County Clerk’s office certifies signatures on petition to get nickel tax on ballot

Published 2:58 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2019

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STANFORD —  The issue of whether or not the Lincoln County School District’s proposed nickel tax will be added to the tax rolls is back in the hands of the school board, following the certification of enough names on a petition circulated to have the issue placed on a ballot.

County Clerk George “Sonny” Spoonamore IV says his office verified the signatures on the petition against the nickel tax last week.

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The original affidavit by a petition committee was filed with the county clerk’s office on Sept. 25 and, just over a month later, the petition bearing around 1,400 signatures was turned into that office. The committee had 45 days to get the signatures.

A total of 956 valid registered voters, or 10 percent of voters who had cast ballots in the last presidential election, was required.

Spoonamore informed The Interior Journal last Thursday that enough signatures had been verified by his office as legally valid voters and the process was stopped without the necessity of checking all names since the petition only required the 956 total valid signatures.

“We certified the petition with enough … They needed 956 signatures and we stopped at 1,002 and we still had 300 or 400 more,” said Spoonamore. “I sent a letter to the school board and to Marvin Wilson, the head of the committee, and let them know.”

The members of the petition committee were Wilson, David T. Noland, Jenn Broadbent, Daniel Noland and Troy Payton, all of Hustonville.

The next step in the process is now up to the Lincoln County Board of Education.

“I think the school board has three options,” Spoonamore said. “They can rescind it. They can request it be put on the ballot in May. Or they could request a special election. The school board would have to pay for the special election.”

The recallable 5.7-cent nickel tax was added by the school board on Sept. 12 and was classified as restricted funds and can only be spent on major renovations of school facilities, new construction, debt service and/or land acquisition. These funds cannot be spent on staff salaries.

The affidavit of petition read: “The petition to be circulated will be for the purpose of obtaining a sufficient number of qualified signatures to recall the recallable portion of the proposed levy, 5.7 cents per $100 of the assessed value of real property and of personal property, with exonerations, as passed by order, resolution, and/or motion of the Lincoln County Board of Education on September 12, 2019, requiring the Board to place same before the voters of Lincoln County, Kentucky.”

When asked by The Interior Journal, if anything else been asked for, Spooamore said he got an open records request.

“I got an open records request for the signatures by the school board,” he confirmed.

Special Called Meeting Scheduled

The Lincoln County School Board will hold a special called meeting Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the recallable tax petition.