It's Official: 7.84-mil Renewal Levy on November Ballot

The Stow-Munroe Falls Board of Education approved the last step to put a renewal on the Nov. 6.

Voters will have the opportunity to decide whether a renewal levy that generates $7.3 million annually will be collected for the next 10 years for the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District this November. 

The current levy is for five years at 7.3-mils and expires at the end of 2012. The renewal levy, which will still generate $7.3 million annually, is for 10-years at 7.84-mils this time.

If passed in November, the levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home:

  • $240.10 a year 
  • $20 a month

The first collection would begin in 2014 for the 2013 taxes. 

The voted 4-1 to approve putting the levy on the ballot June 11.

Board Member Rod Armstrong voted against the measure. He said he would be more comfortable asking voters for a levy for two years and for a lower millage amount based on the . 

"It takes away tax payer control over the levies and over the renewals," said Armstrong. 

Vice President Karen Wright explained she was in favor of going to the voters for 10 years because of some uncertainties in state funding. 

"I don’t think that in the near future Columbus is going to give us a boat load of money to remedy our troubles," she said. "We can’t let that go by the wayside ... if you don’t have [the money], the catch up is worse."

She also mentioned that putting a levy on the ballot every couple of years is costly. 

Dick Spangler, who reiterated that promotion for levies is paid for by private donations, said "stretching this out to 10 years and not having to do it every two, three, five years shores up a lot of work."

Armstrong also suggested combinging the levy expiring this year with 4.6-mil renewal that will expire in two years. 

Treasurer/CFO Catherine Bulgrin said combing two renewal levies would be confusing to the community because the milage would go up to about 12-mils and new money will be needed in about five years.

"We're trying to avoid voter fatigue," she said. "If we do that, the voters in this community will throw their hands up and not understand what we're doing."

