Omerza, Pointer, Mann win school board seats

Two first-time candidates and an incumbent emerged from a six-way race and won seats on the Ely School Board Tuesday night.

Tom Omerza led the field and captured 1,817 votes with all but a fraction of the ballots in and counted. Omerza, a local bank branch president and longtime youth sports volunteer, joined James Pointer and Heidi Mann in winning four-year terms.

Pointer, who was appointed to the board to fill a vacant seat in 2015, won 1,146 votes to take second and Mann, a mother of two school-aged sons who recently moved to the area, was next with 1,019 votes.

Mann held off former superintendent Alexis Leitgeb, who sought to join the board a year after she left the district under a cloud of controversy. Leitgeb had 907 votes while Geoff Galaski and Zach Walen lagged behind.

Scott Kellerman, who was running unopposed, won a two-year seat on the board.

Also Tuesday, district residents overwhelmingly backed a school operating levy referendum by a roughly two-to-one margin. The levy will be renewed for 10 years and has a minimal property tax impact. According to figures provided by the school district, taxes on a $100,000 property would rise by $3 with approval of the levy.