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Push for levy continues



Published: Wed, April 13, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



One resident complained about paying for health insurance for school employees.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

LIBERTY -- With only a few more weeks left before the May primary election, school board members and concerned parents are continuing to contact residents and seek support for the five-year, 7.9-mill emergency levy that will be on the ballot.

During Tuesday's regular school board meeting, Robert Lackey, board president, said there will be two more community meetings to explain the issues to residents. The meetings will be April 19 at the Liberty Township Building and April 28 at the high school. Both meetings will start at 7 p.m.

"We are also willing to talk to community groups," Lackey said. "Anyone who has any questions is free to call."

Andrew Lipkin, co-chairman of the levy committee, said his group is in the process of contacting registered voters who do not have children in the school district.

"We listed the people by streets and we are asking anyone in this room tonight to help us," Lipkin said. "Just go down the list and if you know anyone, contact them for us and seek their support."

Voicing concern

However, one resident at the meeting voiced concerns about the levy. Lou Pizzuto, who has lived in the community since 1955, says he is voting no.

"No way," Pizzuto said. "I pay for all of my health insurance and I don't want to continue to pay for all the employees. I don't think that's fair."

Lackey explained that health insurance is something that is negotiated with the employee's unions.

"Believe me, we will be discussing that during the next negotiations," Lackey said.

Lackey has noted that if the levy continues to the fail, and the school is unable to keep up high standards, property values could be reduced. The board has also created an impact plan that will go into effect if the levy fails, as it did three times in the last year.

The two most controversial components of the plan are: a proposal to charge a $485 fee per student for participation in any sport and an $85 per pupil fee for all other extracurricular activities; and elimination of busing for high school students and pupils living less than two miles from their schools.

Other parts of the proposal include cutting a fourth year of foreign language at the high school, eliminating a vocal music teacher at the elementary school and eliminating a math and science class at the high school.




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