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#Reaction to the School Levy Failing

Residents of Stow took to social media sites to express their reaction to the levy failing Aug. 2.

What was your reaction to finding out Issue 2 ? 

Share your thoughts on the Stow Patch or Stow Elections Facebook page or comment on this post.

Laurie August 03, 2011 at 02:28 PM
People are tapped out. There is no extra money. People don't know if they're going to have jobs from one day to the next. This administration is destroying the economy. Spending and taxation has to stop. It is NOT the answer. Vote these people out. People are tired and exhausted from being taxed to death, literally. It's time to vote these people out and start over. All of them, starting at the Federal level. Wake up, it's not working.
Douglas Wernicke August 03, 2011 at 03:32 PM
It's not a big suprise. I think Stow has levy fatigue. This was my 7th vote in the 6 and half years I have lived here. I am still upset that the board will let good young teachers like Hillary Flohr go. I think the problem is they are cutting from the bottom when it should be from the top
Phil Drago August 03, 2011 at 04:09 PM
Well it's the tea bag mentality folks. Hammer the teachers and no more taxes. Maybe Kasich can privatize the schools for his pals and we can do it that way. We are getting what we asked for and I'm afraid the worst is yet to come.
Ed Kent August 03, 2011 at 05:21 PM
Do people really understand history and what a Tea Party means? I think people need to study the Revolution again. The 'tea bag mentality' which Phil meant as an insult is really about stopping the establishment from spending beyond one's ability. American activists from a variety of political viewpoints have invoked the Tea Party as a symbol of protest many times. In 1973, on the 200th anniversary of the Tea Party, a mass meeting at Faneuil Hall called for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon and protested oil companies in the ongoing oil crisis. Afterwards, protesters boarded a replica ship in Boston Harbor, hanged Nixon in effigy, and dumped several empty oil drums into the harbor. In 1998, two conservative US Congressmen put the federal tax code into a chest marked "tea" and dumped it into the harbor. In 2006, a libertarian political party called the "Boston Tea Party" was founded. Now, many people including Democrats, Libertarians, Republicans and independents have come together at meetings to protest the extablishment as they see things in Washington aren't working. Many are teachers, professors, union members and senior citizens who are upset with the poor handling of our money and the bad job Congress has done over many decades with spending more than it should. This levy issue was not political. This was about the financial ability of homeowners to fund a $54,000,000 annual budget. We want good schools just like we want to be able to pay our own bills.and live.
Ward Benson August 03, 2011 at 06:16 PM
I wonder if those who voted for the levy (because they believe all property owners can afford the higher taxes) will now begin to make donations to the school district or will they just complain and grumble that they don't get to pay higher taxes to the school? What's stopping them from donating that extra money they have in their budgets? Do they have the attitude, "well if everyone's not made to contribute then I won't either"? Or, are they really concerned about the school's budget and are they really a supporter? Instead of grumbling that your neighbor, who may be facing financial hardships you aren't aware of, voted against the tax levy, be productive and give that extra money you say you have to a student who needs materials or directly to the schools. There's nothing stopping anyone from supporting the school beyond what you pay in property taxes, if you have the money and want to show greater support and believe they've made enough cuts to live within the $54 million annual budget. I'm not being sarcastic. I'm being for real. Hopefully, this economy will improve soon and we can vote yes to a future levy. There will probably already be a renewal to vote on next year anyhow.
JP August 03, 2011 at 06:29 PM
Once the school board shows that they can live witin their means (like the rest of us have to) then maybe the community will support them. There is no reason for our schools to be in the situation that they are. Good job Stow community for putting your foot down!!
Robin Anderson August 03, 2011 at 08:00 PM
I wonder if such a donation to public schools would be considered a charitable donation?
Ed Kent August 03, 2011 at 08:06 PM
Yes, a donation to the school district would be considered a charitable donation since the schools are considered non-profit. And, you could claim that on your income tax. Companies do that when they sponsor something for schools or donations for special educational areas.
Jenny Smith August 04, 2011 at 01:46 AM
