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Issue 2 Fails, School District to Seek Levy in November

Issue 2 failed in Stow Aug. 2, according to final but unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections.

After finding out failed by about 1,400 votes Aug. 2, District Treasurer/CFO Catherine Bulgrin said she was "disheartened" by the results, but the district plans to seek a levy in November.

"Obviously, we're disappointed. We have done all that we believe we could have done in terms of making [$7.2 million in]  over the ," said Superintendent Russ Jones.

School employees, in recent contracts as well, which is expected to save the . A contract with the by the .

According to the final, but unofficial, results from the Summit County Board of Elections, 4,039 (60.65 percent) voted against the levy and 2,621 (39.35 percent) voted for the levy.

"This does not solve our financial situation," said Jones.

If the levy had passed, it would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home $202.21 annually. The 6.57-mill, 10 year levy would have generated $6.5 million annually.

"According to the May forecast, we're just squeaking by in 2013 with a $25,000 projected balance without passage [of this levy]," said Bulgrin.

Bulgrin added that the board will consider taking the first of two steps toward placing the same levy on the November ballot during a special board meeting Thursday. The board will need to meet Aug. 8 to approve moving forward with the levy, she said.

"We have maintained, from the beginning, a positive approach to this and made reductions necessary along the way," said Jones. "Now we'll take the necessary steps to keep the district solvent and so it remains 'Excellent.'"

Board Vice President Karen Powers said despite the outcome of the levy, "We will continue to provide best education possible for every single student who walks through our doors with the resources that are available."

Bulgrin, Jones and Powers thanked the community and Levy Steering Committee leader Steve Fry, for the support received from 40 percent of the voters.

"I am disheartened that the voters did not support the very fabric of our community," Bulgrin said.

Karen Gonidakis September 16, 2011 at 03:59 PM
And by the way - we do have a levy renewal up for re-election in 2012.
lincoln adams September 16, 2011 at 04:17 PM
As I said before....if the majority, 51%, of the Stow Munroe population is at or below the poverty line for whatever reason...then yes it's a problem and a levy shouldn't be passed. Is this the case? If it is I stand corrected, and gladly will give a mea culpa. At the end of the day. Nothing is more important than the safety and education of our children. And I hope that in keeping the district fiscally responsible (a good thing), we keep ourselves fiscally responsibility.
lincoln adams September 16, 2011 at 06:49 PM
Fair point! Clearly, there are areas that need to be investigated about how the administration spends the money towards administrative compensation. And this is certainly a good reason to demand that the funds raised in a levy go to where they are most needed as it relates to our children. It's a tough pill to swallow to have to fund the retirement of administrators when most people have taken severe cuts to their own retirements. In this sense, voters would not be being "cheap or short-sighted" they would be being prudent. My sincerest apologies to those I may have offended with my opinions in this matter.
lincoln adams September 16, 2011 at 07:40 PM
Jeanne, I would hope those cuts would be implemented for the next school year rather than this one. Though I could certainly see the board skewing that information to coerce a voters into passing a levy in November... On a side note, I'm a working artist ( please, don't make assumptions about my political leanings—they may not be what you think!) and would be more than willing to help students if cuts come down that effect visual arts studies.
lincoln adams September 16, 2011 at 08:03 PM
I didn't mean you Jeanne or anyone else in particular, but I've learned over the years that once you say "I'm a working artist" many people begin start thinking a lot of things that are unfortunately stereotypical. And mostly untrue ;-) There are a lot of great parents at Stow High School— the Stow Swimming parents group for example is excellent! If anything, the main difference between a district like Stow Munroe and Akron city is that there are, by far, more parents able to step in and be a stop gap when the budget fails the students... Quite a bit of socio-economic reasons behind that to be sure. But nothing can replace involved, caring parents in the life of a child! Kudos to you for being a volunteer!

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