LORDSTOWN 6 applicants seek position on board
The person selected would serve until the end of this year.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
LORDSTOWN -- School board members will consider tonight which of six applicants will fill a board vacancy.
The board met in special session Tuesday to interview the applicants. A regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. today.
The vacancy was created when J.C. Gibson resigned last month, citing personal reasons. His replacement will serve until the end of the year. The remaining two years of Gibson's term, which expires in 2003, will be up for election in November.
Their reasons: Arno Hill, Lordstown mayor since 1992, said he is seeking the post to try to lend some of his experience.
"The board has some tough decisions coming down the road, such as the cuts and the levy and how much the levy will be," he said.
"We serve pretty much the same constituency. I just want to offer my expertise. I don't have any hidden agendas. I don't have any axes to grind."
Edward Chiles, an employee at Heckett Multiserv in Warren, who had been appointed to fill a board vacancy in 1996, said he doesn't have any definite plans if he's chosen.
"I just want to help the board and the system out," he said.
Why levy failed: Each of the candidates said he or she believes the district's 10.2-mill levy on the May ballot failed because voters either thought it was too much money or they didn't have enough information.
Board members are expected to place another levy on the November ballot, but they haven't determined the millage. State Auditor Jim Petro's office placed the district in fiscal emergency status in December, citing a projected $1.3 million deficit.
"People didn't feel they could come up with the money," said Gary Koch, a candidate for the vacancy and an administrator at Electronic Data Systems Warren. "The economy is soft right now and that scares people."
He'd like to explore other avenues for funding beyond a school levy. Koch, who has a son in 11th grade at the high school, said his family moved to Lordstown because of the quality of the schools, their staffs and teachers.
Other candidates: Beth Krempasky, a teller at Second National Bank, Warren, said she learned what she could contribute through her efforts to have the school nurse reinstated earlier this year.
The nurse position was slashed in budget cuts, but board and oversight commission members have since reinstated it.
Krempasky collected signatures from concerned parents and got support from state legislators about reinstating the nurse's position.
Richard Logan, an employee at Leaseway Auto Carriers, Lordstown, thinks the board position will enable him to give something back to the community.
He believes people who voted against the levy didn't understand all of the issues.
"The more education and the more information people are provided with, the better able they are to make informed decisions and that will go a long way in getting the levy passed," Logan said.
Mark McGrail, manager of California Pizza & amp; Wings, Lordstown, a family-owned business, said the message about the levy's importance didn't get out.
People he spoke to cast their votes to show their disapproval with the state of the school district, he said.