5 school issues pass; 2 do not

The Lakeview Schools levy failed by 10 votes.
WARREN -- Five school districts in Trumbull County celebrated passage of their levies Tuesday, but officials in two districts are trying to figure out what went wrong.
Levies in Liberty, Bristol, Weathersfield, Newton Falls and Mathews passed, but voters in Brookfield and Lakeview turned down requests for more money, according to the Trumbull County Board of Elections unofficial results.
The Lakeview vote was the closest. The 3.5-mill levy, which would have raised about $900,000 a year, was defeated by 10 votes. School officials were hoping the levy would pass so that the district finances would remain in the black after 2006.
Lakeview Schools Superintendent Matt Chojnacki said he's devastated by the loss.
"You always hate to lose but to lose by such a close margin is really tough," Chojnacki said. "We had a great committee that worked really hard. I really thought we had a good chance to get this passed."
Chojnacki, who is retiring at the end of the school year, said he was not sure if the board will place the levy on the ballot again.
Voters in Liberty voted to pass a 7.9-mill, 5-year additional levy that will raise $1,776,316 annually.
"We are very happy," said Superintendent Larry Prince. "We have 1,800 students in the district who will be better off because the community has supported them."
This is the fourth time the district has tried to get a levy passed.
The board had created an impact plan that would have gone into effect if the levy failed. That plan included a fee to participate in any extracurricular activity and the elimination of busing for high school students and pupils living two miles or closer to school buildings. Since the levy passed, the impact plan will not take effect.
"Our levy committee did an outstanding job," Prince said. "They worked very, very hard for us."

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