September 1, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
69°F

Elections board removes Medina Schools levy

MEDINA — The Medina County Board of Elections on Friday removed Medina Schools’ 5.9-mill levy from the May 7 primary ballot as requested by the district’s school board.

The school board voted Tuesday to pull the levy in the wake of the controversy surrounding Superintendent Randy Stepp’s compensation, which included an $83,000 retention bonus and paying off school loans amounting to more than a quarter-million dollars.

Also Tuesday, the school board voted to rescind the contract awarded to Stepp, who said he will go to court to enforce the contract.

With the levy off the ballot, there now will be no election in Medina city or Sharon, Granger or Medina townships, elections board Executive Director Carol Lawler said.

“Throughout those precincts, there were no other issues on the ballot,” Lawler said. “It was the only one.”

The elections board will give signs to polling locations in those precincts to let people know the election is off, she said.

Lawler said two townships covered by Medina Schools still have ballot issues: Montville Township seeks passage of a fire levy and part of Lafayette Township is covered by Cloverleaf Schools, which is asking voters to approve a 7.9-mill levy.

Medina’s levy, if passed, would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $181 a year for 10 years and brought in approximately $6.9 million annually for operating expenses.

School board President Karla Robinson said it could cost the district as much as $30,000 to continue with the levy. Several school board members said they voted to remove it because they didn’t think the levy would be successful, and so keeping it on the ballot was a waste of money.

Lawler said the move to pull the levy will save the elections board money.

She said the board no longer will have to pay for movers to haul voting machines to polling locations or for the wages of poll workers.

The elections board already paid to train poll workers, but Lawler said the cost was nominal.

“It’s not anywhere near what it would have cost if it had gone all the way through the election,” she said. “The largest costs had not been incurred yet.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.