Poland board decides to rescind August levy

By Robert Guttersohn



The Poland Board of Education, along with Superintendent Robert Zorn, unanimously agreed at a work session Monday to rescind the 4.9-mill emergency levy in August’s special election.

Formal action will be taken by the board when it meets Monday at Union Elementary, 30 Riverside Drive.

Poland voters earlier this month voted down the five-year emergency levy that would have generated $1.85 million a year. It would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $150 a year.

Fifty-seven percent voted against the tax increase.

The board previously had voted in April to add the emergency levy to a special August ballot if it failed in the May primary.

The change of heart caused school board member Robert Shovlin to question the rest of the members. He had been the lone vote against the 4.9-mill increase, instead favoring the 3.9-mill levy voters saw last November.

“First you raised the amount and now you want to pull it off?” Shovlin said, expressing frustration. “What changed?”

The board also discussed putting the levy up to vote again in March 2012.

Board members spent the majority of the meeting discussing future cuts to both academics and extracurricular programs.

Some of the programs that could be cut are clubs and offseason conditioning for the football and basketball teams. For the May 23 meeting, the board requested that both the athletic director, Brian Banfield, and the band director, Nick Olesko, present alternative ways to fund travel costs.

The band, for example, has a travel allotment of $6,000 per year, according to district Treasurer Donald Stanovcak.

The school board claimed the cuts will give the community the schools for which they voted.

“We have to produce a school system with the money we have,” board member David Bennett said.

Elinor Zedaker, school board president, expressed frustration toward the employees who voted against the levy.

“It’s like smacking your mother in the face,” Zedaker said.

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