WEATHERSFIELD School board to try again for OK of levy

A board member says the school district's leaders must be creative.
MINERAL RIDGE -- The Weathersfield school board, on the heels of defeat of a third levy request for additional operating money, is double-teaming the problem.
Meeting special session Thursday, the board voted before a crowd of more than 50 residents to place a levy on the Nov. 2 ballot to generate $538,168 over five years.
But the board explained the action may turn out to be just a formality, because it plans a work session at 7 p.m. Monday in the high school library with school administrators and employees. They will brainstorm about what options the district may have to avert a projected deficit in the 2005 fiscal year.
Residents can attend and comment, but if personnel matters come up, the board will go into executive session to discuss them.
Time limit
New Superintendent Michael Hanshaw explained the formal action to put a levy on the ballot has to be started because there is a time limit on when a request must be submitted to the county auditor, Aug. 14. The auditor will determine the exact millage.
A 5.5-mill, five-year levy was defeated in Tuesday's special election.
Board president Dr. Douglas Darnall said the board has decided it has to be creative and will discuss several options at the work session, including whether there should be another levy, whether the district should close the middle school as recommended in a state auditor's report earlier this year, and whether the district should join with another school district.
"Our back is up against the wall, because school starts in two or three weeks," he added.
Hanshaw stepped down from the cafeteria stage at the end of the meeting and told the crowd he will be at the high school cafeteria Saturday morning to meet with anyone from the community who has suggestions.
"This school, this community has to solve this problem," he said. "By God, I don't want the state in here telling us what to do. This school is the life of this community. Whatever we do, we have to do it ourselves."
If the board decides to proceed with the levy, it will meet in brief special session after Monday's work session to approve a second resolution to submit the issue to the county.
"Don't assume that this is really what's going to happen. "It's more of a technical matter," Darnall said.

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