June 30, 2016

Mostly clear

Brunswick school board officially pulls levy from ballot

BRUNSWICK — Voters won’t see another attempt at a school levy in Brunswick until November at the earliest.

On Tuesday night, school board members voted unanimously to withdraw a nine-year, 5.9-mill levy from the May 6 ballot.

The board previously had taken the first steps to put the levy on the ballot, but reversed course when Gov. John Kasich revealed his budget plans that would increase funding to Brunswick by $2.2 million over the next two fiscal years starting July 1.

“We feel it doesn’t make sense to move forward,” board President Tom Neumann said. “At least we can reassure voters that we’re doing everything we can to look at the proposal (from the state).”

District Treasurer Patrick East said that even if legislators approve the proposed $2.2 million increase in funding from the state, it won’t cover the $5.1 million budget shortfall the district is facing by the end of the 2013-14 school year.

“We could be back on the ballot as soon as November,” East said after the meeting.

But the extra time gives the board and East time to re-evaluate the amount they want to request from voters. With additional funding from the state, the district could choose to lower its request, East said.

Board member Lisa Durichko said it was important that the board and administrators have the time to review the state proposal and request only the amount needed to keep the district operating at current standards.

“We’re not sure we need (the current levy request),” she said. “But we know we’ll need money eventually.”

East said the district will have updated five-year projections when the school year ends in June. The state also would have to approve a budget by that time.

He said he can present those figures to the board in the summer so members can consider a November levy attempt.

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.