April 24, 2014

Intermittent clouds

Medina to wait until November for levy try

MEDINA — The Medina school board began discussions Monday about asking voters to approve a levy in November.

Board President Karla Robinson said she doesn’t anticipate trying for a levy sooner — in an August special election — saying the board needs time to explain to the public exactly what the levy will cost them and how the money will be spent.

“We’ve decided August is just too soon,” Robinson said during a board work session. “We’ll need through the summer to educate people on some of these issues.”

The deadline to file a ballot issue for the August special election is Wednesday.

Board members also said the public needs to be informed about exactly what would be cut should the levy fail.

Robinson said some of the priorities for programs to bring back have not changed, such as reading intervention and gifted education at the elementary levels.

“I’m still hearing reading intervention is the No. 1 priority, because of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee,” she said.

The state Third Grade Reading Guarantee is a requirement that students beginning third grade next school year cannot advance to fourth grade if they are not reading at their grade level.

Interim Superintendent David Knight said the board needs to be ready to make some decisions on the November levy by its June meeting.

District spokeswoman Jeanne Hurt agreed.

“If we wait to make decisions, and we can’t start communicating until September, it’s too late,” she said.

Hurt said the public needs to be informed about what programs would be brought back, how much the levy would cost them and why it is needed.

Board member Doug Adamczyk said the board could better communicate to the public exactly what will happen should the levy pass or fail.

Adamczyk replaced former school board President Charles Freeman, who resigned March 26 after public uproar over Superintendent Randy Stepp’s new contract that provided him with an $83,000 signing bonus.

On April 8, the school board placed Stepp on paid administrative leave pending completion of a special state audit of the district’s carryover fund held by the Medina County Schools’ Educational Service Center.

The fund had been used to pay more than a quarter-million dollars for Stepp’s education and for travel expenses.

A week later, on April 16, board members voted to rescind Stepp’s contract, saying they violated Ohio’s Sunshine laws when they approved it Jan. 7 during a work session.

That same day, the board pulled its 5.9-mill levy from today’s ballot, saying there was no hope of passage.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.

  • http://twitter.com/dyingsince1964 GrandRapidsRustlers

    u201cWeu2019ll need through the summer to educate people on some of these issues.u201dnnnnYeah…about that. You see as long as you are still on the board Karla you can save your breath. nnnAll this nonsense with Stepp did was educate everyone in the area about just how much money that you actually have. Good luck with your “educating” it only takes me a half second to check the no box as long as you are still on the board.

  • Medina Working Stiff

    As long as Robinson, Vlcek, and Grenfell remain on the board, no levy should be approved by the electorate of the Medina community. All three need to follow the path of Freeman and Wilder and head out to pasture for good because not a single one of the three mentioned can be trusted by the community.

  • Medina Working Stiff

    Here we go again, the community will be punished if the levy is not approved. The taxpayer`s money tree has been picked clean.

  • Buffalo

    u201cWeu2019ll need through the summer to educate people on some of these issues.u201d – Karla RobinsonnnUm… Ms. Robinson, why not try to educate yourself and the rest of the school board on how NOT to waste the taxpayers’ money. Or, perhaps you could try to educate yourselves on how to check exactly what you are paying for (an entire college education, bachelor’s degree through doctorate – that ring a bell?) and how much it will cost. Better yet, you could at least attempt to educate yourself on how not to say something stupid. It’s a stretch, I know, but give it a shot. P.S. – Until the rest of the board members who were present during the Stepp administration (that includes you) either quit or get canned, my vote is still NO.

  • Si

    So if the 3 board members step down will you vote yes?

  • Is

    So if she steps down will you vote yes?

  • Si

    Are you saying the stepp administration is over? I would guess it will cost another 500k at least to get rid of him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/traci.rydbommonroe Traci Rydbom Monroe

    Why should it cost anything to get rid of him? No levy will pass until he is gone and until Vlcek, Grenfell and Robinson all resign. We need a board that will be responsible with taxpayers dollars and will put the education of our students first. Not those that will use taxpayers dollars to advance the careers of their buddies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1018520119 Janet Matuscak Gamin

    How stupid does she think the voters are?

  • All About The Students

    Really, if all this levy money was so really needed. Then why are you not making those cuts you talk about now. There was no levy passed in May that you kept claiming was so needed and if it did not pass in May these cut would have to be made. School hours cut and all that. Well you pulled the levy for May and no cuts or school hour have been made. What Happen. So all that and this is, is a scam as always. Fire Stepp and all 3 of you resign at once. Then just maybe a levy will be passed. May not happen until May of 2014 after voters see if New board and superintendent are for real and really are doing right for the students. Then levy will pass. But only if 3 board members resign treasure resigns as well and Stepp is gone. May 2014 levy will pass.

  • TonyaMarie

    My vote will be a no for any levy intil every single person connected to board and superintendent is removed. We need fresh blood and as far as board members, we need some regular tax paying folks on there to keep it honest and real. Nobody needs a degree to be on board seat. Just common sense!