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Streetsboro Council supports school levies on ballot

by Mike Lesko | Reporter Published: September 3, 2014 12:00 AM

Streetsboro -- Superintendent Michael Daulbaugh thanked Streetsboro city leaders for supporting two renewal school levies on the Nov. 4 election ballot.

City Council unanimously approved a resolution in support of the two levies Aug. 25. The last time Council voted to support a school levy was in 2003.

"The School Board and I appreciate the spirit of cooperation this resolution represents," Daulbaugh said. "These levies are essential to the operation of the school district. The resolution shows that Council and Mayor Glenn Broska understand the school district's financial needs."

The Board of Education is asking voters to renew 3.5 mill and 3.9 mill operating levies. Streetsboro taxpayers will not see an increase in property taxes if the renewal levies are approved, Daulbaugh said. Voters initially passed both levies in 2010.

The owner of a $100,000 home currently pays about $227 a year on the two levies, according to Treasurer Catherine Rouse. She said the levies generate about $3 million combined for school operating funds. Both levies are set to expire in December of 2014, but will collect through December of 2015.

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"One of the few surefire ways that we can guarantee the future success of both our community and the next generation is to support our schools," Broska said. "It is the duty of the adults today to foster a community that puts our children first and arms them with the tools, education and experiences to be the next generation of leaders."

Council President Julie Field said she believes "strong schools mean a strong community."

"Streetsboro is on the brink of some really awesome things happening, and the schools are a key component," Field said. "Good schools are critical to the overall success of our community."

Board of Education President Andrew Lesak also thanked Council for its support.

"The renewal levies are not a tax increase but do provide critical operating funds," Lesak said. "Operating funds are used to keep the schools running. They are separate and different from building funds. Operating funds pay for books, technology, utilities, transportation and staff salaries.

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"The district is grateful to our community members for their continued support which enables us to do the best job possible for our students."

Council Vice President Bridget Pavlick said supporting the levies is "the right thing to do."

"School levies are important for the children's education and their future," Pavlick said. "Our children deserve the best we can afford to give them."

Council member Tim Claypoole said since they are renewal levies, local property taxpayers will continue to receive a 12.5 percent rollback from the state, "but if these were new levies, local property taxpayers would have to pay 12.5 percent more money for the schools to get the equivalent revenue."

Council member Jeff Allen agreed, saying, "It is imperative that we do everything we can to be fiscally responsible and do our due diligence for the taxpayers. With the 12.5 percent rollback exemption taken off the table last year by the state, it's crucial to make sure we are able to remain grandfathered in. The last thing I want to see in this community is homeowners, families and seniors paying 12.5 percent more for something they already have."

Allen added supporting the levies was "an easy and necessary choice to make."

Claypoole said he believes "a quality school system is a valuable city asset that will increase our property values and improve the quality of life of our citizens and, in particular, the students."

"Without passage, the school district will lose about 14 percent of its general fund revenue, and that would drastically affect the quality of education," Claypoole said.

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9439

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