I don't think the levy failed because of ones' political party. I believe this levy failed because this current BOE and our Superintendent do not communicate with the residents of Stow. How many people actually knew there was a levy to even vote on? From reading this site and others, it appears that this current Administration Is not trusted by the community nor are they up front about our schools. How can we vote to basically "give" millions of dollars to a group of people we don't trust? I read somewhere that Ms.Matthews thanked the 40% that voted yes. Why not thank everyone that voted and actually inquire as to why so many voted NO. Stow is not a negative community. We want to support our schools and teachers....but in that same process we want and expect transparency from this Administration. Are we asking too much from the BOE?
Kelly Toppin August 04, 2011 at 02:32 AM
November 8, 2011 the citizens of Stow will have the opportunitty to remove (3) current school Board members from office with their vote. I am asking that each of you who wants to start to change the direction of the Board to get out and vote so that the same individuals are not re-elected.
Ed Kent August 04, 2011 at 03:38 AM
But will our choices be any better? Will any of the new candidates have any connection currently or in the past with unions, teachers, administrators, publicly funded organizations or anyone who may be prone to work for the unions when it comes time to negotiate contracts. If they, their spouse, parents or relatives made a living from taxpayer money then I will vote against them. That doesn't mean I don't think a former teacher could be qualified to lead, but it does make them more prone to the mentality that taxes must always be raised to meet the demands of unions and what they want. What I would like to see are people that have business experience in the private sector that never received their livelihood from unions or taxpayer money. That would add some balance to a school board who must think about the taxpayers and their ability and means to justify a certain budget, not just the staff. I believe there may be hope for some of our board members. They did try to keep salaries from at least going up and did get a freeze. But, of course, due to the lack of finances from property owners it will be hard for them to live within the current revenue and cuts must be made. Since the unions would not accept any pay reduction then that means job loss. None of it is pretty or what any of us would want if we could afford it.
Andrew Dee August 04, 2011 at 04:38 AM
Ed, your paranoia is scary. I could go out and start a business tomorrow -- it would not prepare me to run the school system, or a city. They are two different things. Public service is an thing all it's own - and it takes training and experience in it to get good at it. Look at all the tea party people in congress who just randomly decided to run one day and they almost brought the world economy to it's knees. The school board's job is to represent their voters, and I believe that is what they are doing. Not giving in to unions because they may have at one point worked with any number of industries. When did unions become a bad word in this country? I remember learning in elementary school that they raised the standard of living in America x10.
Andrew Dee August 04, 2011 at 04:42 AM
If a candidate's parents worked for the department of agriculture in the 40s, you would vote against them. You know soldiers are paid with the tax payers money too. "but it does make them more prone to the mentality that taxes must always be raised to meet the demands of unions and what they want." God, I hope this is this is only the belief of the fringe people in Stow and not the popular opinion. It'd make it a mighty scary place to live.
Jenny Smith August 04, 2011 at 11:12 AM
It's pretty scary to think that a persons' beliefs are considered "fringe" just because they are not the same as your own. If you truly followed the debt debate in Washington, it wasn't the tea party....it was both sides, Democrat and Republican....this could have been avoided if the President had acted on this months ago. Although this is not Washington, we too cannot continue to spend our way out of this recession. So please, put aside your political affiliations and actually look at this current Board. Kelly is right, there are 3 seats up this November. We cannot re-elect Matthews, Powers or Mariola. I understand there are at least six individuals running for these positions....we need an open forum where residents can ask questions of everyone running. We all want what is best for our schools and our children but we also want an Administration that can do the job!
Ed Kent August 04, 2011 at 11:59 AM
Thank you Jenny for a well thought out comment. Andrew, you are right about one thing, I should not so easily dismiss anyone who has had relatives that have been involved in unions. Also, I don't mean to sound anti-union; not at all. In fact, I've stood up for them on a number of issues (not on this forum). But, we do need better balance on the board and some people to represent all of us. Maybe you feel pretty good about who is in there now and all of them represent your views and that's why you should vote for them again. Some of us don't feel properly represented and we will vote accordingly. I don't know how the Tea Party came into any of this discussion about the school levy. They had nothing to do with any of this. I'm certainly not a part of that grassroots effort although I admire their participation in wanting to better the way the feds spend our hard earned money. Now back to the levy which was about Stow residents of all party affiliation or none and their current ability to pay higher taxes. I know many independents who voted against the levy. This had nothing to do with politics or political power. I think some who get upset by the result like to blame a group and the Tea Party seems to be some type of people's favorite target even if they had nothing to do with a local issue.
