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WEATHERSFIELD SCHOOLS Group to stress need for renewal



Published: Mon, April 4, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The committee is taking a low-key approach leading up to a May 3 vote.

MINERAL RIDGE -- The committee to promote Weathersfield School District's 4.2 mill, five-year renewal levy expects to begin its campaigning in earnest this week.

The committee will place signs and informational tents at businesses on state Route 46.

The signs include a five-point message school Superintendent Michael Hanshaw asked the 15-member committee to stress, including:

UThat the levy, which would raise $418,219 annually, is a renewal of an existing levy, not a new tax.

UThe millage is for 4 mills, instead of the previous 4.8 mills.

UThe cost for taxpayers would actually go down.

UPassage of the renewal is vital to the district's long-term solvency.

The new, 5.5-mill, five-year emergency levy passed in November was needed in addition to the renewal.

Cheryl Bassista, levy committee chairwoman, said that although the levy campaign is taking a low-key approach to promoting this levy compared with the one in November, the campaign literature still stresses that it is important to the financial well-being of the district.

Under state watch

School officials have emphasized the need for the levy to help the district, which remains under state fiscal watch even with the passage of the November issue. The renewal levy will help the district maintain solvency and enable it to show a year-end balance through 2009.

Instead of sponsoring its own events, as it did in a last November's high-profile campaign, Bassista said the committee has been promoting the renewal at functions already being held at the schools.

The committee made bookmarks that were passed out at the recent middle school family book fair and given to pupils at Seaborn Elementary School. The bookmarks read: Vote yes for the Weathersfield Schools Emergency Levy Renewal.

Bassista said the committee also will promote the levy at Seaborn's third-grade spring music program April 14 in the high school auditorium.

A pro-levy note is also printed on report cards for the middle and high school pupils, and a hand-written note was placed in Seaborn report cards, which went out Friday.

The levy committee has been meeting at 7 p.m. every other Tuesday at the high school, and has scheduled meetings for Tuesday as well as April 19 and April 26.

Volunteers, students and teachers will be canvassing to promote the levy on the weekends of April 22-23 and April 29-30 and will place door hangers listing the five key points on residences.




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