November 1, 2014

Medina
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Voters renew Brunswick Schools levy for second time at May 6 primary

With few contested races and school issues only in the Brunswick and Cloverleaf districts, few Medina voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary. At 3 p.m., a handful of voters are seen amid more than 50 voting machines at the Medina Community Center on the county fairgrounds in Medina. Countywide, the turnout was about 16 percent of a total 122,281 registered voters, according to the Medina County Board of Elections. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

With few contested races and school issues only in the Brunswick and Cloverleaf districts, few Medina voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary. At 3 p.m., a handful of voters are seen amid more than 50 voting machines at the Medina Community Center on the county fairgrounds in Medina. Countywide, the turnout was about 16 percent of a total 122,281 registered voters, according to the Medina County Board of Elections. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

Voters easily approved an eight-year, 6.1-mill renewal levy for Brunswick schools Tuesday.

According to unofficial results from the Medina County Board of Elections, about 63 percent of voters agreed to continue the levy. Tuesday’s tally was 4,387 votes for to 2,587 against.

Superintendent Michael Mayell said the vote signals there could be support for a levy that would include new money this fall as the district faces down a potential deficit by the end of the next school year.

“It was a pretty big passage and that was very encouraging for us,” Mayell said. “We’re thankful for the community’s support in this.”

The levy first was approved in 2004 and voters renewed it in 2008. It’s expected to collect about $5.7 million annually and the mills will be adjusted each year based on property values.

A deficit for the school district is predicted even with the passage of Tuesday’s renewal levy.

“We’re not sure how big a deficit and of course we won’t see a deficit because we’ll make cuts,” Mayell said.

Brunswick voters rejected a two-year, 4.9-mill request for new money in November by 253 votes. School district leaders made cuts and instituted a pay freeze for administrative employees, but said it’s going to be difficult to find new places to cut.

In an effort to avoid cuts, Mayell said the district hopes to go back to voters for new levy funds in the fall. Now that the renewal has passed, that’s where the focus will be.

“The renewal doesn’t solve our financial issues, but it didn’t make them any worse,” he said.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com. Follow her on Twitter @lorengenson.