In the Ladue Prop 1 tax levy election where the issue passed by 499 votes, the area of support is obvious. Olivette’s three precincts: Old Bonhomme School, Logos School and the Olivette Community Center yielded a passing margin of 856 votes.
Olivette, where the vast majority of families send their children to Ladue's schools continues to stand staunchly in favor of supporting tax measures for public education.
Olivette has a long history of supporting tax levy and bond issue campaigns. This can be a bit of a surprise since Olivette has a significant share of older residents, many who are living on moderate to low fixed incomes.
But what might be important to Olivette voters might not be the same for residents in Ladue or Frontenac.
There are curious results from this breakdown.
At Old Bonhomme School, the levy passed by 316 vote (551-235). It had 108 yes votes at the community center (277-169) and passed by a wide margin, 432 votes (730-298) at Logos School. Logos’ 730 yes votes was the highest total of all polling places in the entire school district.
Spoede School, with its residents residing in Creve Coeur passed the levy by 125 votes (373-248).
In a bit of a surprise, the measure failed at Ladue Horton Watkins High School (203-250).
The measure took a pounding in Frontenac at the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints. There, the measure gave back 111 votes; (140-251). It did much the same at the St. Louis County Library, where the no vote was a 102 difference (160-262). At Conway School, the No votes outweighed the yes votes 197-394), failing by 194 votes.
McKnight Road Church of Christ polling station, serving the southern portion of Ladue saw a net “no” of 29 ((207-236).
The Ladue voters who cast their ballots at Creve Coeur City Hall had a net “yes” of 42 (118-76).
Other precincts had smaller turnouts and fairly close margins either way.
In the final analysis, it appears voting is decided on issues other than economic values. Ladue has a significantly higher household median value than those in Olivette or Creve Coeur, yet a small majority of Ladue voters voted no. Olivette voters voted in significant numbers to support passage of the tax levy.
Ladue homeowners have a significantly larger number of their children attending private schools.
Should the economy recover significantly, Olivette will rekindle its home building construction projects bringing new and younger voters into the district. Those homeowners, likely will support public education and grow the pool of potential yes voters on future issues.
Ladue's superintendent of schools Dr. Marsha Chappelow was thrilled with the overall support from the voters.
"I am grateful to everyone who took the time to understand the critical issues facing our school district and chose to support us as we work our way through these difficult and unprecedented financial challenges. Those votes of support came from expected, as well as unexpected, places and we are appreciative of each and every one that helped put Proposition 1 over the top," said Dr. Chappelow.
Besides the outcome, Ladue's Dr. Jason Buckner, assistant superintendent for business and finance was pleased with the voter turn out. Almost 53 percent of registered voters went to the polls. "I'm not surprised. We had a lot of attention for this issue. I have to commend Susan Dielmann and her (PR) staff for their knowledge, their professionalism, for getting all that information to the voters."
Buckner had special praise for the support that came from Olivette voters. "We anticipated their support and much appreciated it. With their history of supporting our district, we were not surprised," said Buckner.
"Ladue is noted for the quality of staff we are able to hire to teach our children. Since we've passed this levy, we can continue hiring at this very hifgh level," said Buckner.