By Eric Hawkinson
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– It was a record turnout for voters in the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) school board election on Sept. 10. According to the Johnson County auditor, a total of 8,750 votes were cast, which is nearly 12 percent of registered voters.
The election night winners were incumbent Tuyet Dorau (43 percent of the vote), Chris Lynch (36 percent) and Brian Kirschling (35 percent). Much of the support for Kirschling, who gained the highest financial support throughout the campaign, came from the East-Iowa City voters. Dorau and Lynch received a considerable portion of their support from the North Liberty precinct, which came to 747 votes for Dorau and 719 for Lynch.
Both Dorau and Lynch live in Coralville, and received large support from voters in the west-Iowa City district. The North Corridor Parents group endorsed both candidates before the election.
Dorau said she was happy about the massive turnout in voting because it showed people in the community care about education.
The remarkable turnout of 8,000-plus votes shatters the previous record of 5, 814 ballots in 1995 when, according to the auditor’s website archive, there was a bond issue that required a 60 percent vote to build a new grade school. The current issue board members face is the facilities master plan.
Throughout the year, the ICCSD has been working to implement a comprehensive master plan that will generate the course of the school district for then next decade, with board meetings and public hearings that have at times become tense. Many community members and school board challengers have been outspoken about the board’s decision to close existing schools– Hoover, Hills and Lincoln elementaries– as part of the facilities plan, a point community members will likely continue to discuss this fall. It is uncertain, however, how the new board will confront the matter.