Friends of D51 are registered, ready for vote

A citizen group campaigning for a School District 51 mill levy override was pretty confident the district’s school board would decide Tuesday to place the override on November’s ballot.

So confident were the members of Friends of School District 51 — the group consistently has at least eight members — they registered Friday with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office as an issue committee.

Friends of School District 51 member Duke Wortmann of Fruita said the early registration “had everything to do with compliance issues” and wanting to be ready immediately in case the board went ahead with the override question. Wortmann said he spent most of the day Tuesday speaking with people at the school district, and he and other group members are ready to spread information about the override to clubs and other groups in the community.

Wortmann said the group budgeted $64,000 for the campaign and hopes to raise that amount quickly. Mail ballots for the Nov. 1 election will be sent out in early October.  “We have a short campaign to run, and we have to run it hard,” Wortmann said.

The money will pay for yard signs, mailers, advertisements and other campaign items.

Wortmann said he is not sure how the election will turn out, but he believes he at least has to try to convince people to vote for the override.

“We’re getting killed from a state basis. We’ve made cuts every way we can make cuts. I’m not a shill, I just realize what it means to have a healthy school district,” he said.


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