Election results leave their mark on schools

Staff Report

November 12, 2013

The Novem­ber 5 elec­tion is over and, considering how many issues were on the ballot, a surprising number passed - but not for education.

The Mor­row County Health Dept. levy passed as did Card­ing­ton Lin­coln Schools levy, but with a very narrow margin of 707/682 votes.

After the final vote count came in last Tuesday, Morrow County Commissioner Tom Whiston called the passage of the .5 mill/10 yr Health Department levy “huge”. He added that the voters did the right thing with the Health levy, which passed with just 148 votes (50.98%).

Morrow County Health Dept. Public Information Officer Kelly Hand thanked Morrow County voters for their support passing the 0.5 mill for 10 years levy. “We are incredibly grateful and relieved that it passed,” her email said.

Defeated was the Mor­row County Whet­stone Industries’ levy, which failed by a 3894/3643 vote.

Whiston said it is a big disappointment that the Whetstone Developmental Disabilities levy failed, adding that would be the next thing for the county to accomplish - to get the information about the importance of the Whetstone levy to every township in the county.

Morrow DD Superintendent Nancy Foglesong was both disappointed that the Whetstone levy failed, but also optimistic that it would pass in the near future.

“We’ll regroup and be back on the ballot,” Foglesong said. “The problem will be that the board won’t have money enough without big cuts. It will be hard to find a balance that will impact the least number of people.”

Foglesong made every effort to be positive and said that even though the levy failed, “we have gotten awareness of our individuals and their needs and of their families.”

Foglesong thanked all the volunteers who gave many hours and donated money to spread awareness of how great the need is in Morrow County for citizens with developmental disabilities.

“Most importantly, I want to speak directly to these individuals, both those currently receiving services, which are threatened by inadequate local funding, and those who continue to wait for services. We do not want them to take this loss personally or to lose hope. But sadly our board faces some very difficult challenges in the immediate future and as a county we continue a grave injustice to those who desperately need these services.”

Northmor Schools levy did not pass, failing by a margin of 72.16/27.84%.

Supt. Dr. Brent Winand said the primary problem the Northmor Board must now face is that politicians have created a funding formula determining the Northmor community to be capable of and expected to fund our schools additionally at the local level.

“Audits by the Auditor of the State of Ohio and by the Ohio Department of Education confirm that Northmor has done everything possible to “stay afloat” but cannot continue to provide the current level of education and programs without additional support,” he explained. “The cuts in dollars from the State of Ohio have been significant and there are no additional dollars coming from them in the foreseeable future. Obviously our community has now said the school should not turn to them for this support.”

He said the avenues left to consider are to increase on the nearly $770,000 already cut from the school budget and/or continue to drain limited reserves until there is nothing left.

“This much is a given: textbooks, technology, student safety, maintenance, utilities, fuel, school buses, etc. cost money,” Winand said. “There is nothing that can be done to change that. Whether or not this is Northmor’s “perfect storm” with the worst possible financial conditions coming from all directions, it exists. It is very real. In the weeks and months ahead, we must all attempt the difficult work of surviving the storm.”

Mt. Gilead Schools’ levy failed by a 1134/785 vote. Supt. Jeff Thompson was disappointed but said he knows the community is supportive of the school district and thanked those who were supportive of the levy.

“I’ll be discussing with the board what the next steps are but the facts remain the same: we have an aging bus fleet that needs replaced and we’ll continue to look at what can be done to improve our safety and security measures. My first priority will always be the safety and security of the students and staff.”

Fire levies

Mt. Gilead Vil­lage Fire Protection passed 507/244 in the village and 834/536 in the township. Mount Gilead Fire Chief Greg Young thanked voters. He said he was very happy that the information the fire department put out helped the levies pass.

“Voters could see it was a no-brainer,” Young added.

Mount Gilead’s new fiscal officer, Ric Lyle, commented that, “it’s fortunate that we have the trustees we have and also Chief Young. I hope we can put the money we get from the levies for the best possible use.” Lyle said he would also work with the village to get additional grant money for roads.Gilead Township’s Road levy won with 63.88 percent of the votes.

“We’ll be watching every dime,” Lyle added. “I feel fortunate to have this job as fiscal officer and to continue since I was appointed.”

Canaan Twp.’s Fire levy passed 61/47; N Bloom­field Twp Fire Protection passed 289/160; Perry Con­gress Fire Renewal passed with 69.43% of the vote; Troy Twp’s Fire Pro­tec­tion Renewal passed 174/82;

Perry Con­gress’ Additional levy for Fire Pro­tec­tion lost 566/383.

Also passed were Card­ing­ton Twp Roads Renewal at 476/223; Con­gress Twp Cemeteries passed with a 64.26% vote; Gilead Twp Roads passed with 63.96%, and Wash­ing­ton Twp Cemeteries passed with 64.87%

Liquor Options passed were On/Off Premise Sun­day Sales for Boon Docks Resturant; Mt. Gilead SW Off Premise Sun­day Sales Dis­count Drug Mart; Perry Twp North Off Premise Daily Sales and Sunday Sales at Marvin’s Vil­lage Market and Wash­ing­ton Twp’s Off Premise Daily Sales at B&K Quick Stop. Defeated was B&K’s Sunday Sales option.