Voters approve bonds, elect challengers to school board

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Challengers won both contested Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education races, and the RRPS and Central New Mexico Community College bonds passed in Tuesday’s election.

The results are unofficial until canvassing, which isn’t expected to impact results.

According to unofficial election results on the New Mexico Secretary of State’s website, Amanda Joy Galbraith won the three-candidate District 2 school board race with about 46.5 percent of the vote. Incumbent Ramon Montano took 32.1 percent, and challenger Michael Mierzejewski took 21.4 percent.

A little more than 1,500 votes were cast in the race.

Newcomer Jeffery Morgan ran unopposed for the District 3 RRPS board seat, getting all 1,170 votes.

In District 4, challenger Noreen Ann Krewer-Scott won with 56 percent of the almost 1,600 votes. That left incumbent Ryan C. Parra with 44 percent.

For the $60 million RRPS bond, 72 percent of the almost 8,400 voters who cast ballots on the item supported it, with 28 percent opposing it. The approval won’t raise taxes but will keep them at the same level.

Most of the money will go toward updating failing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems in school buildings. The bond will also pay for computer infrastructure and capacity upgrades, career-technical education and high school expansion, as well as athletic turf replacement.

“We have been so fortunate to operate in a community that truly believes in education and understands its value,” said Superintendent Sue Cleveland in a news release. “The $60 million bond will allow Rio Rancho Public Schools to create a more comfortable learning environment for our students, expand our career technical education programs and provide a safer sports turf to help prevent injuries. In addition, this bond will allow us to provide our students with greater access to state-of-the-art technology, while further strengthening the security of our network and the security of student data.”

The money will be available to the district in increments over the next four years, according to the release.

In voting on the $84 million CNM bond, which extended outside Sandoval county, almost 70 percent of the nearly 105,000 people voting in the race supported with bond, and 30 percent were against it. That bond also will keep taxes at the same level.

The money is earmarked for multiple CNM campuses. The campus in Rio Rancho is slated to get a new building for career-technical education to be shared with Rio Rancho Public Schools for dual-credit classes.

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