill said the next step will be to finalize the staff cuts noticed in March. That will take place at a special school board meeting this Thursday.

Here’s a list of the cuts.



  1. natalie says:

    Thank you for this update. This is a sad day for Salem grade school students, they deserve better.

  2. Jim Gere says:

    As a journalist you get to report the good and the bad….this certainly is some of the bad.

  3. Kathie says:

    Thank you for reporting the election result. Kenosha County chose not to put it on their website. is really becoming a valued source for county residents.

  4. Dr. Brad Smith says:

    The people have spoken. I reject the accusation that the “no” voters are somehow “against” education, our school, or the kids. I have never publically worked against a school referendum until this one. My opposition is based solely on the deteriorating economy and my profound belief that America has entered into an economic depression.

    Furthermore, we as a people must make a protest against higher taxation when we have continuing record foreclosures, depression-era job losses, rising tax delinquencies, and continuing massive personal and business bankruptcies. Also, the high-profile suicides that have occurred are another depression-era hallmark.

    Just this morning I received a NEW YORK TIMES news release concerning the closure of CONDE NAST PORTFOLIO. This was a glossy financial magazine that was started a few years ago. I had been a subscriber. The news story called them a victim of the “recession”.

    Ironically, one of their writers, a Ben Schott, had attacked trends forecaster Gerald Celente in an Op-Ed piece for the NEW YORK TIMES– accusing Celente of disseminating “pessimism porn”. Obviously, Mr. Schott’s “optimism opium” clouded his view of reality. (Maybe he can find a new job with Celente’s TRENDS JOURNAL.)

    I am not a pessimist. I’m a realist. The facts argue against an early recovery.

    Today’s vote also sends an important message that our local leaders need to hear and to absorb. The people want more transparency and accountability in regard to our schools, town and village affairs. (County too!)

    How about Salem’s school board showing some REAL leadership like Roger Gahart at Paris has? Why just “freeze” your wages and benefits when everyone else has had to take a cut in theirs? (Or like the 800 people who work at Chrysler’s Kenosha engine plant will be sacrificing.) Or how about signing public letters to our federal legislators and new president demanding that they reorder their priorities for our own local communities instead?

    Those of you who remain in denial regarding our economy need to watch the video that automatically plays when you go to Gerald Celente’s main website at: He has been a trends forecaster since 1980 and he has an incredibly accurate track record. His extensive research has convinced him that we’ve entered a depression that will be “…worse than the Great Depression…” of the 1930s.

    Thank you.

  5. Darrel Damon says:

    I think the defeat has more to do with the lack of a plan than by anger at the board. Throughout the runup to election, there have been repeated requests for information on how the board plans to address the underlying problems, other than to ask for more money. Those requests went unanswered. Lots of good suggestions were made by the taxpayers, but no action was taken on them.

    There has been a lot of hype about the faults of the state’s funding formula. There has been very little published about the fact that since 2003, Salem’s funding from the state has increased by almost $1 million. The statement was made that funding didn’t keep up with spending. It can be turned around and just as accurately stated that spending outstripped funding. The percentage funding from the state has not changed appreciably since 2003, but the budget has.

    When a family’s expenses increase beyond their income, the family must cut back. That is what the school has to learn how to do also. There are those who say that you can’t decrease costs in proporation to decrease in enrollment. I’ve been on the board. I know it can be done. Instead of sitting around pronouncing that it can’t be done, it is time to get up and start doing it. No more off-cycle raises. No more frills. Just old-fashioned, basic education. If parents want the frills, then they have to make a decision as a family that they want to take on the expense. THAT is the message that the taxpayers have sent. It is not about anger. It is about common sense.

  • Follow us on

  • Archives