YOUR BEST FRIEND June 12, 2012 at 01:05 PM
VOTE NO !!!!!!! thank you mr armstrong for looking out for the taxpayer !!!! SO this levy means more raises for staff in nov. VOTE NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Amanda Harnocz June 12, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Hi Cherie, as mentioned in the story another renewal levy will expire in two years for 4.6-mils and the treasurer mentions needing to request new money again in five years.
James Thomas June 12, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Wisconsin, NO
Jan Hightower-Woods June 12, 2012 at 01:47 PM
NO! Seriously?! Catherine Bulgrin: "We're trying to avoid voter fatigue," she said. "If we do that, the voters in this community will throw their hands up and not understand what we're doing." UGH!!!!!!
Andrew Freborg June 12, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I for one am tired of the rude and heavy handed tactics of president Karen Powers (yes, I'm naming names). Someone needs to remind that woman that she's an elected public servant, not a corporate autocrat. Sadly, the community just reelected her.Her behavior at last night's meeting towards the community presenters was rude, arrogant, dismissive and shameful. I note also that the various Stow newspapers never seem to note this in their reporting on these meetings.
Andrew Freborg June 12, 2012 at 02:38 PM
From the Ohio Treasurer's website ... not bad for a district in financial crisis 2009 BULGRIN CATHERINE M. Treasurer Stow-Munroe Falls City Stow-Munroe Falls City $80,000.00 260 2010 BULGRIN CATHERINE M. Treasurer Stow-Munroe Falls City Stow-Munroe Falls City $103,337.00 260 2011 BULGRIN CATHERINE M. Treasurer Stow-Munroe Falls City Stow-Munroe Falls City SD $106,386.00 260
Melissa Bysura June 12, 2012 at 05:35 PM
I was on board with the renewal levy (or at least ready to vote yes for it) until I read in the Stow Sentry that the flood gates had been reopened for raises across the board after the last levy was passed. So many great ideas were presented on how to save money for the district (i.e. rezoning the district, consolitdating the elementary schools, etc.) but once the last levy passed it was like we handed the district a blank check and it went back to business as usual. Very disappointing.
Andrew Freborg June 12, 2012 at 06:00 PM
No problem -- they'll get their raises regardless. Buses will be eliminated, courses eliminated, teachers laid off, heat turned off in the schools, kids will have to bring candles and their own toilet paper; but the the SB will see to it that they and their administrator cronies are well cared for. Same ol' same ol' And Karen Powers will make sure any dissent is smashed .. probably hire 300 lb. bouncers to patrol the SB meetings
Selma Bouvier June 13, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Good for you Andrew!! I personally, don't think she cares. She acts this way most of the time! Got to remember the race was close, between her and Matthews. Don't know which one would have been better. Probably, a tie on personality.
Selma Bouvier June 13, 2012 at 12:50 AM
First cuts should be Central Office administration!!!
Mike Barnes June 13, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I think, as school board president, Mrs Powers acted appropriately by restricting comments to the 3 minute limit imposed on those who choose to speak. Isn’t it rude for a person to presume they can hold a meeting and an audience hostage until they are finished?? In addition Mrs Powers gave the family a great deal of leeway by allowing the spectacle of the mother forcing her young daughter to testify to her victimization, to admit she had a short temper and to use a derogatory term about a specific teacher. In my opinion the speaker was out of order and Mrs Powers acted well within her duties to conduct an orderly meeting.
Mike Barnes June 13, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Andrew -- Frankly, in my opinion, at that price Mrs Bulgrin is a bargain. She is the Chief Fiscal Officer for the second largest school district in Summit County. Because of budget cuts and staff reductions her office assumed the majority of the previous Business Managers duties. Like it or not our district does not have the least nor the most expensive administrative staff around. I think we have received a great deal of bang for our buck and keeping these peer reviewed and recognized executives with us is a good investment.
Mike Barnes June 13, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I don't think you can avoid placing blame with just the republicians. The Dems have done a pretty good job of ignoring the real school funding issues as well!
Andrew Freborg June 13, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Mike - I think a better bang for our buck might be buses for our kids, textbooks that don't look like they've been run through the garbage disposal, and alieviation of threats to eliminate foreign language, art, and AP science classes. And threats not to allow evening drama club perfomances (in which the students do their own fundraising), and sports activities (of course football being the exeption), don't sit well when we get bargins such as contractual increases to get competent administrators. Reminds me of my LTV Steel days when rank and file R&D professional engineers were cut and equipment repair neglected ... all to keep the "bargin" CEO and CFO management team from jumping ship. I guess you support the bonuses given to AIG mgt. to keep them from leaving the company after their bailout, too.
Andrew Freborg June 13, 2012 at 07:39 PM
And how many corporate CFOs work for only 260 days? ... Prorated over 365 days, the salary is equivalent to $148,000 ... quite repectable.
Mike Barnes June 13, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Hum -- let’s see --- assuming a 5 day work week for 52 weeks -- I believe that is 260 days for a full year. In reality neither the Jones or Bulgrin work just 40 hours per week. Both can be seen at night and weekend events. The same is true for many of the districts employee's. Even at $148K a GOOD person in that position is a bargain. More important than them jumping ship is keeping the continuity of a management team that has been successful. AiG -- that was criminal and frankly in my opinion I would rather we had bailed out college kids with student loans and found better a way of funding education.
Andrew Freborg June 13, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Whatever - My family doesn't have "any skin in the game" anymore anyway. It's the community's money to spend as they want. Time to maybe move.
Kelly Toppin June 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Mike - The administrators sign the contract knowing what they are going to get paid. There is no secret to the salary when they sign, they know what they are getting into. Just because we are the 2nd largest school district in Summit County does not mean we have to increase salaraies, we still have to live within the financial means of the district.
Candace Zimmerman June 14, 2012 at 01:45 PM
