April 24, 2014

Mostly cloudy

Medina Schools: Levy boosters to showcase candidates

The Medina teachers union and the school levy campaign are teaming up to host a school board candidates forum.

Brigid Turrittin, co-chairwoman of Kids First Medina, the school levy campaign organization, said she’d heard from a lot of people asking if the group would put on a forum.

“The levy does have to do with who’s on the board, whether we want it or not,” she said.

Six people are running for three open school board seats — board members Douglas Adamczyk and Tom Cahalan, who were appointed this year, along with Eric Carpenter, Angie Kovacs, Ronald Ross and Robert Skidmore.

Turrittin said the event will “give the community a chance to ask the board candidates questions and see how they will answer.”

The candidates’ forum will be moderated by Tim Turrittin, Kids First co-chairman, and Scott Quade, Medina High School language arts teacher and debate team coach.

Quade said there will be two open mics set up for people to ask questions.

“The questions themselves will all come from the audience; they will not be filtered in any way,” he said.

He encouraged audience members to come prepared with questions, not opinions.

“Every candidate will be allowed to answer every question,” Quade said. “I believe we decided on a minute response time per candidate and per question.”

The three elected board members will be tasked with finding replacements for board President Karla Robinson and member Susan Vlcek, who announced their plans to resign from the board last week. Vlcek will resign in May and Robinson will resign in January.

Both board members have faced repeated calls from residents to resign following a backlash after the board approved a new contract for Superintendent Randy Stepp in January that included an $83,000 signing bonus. After the end of this school year, none of the members who approved the contract will remain on the board.

The new board must also deal with the results of November’s levy vote. If approved, the five-year, 5.9-mill levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $206 a year.

If the levy fails, the school administration has announced plans to close Heritage Elementary School and group two grade levels at each elementary building in the 2014-15 school year. If voters approve the levy, the district will bring back some programs that have been cut over the past few years, such as reading and gifted intervention at the elementary level and busing to within a mile for all students.

The forum will be 7 p.m. Sept. 30 in Medina High School’s middle stage auditorium.

The forum follows a free spaghetti dinner for seniors older than 55, also sponsored by Kids First Medina. The dinner will be 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the high school’s main cafeteria. At the dinner, interim Superintendent Dave Knight, Kids First and school district officials will answer questions about the levy on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The dinner is $5 at the door for those younger than 55 and accompanying a senior. To RSVP, call (330) 721-2903 or email kidsfirstmedina@gmail.com by Wednesday. Parking is available at the Medina Performing Arts Center (access off of Weymouth Road).

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

  • Roger

    Man am I ever glad I moved from there. Highest property taxes in the nation for a bunch of immature teachers and a corrupt school district. I now have a house worth more money than my house in Median was, and I pay less than 1/3 of the property taxes I paid there. Goodbye Medina, hello Florida.

  • Wake up Medina

    Let’s see…we, the taxpayers are currently paying the salaries of two Superintendents, paying for two board members, who “resigned” but are not leaving until next year, paying legal fees for what these idiot Board members did, overpaying for a new rec center floor, paying extra for an Apple computer contract which is worthless in Corporate America where PC’s are the norm, and they want us to pay for a levy in November and an additional levy ( which they are not talking about) which will be on the ballot within the next two years. ALL OF THESE BOARD MEMBERS AND THE BUZZING KNIGHT MUST GO! Oh yeah, you are all for the kids….right?

  • Medina Retiree

    Of course, everything is for the children. Especially exemplary is Scott Quade. (Just a note – he is highly regarded by the students). He is just an impartial moderator of the forum … NOT!nLet’s get back to March 8th events, when the Gazette wrote about Scott Quade:nn”Quade also bemoaned cuts to the school curriculum. He said his daughteru2019s school in another district has a choice of five languages in seventh grade.nu201cWe used to have five languages, now we have two,u201d he said.nQuade said he worries another failed levy would mean more teacher layoffs and cuts to courses.”nnDid anyone notice, that “his daughteru2019s school in another district”. He is such a noble champion of the cause of the children of Medina School district … NOT. nnHe is just a typical hypocrite, fighting for his own cause of keeping his job and jobs of other rank-and-file union members. He personally have sent his daughter to another district. He has way too many conflict of interest to moderate anything. nnnMedina County is rapidly becoming a Gotham City: robbery at gun-point at Buehler’s parking lot, assault with robbery attempt at another, arson in performance center. Corrupt board members, clerk of court misusing public funds, crooked politicians in bed with crooked teamsters, rampant budget waste and overspending etc etcnnnI guess, inept complacent and ignorant Medina voters deserve all that.

  • Educationbeginsathome

    So, let me get this straight……if this levy passes, there won’t be another levy for 5 years? What’s that? Nobody promised that? Oh, I see. You bet your bottom dollar they’ll be back for **MORE** 2 years from now if not sooner! WAKE UP MEDINA. Demand promises in writing! Where does this end? nI personally know a teach up “north” 10 miles who teaches 7th graders (4 forty-five minute periods a day), works 180 days a year and makes $89,000 a year. She laughs all the way to the bank. Just something to think about;)