Election 2012: Twinsburg School District voters approve 4.9-mill operating levy

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by Emily Canning-Dean | Reporter

The passage of Issue 69 means the Twinsburg school district can shift more of its focus to academic matters, district officials say.

The 4.9-mill levy will generate $3.8 million annual for the school district.

"I spent my first year in the district working on an operational change plan and much of this year educating voters about the school levy," superintendent Kathryn Powers said. "This levy will provide the financial resources needed to provide an excellent education for our children. Now we don't have to go back to the drawing board and minimize opportunities for our students."

According to final but unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections, voters have approved Issue 69 with 6,791 votes for the levy (53.91 percent) to 5,806 votes (46.09 percent) against the levy.

"I am thankful for the support of the voters," Board of Education member Steve Shebeck said.

"It is unfortunate that the state hasn't stepped up to the plate and left the job of finding funding up to the local communities, but our voters understand what we are up against."

Even with the increased income from the levy, the $3.2 million in operational changes that were implemented earlier this year -- including a reduction of 58 staff positions and the implementation of pay-to-participate fees -- will stay in place Shebeck said.

"These reductions are the norm from here on out," he said. "But this levy prevents us from making further cuts."

"I'm very pleased we don't have to go down that road," Board member David Andrews said. "Further cuts most likely would have cut into our academic offerings. I am very thankful to the community. This is a great vote of confidence."

The levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $150.06 a year and the owner of a $200,000 home $300.12 per year and will keep the district in the black through 2016. The district will begin to collect the additional 4.9 mills in 2013.

Treasurer Martin Aho has predicted that the district's ending cash balance in 2016 will be around $550,000 with the passage of the levy. According to the district's most recent financial forecast, without approval of the levy, the district was expected to have a $66,000 cash balance by 2015 and be $12.8 million in the red by 2016.

The district operates off of three additional levies, a 5-mill levy that produces about $5 million per year and expires in 2013; a 4-mill levy that produces about $4 million per year and expires in 2018; and a 5.03-mill levy that produces about $5 million per year and expires in 2020.

Email: ecanning@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4171

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