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Canfield schools to seek new levy

Published: Mon, July 12, 2010 @ 12:06 a.m.

By Elise Franco



For the first time in eight years, the Canfield Local School District will need approval of an operating levy to stay out of deficit, school leaders say.

Superintendent Dante Zambrini said the levy will be 6.8 mills, though he won’t know how much it would raise until it’s certified by the county auditor’s office.

Zambrini said the levy proposal will appear on the school-board meeting agenda for the second time Wednesday. It must be presented to the board twice before members can vote to place it on the Nov. 2 ballot.

“The purpose is to avoid deficit spending,” he said. “We have to be proactive. The last operating levy was passed in 2002, and we’ve been able to be frugal and plan around just the money we’ve received.”

Zambrini said he believes most operating levies last from three to five years, but their most recent one was stretched out for eight years.

“We understand the difficulty for residents,” he said. “At the same time we have to be prudent knowing not to go into that spiral downfall of deficit spending because it grows exponentially.”

Anthony Peluso, board president, said the district’s need for new funding is due in part to unfunded state mandates that all school districts must adhere to.

Peluso said he thinks residents will support the levy because they understand the district has done everything it can to stretch the dollar.

“We’ve gone longer with this current levy,” he said. “That says something for our district. We try to watch our dollars and put them to the best use possible.”

Zambrini said residents should find out by August how much the levy will cost and how much their taxes would go up if it’s approved.

“Knowing that the residents have pride in their community and schools, I believe they will find out that the amount is reasonable,” he said. “Strong schools do create strong communities.”

The superintendent said residents understand how important good schools with quality programs are.

“That is their legacy, and each generation has added to the value of the schools,” he said. “They value education, and they support the schools.”

He said the administration will look at putting the levy back on in May if necessary.

“If the money doesn’t come in, we will see how much the deficit grows,” he said. “The school board doesn’t wish to put a levy on, but we are forced to because legislators refuse to raise the money.”

Peluso said though no plan is in place at this time, programs could be cut if the money isn’t raised.

“We’ll have to look at taking some programs out. I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but we have to think about it,” he said. “Students thrive on the extracurriculars, athletics, arts — programs offered here that aren’t offered at other schools.”


1dreamcatcher52(140 comments)posted 6 years ago

I am usually supportive of school levies. I have voted for every one since moving to Canfield several years ago. But with the economy like it is, this is not a good time to ask taxpayers for more. Canfield schools are excellent, but a lot of that is because of the families that they serve. The teachers need to agree to a pay freeze of 3 years and pay more into their healthcare costs. The administration needs to cut as much "fat" as possible. They have had it good for many years. Now it is time to tighten their belts. If they need to cut "extracurricular" programs, so be it. The kids out here will not suffer, believe me. They have parents that have always provided them with more "extras" than a kid needs anyway.

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2soccermom(1 comment)posted 6 years ago

I agree with lumpy. "Dollars put to best use possible?" I heard Zambrini cut a history teacher back to part time so he can hire an energy consultant. What for?
Doesn't sound like my dollars are going to good use. In my experience, and I have lived in Canfield for 30 years, if Zambrini is talking then he is lying. If the people of Canfield are smart, they will vote down this levy, start attending board meetings and ask questions. He has rode this gravy train too long. It's time we hold him and the board accountable.

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3WOT(16 comments)posted 6 years ago

I will vote for a school levy again when Zambrini or anyone else has the spine to get rid of the third grade teacher at CH Campbell that walks all over him and all of the taxpayers. How this has been allowed to go on for as long as it has is indicative of weak and ineffective leadership.

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4walter_sobchak(2728 comments)posted 6 years ago

I wish the Board Pres. would provide what the unfunded mandates are and what the costs are to the system. I doubt they are very high. I've never thought much of Dante; he is a typical suck-up to the parents in Canfield that have money.

That being said, however, I must say that we do get an excellent value for our tax dollars in Canfield. My kids have told me that they were extremely well prepared for the rigors of college academics! This credit goes to the instructors.

My problem is the way we fund schools in this state. The boobs in Columbus refuse to address the funding system and ignore the Supreme Court order to fix the system. The big districts like Youngstown, Cleveland, Columbus suck the money in and put out excrement for results!

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5repeaters(314 comments)posted 6 years ago

Lets see, you picked a milage out of the air so that's why you don't know how much tax it will generate?....How about "a strong, viable taxbase creates a solid community"!!!!!.....I feel for you because were on almost the same page because the state doesn't send me ANY money, period....so now it's the residents responsibility to make up what the sate can't fund?...well what about the next time????.....I'll tell you what guys, you've done such a great job in the last 8 years that you should keep up the good work and see where else yo can SAVE MONEY instead of jabbing it to the taxpayer.

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