June 30, 2016

Mostly clear

Brunswick school board inches toward mill-levy vote

BRUNSWICK — Brunswick school board members say they want to place a nine-year, 5.9-mill levy before voters in the May 7 primary, but they’ll have to call a special meeting to do it.

A vote on the levy proposal was on the agenda Tuesday night, but the board couldn’t approve it because it didn’t have enough members. Only three of the five school board members were in attendance.

Ohio law requires a two-thirds majority vote to place a levy on the ballot. That would require votes from at least four members to pass, district treasurer Patrick East said.

“It’s not that we don’t think we have the votes to pass it, we just don’t have the people here,” said Thomas Neumann, chairman of the school board.

At a board meeting in December, East predicted the district would face a $5.1 million shortfall by the end of the 2013-14 school year. At that same meeting, East also said the board would need to approve a levy for at least 5 mills.

If voters approve the 5.9-mill levy, it would cost property owners with a home value of $100,000 an extra $181 per year.

The last time Brunswick voters approved an additional property tax was in 2006 when they passed a 4.9-mill levy. The levy passed with only 50.4 percent of the vote.

At that time, Neumann said board members promised voters they wouldn’t ask for new funding until 2011.

The board kept that promise, he said.

“I hope people will see we’re committed to being good stewards of the public money,” he said. “We’ve only asked for it when we’ve needed it. Hopefully we’ve built up the public trust.”

Superintendent Mike Mayell said he expects the board to call a special meeting early next week to ensure the board takes action before the Feb. 6 deadline for submitting issues for the primary.

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.