I know that girl was not forced. She asked her mother to be able to speak. She did not force her to admit anything. You can clearly see her ask her daughter if she wanted to say anything and she did. The daughter said that she couldn't control her anger anymore BECAUSE she was constantly being bullied and tried to stand up for herself and couldn't take it anymore because she wasn't being helped by the people put in place to protect and educate her. As far as you Mr. Barnes, you need to think about what was said and feel this if it happened to your daughter. I think what happened to this daughter and her mother for that matter is completely inappropriate and dispicable. This doesn't send a good message to the SMFCSD parents. It basically tells them not to defend their child against wrong doing in the school system or else get slaughtered by the school, staff, superintendent and the school board. The board (exception Armstrong) does not care about the students and only impressed with their own importance.
Mike Barnes June 14, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Candace -- from past experience with my son and one of my daughters I can tell you with certainty the district has not tolerated bullying. I can also tell you for us the best solution was to confront the parents with the issue and get both sides of the story. It worked for one of my children. It was necessary to get the police as well as the school resource officer involved and the issue was resolved. I would NEVER dream of parading my family in front of the school board. We don't know the whole story; we don’t know both sides of the story. I don’t think what allegedly happened to the child is the issue. The issue is how the Board president handled a speaker who was clearly, to most of us, out of order. Also I was at the meeting and standing near the family. I heard and saw something totally different. I think there are a few more pages to this story!!!
Mike Barnes June 14, 2012 at 05:02 PM
OK Kelly -- as the district makes cuts, why would any of these people willingly assume additional duties for the same money? The same is true for the certified and classified staff. Cuts continue, duties increase and I certainly hope there pay will increase once the contracts expire in 2013.
Kelly Toppin June 14, 2012 at 06:31 PM
MIke - It is the Do more with less philosphy...if we are looking at the District as a business, in the real business world we learn to do more with less without always seeing salary increase...unfortunately that has become the nature of the real business world...there are people who have taken on additional duties and not received increases in 4 years....my point originally was that lets not use the reasoning that just because we are the 2nd largest district that all of our employees need to be paid more...businesses day after day prove this. I am not saying our employees are not due their fair pay, but that has to fall within the financial means of the district.
Kelly Toppin June 14, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Candace Zimmerman June 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Yes Mike you were there for what point? to take bad pictures? Your photography skills aren't anywhere what you think they are. I was there as well. I heard the mother ask the daughter if she wanted to speak and she did. The mother clearly stated that she had waited MONTHS for the school to do something and THEY DIDN'T. I'm glad your situation worked out well for you but you are stupid to think that same thing happens across the board. This mother stated that she tried to confront the parent but he was threatening to her and her daughter. What do you expect her to solve there? There was no parade at that board meeting and you know it. You are just trying to give their appearance a negative light. The board should be open to having anyone come in front of them especially a student they are supposed to be properly educating AND PROTECTING. You are right you don't know the whole story. So before you get on here with your holier than thou attitude and chastizing this family, you might want to find out what they have been through when the mother has more then 3 minutes to tell you without rudely being interrupted. THE ISSUE DEFINITELY WASN'T ABOUT THE BOARD. IT WAS ABOUT THE CHILD OR THE MOTHER WOULD'VE HAD NO REASON TO BE THERE. I applaud her for standing up to that snooty board and good for nothing superintendent in defense of her child. You were not standing near the family. You were too busy taking bad pictures of people against their will. go find something else to do.
Mike Barnes June 15, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Candace thank you for your comments. Like you I stand by what I said. Does that make both of us appear Holier than thou? Also, I will do my best to take better pictures at future meetings. I would appreciate any tips you wish to share. The lighting combined with the long lens make me think I should adjust the ISO setting so I can use a faster shutter speed – what do you think would be a good setting? I have it set on Auto – could you suggest a specific manual setting? I guess if I didn't want my picture taken I wouldn't go to public meetings! I defiantly would not go to meetings where there were two video cameras running and at least three other people take still photos.
James Thomas June 15, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Patch, How does this phrase "(and the right wing circle-jerks who take offense to that & think your party never does any wrong, can suck on it. Truth hurts)." not violate policy.
Amanda Harnocz June 15, 2012 at 03:06 PM
James, that was an oversight on our part. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. A reminder, please follow the rules in our terms of service: http://stow.patch.com/terms. If you see a questionable comment, say so in the comments section, flag the comment and email amanda.harnocz@patch.com. Thank you!
Candace Zimmerman June 16, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Any true professional photographer reading your comment is cracking up right now. You are trying so hard to sound like you know what you are talking about. But in fact, you continue to support my point. Any professional would know how to use manual settings and not run on auto like anyone who goes and buys a camera can. Professionals also know there is more to photograhpy then a camera setting and a lens. Also any professional that prides themself on being a professional would never take a picture of a person after directly being asked not to. You only make yourself look bad by not only arrogantly doing this on the videos we all know where there (you don't need to remind us) but then you get on here and cut people down and flaunt your opinion like you are some big deal in this city. Continue to make yourself look horrible with each and every letter you type. I will not be responding to any more of your almighty opinions, posts, responses etc. Type away. Drop the camera and your attitude.
Ricky Stowater July 13, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Candace - Maybe you could stop with the personal attacks. Is there a video of said board meeting? I would like to hear more about what is going on in the district and what that family's problems were.
Frank Guernsey October 24, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Candace sounds like she is a lonely person.


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