Home News Webster Parish voters approve library funding renewal — Jerri Lee elected school...

Webster Parish voters approve library funding renewal — Jerri Lee elected school board member for District 9

On Saturday, March 25, Webster Parish residents voted to renew the current operating millage for Webster Parish Libraries, and the residents of District 9 elected Jerri Lee to represent them on the Webster Parish School Board.

It was crucial for the library to get this renewal on their operating millage of 12.39 mills for the next ten years because those monies make up 97% of the library revenue used to provide services to all residents throughout the parish. The renewal passed with 79% (1,433) of the votes. 

“As a library system, success is measured by the ability to positively impact the lives of the people you serve,” said Savannah Jones, Director of Webster Parish Libraries. “This impact extends well beyond the individuals who regularly visit their local libraries, and the ultimate goal is to strengthen and empower surrounding communities. Your local libraries are doorways that lead to new opportunities, whether it is by putting people on the path to literacy, advancing technological know-how in a technology-driven world, or by providing the means to advance one’s career.  Libraries are community hubs that connect people to people and people to resources. It’s a vital support system and one that cannot exist without the support of the people it serves.”

“When our libraries are put on the ballot for continued funding, the value of our libraries in the eyes of the people we serve is directly reflected by the outcome”, said Jones. “The results determine not only the library system’s future, but the future of all local communities and the people within them. Our libraries serve as a driving force toward success starting with the individual. All people, regardless of situational circumstances, have access to the tools necessary for academic and personal growth. Not only does this growth directly benefit the individual, but it indirectly develops a stronger, thriving parish.”

“We know how important it is for people to stay connected within our communities. Our libraries provide a means to make those connections possible through the resources and services offered. In my opinion, Webster Parish Libraries serve as a catalyst that not only brings people, of all ages and backgrounds, together, but connects them to resources needed for success,” said Kim Sentell, Director of Marketing for Webster Parish Libraries. “Strong communities are made up of prospering individuals; libraries enhance the likelihood of prosperity by providing necessary tools that many may not otherwise have access to. Our library staff and board of directors are passionate about making sure our libraries meet the needs of our parish residents. Knowing that our communities support their libraries is touching beyond words. With the passing of the funding renewal, we can begin writing the next chapter for your libraries. We look forward to growing along with our local communities in the years to come.”

The school board election was held to find a replacement for Frankie Mitchell. Mitchell had decided not to run for reelection last November but, since no one else ran, the position was left vacant. Mitchell volunteered to remain on the board until after this election so that her district was not left unrepresented. In the race between Jerri Lee and Jo Ann McWoodson, Lee won with 93% (193) of the vote. 

“It’s my intention to work with the board as it continues to strive to improve the quality of public education in Webster Parish,” said Lee. “The fact that I’ve served as a student, a parent, and a teacher in the parish school system has allowed me to view the entire educational structure. I feel that I understand some of the pressing issues and concerns of not only students and parents but also administrators, faculty, and staff. I’m naturally excited about the opportunity to advocate on behalf of public schools. I look forward to interacting with the variety of individual community stakeholders to share news of our progress as well as our challenges.”

These results are considered unofficial. The numbers should be officially verified by the end of the week.