James Pistorio August 04, 2011 at 01:20 PM
Do not be alarmed at being called on the fringe. That is typical left-wing rhetoric. If you do not agree with them they call you names. If you have Judeo-Christian values and believe that homosexual behavior is wrong, you are a homophobe. If you believe that abortion is wrong, you are against women's health care. If you do not embrace affirrmative action, you are a racist. You cannot get much more fringe to the left than the National Education Association. Do a little research on where they stand on social issues. It must be very frustrating to be on the fringe to the left and have those in the fringe on the right controlling your purse-strings.
Ken Foglesong August 04, 2011 at 01:30 PM
I must agree with the above sentiments about the tax burden for schools. As we all know, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled this method unconstitutional - but it still being used. I sure hope privatization isn't in our future. Maybe Gov. K. and the group will come up with a workable system at last.
Ed Kent August 04, 2011 at 05:22 PM
One way to fund schools that would not rely solely on property owners and thus spread the burden more broadly among everyone including those who don't pay taxes is to create a statewide sales tax. But, in order to keep the money 'local' as property tax does is to make sure a system is used that funnels that added tax you pay at the cash register no matter where you are in the state goes back to you local district. This is similar to when you use your credit card at a retailer and they ask for your zip code. Sometimes that is a card security measure, but other times the retailer uses that information for marketing purposes. That way if you bought a car in Columbus that special school tax you paid at that dealer would go to your district and not into a general fund the state runs and then distributes. A statewide tax distribution system takes away money from school districts like ours and gives a lot of it to big cities. We would not benefit from a system like that, so we would need the special sales tax coming back to our district. That is one way for our system to become constitutional since property taxes have actually been deemed unlawful. Yes, a sales tax would cause growing families to pay into the system whether they have property or not or whether they work or not. It always amazes me when I see a young mother with 3 kids using food stamps at the store while she's on her iPhone and then pays cash for her cigs and beer.
Ward Benson August 04, 2011 at 08:35 PM
As we currently see world markets falling today and economists talking about recession again, I'm so glad Stow voters had the foresight to vote down the property tax increase. They knew our economy was not yet in a sustainable growth pattern where local jobs and incomes could prosper quick enough to support higher taxes on struggling home owners. And to think if they really put that levy on in November, do they really expect home owners to instantly cough up the extra taxes within a few months when the February bill comes around? We have in our monthly budget a set amount we must save up in order to pay the expected bill in February. To ask for higher taxes beginning that quickly is beyond what many of us can cope with in that short period of time. I wish I had savings that I could pull on, but that went away when the economy tanked and my finances changed. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Can't sell and move either. When you don't have many options you must vote no. Our elected board members will surely make the needed cuts to that $54,000,000 annual budget in order to live within the means of taxpayers. Then, hopefully we can help them at the state level to focus energy on finding a more broad way to fund schools and get away from relying on just property owners which are becoming less while people move south and others who've lost their homes become renters or move in with other relatives and friends. I see that happening more and more.
Bob October 28, 2011 at 05:15 PM
People don't know there is a levy because they are ignorant and refuse to read. How is the district supposed to get the word? Knock on everyones door and then hold their hands to make sure they go to vote? Who is going to suffer through all this?? The kids of Stow. So when they grow up without the best education possible I hope they drive back here in their piece of crap car that the had to buy because they don't make any money and thank all of you dimwits.

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