June 28, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Cloverleaf Schools levy failure brings bus cuts

WESTFIELD TWP. — Officials at Cloverleaf Schools plan to cancel busing for high school students when they return from winter break and have set auctions for three elementary schools following the defeat of a 6.9-mill levy Nov. 6.

Daryl Kubilus

Superintendent Daryl Kubilus announced the district’s plans to the Financial Planning and Supervision Commission at its meeting Thursday. The state placed the school district in fiscal emergency in January and the commission oversees Cloverleaf’s financial decisions.

Kubilus said it was a difficult decision, but curtailing busing for high school students was the result of four failed levy attempts and five years of cuts. The recent emergency levy failed 5,443 votes to 4,819, according to the Medina County Board of Elections, and would have brought in $3.3 million a year over 10 years for operating expenses.

“We waited five years and during that time we made $6.1 million in cuts,” Kubilus said.

The district has been under fiscal watch by the state since 2004. Earlier this year, the district eliminated staff, froze wages and increased pay-to-play for athletics.

As for the property to be sold, Seville Elementary School and contents will be auctioned off Jan. 5 and the Lodi Elementary School building and contents will be auctioned off Jan. 12. On Dec. 15, the contents of Westfield Elementary School will be on the auction block. The district is working on selling the building to an interested buyer and it won’t be auctioned off at this time.

Kubilus said he is working to schedule open house dates for people to tour the elementary buildings before they are on the auction block.

On an optimistic note, Kubilus said the Nov. 6 levy only failed by 6 percentage points, compared to 26 points last year.

“Our ‘yes’ votes increased by 66 percent,” he said.

Kubilus said he’s certain the school board will place another levy on the ballot; the only question is the millage. A 5.7-mill levy is set to expire at the end of 2013. He said the board is considering whether to put the renewal up separately from any additional millage request.

“We’re considering all our options for the May ballot,” Kubilus said. “But there will definitely be a levy.”

The school board will meet 6 p.m. Dec. 10 in the high school library. The commission meets again 10:30 a.m. Dec. 13.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.