Campbell voters approve renewal levy for schools

Niles residents narrowly defeat 10-year tax issue

Staff report

The Campbell City School District’s 16.3-mill, five-year renewal levy was approved, with 79 percent of voters supporting the measure that provides operating funds for the district. It will generate $989,711 annually.

Matthew Bowen, Campbell schools superintendent, thanked city residents for supporting the levy.

“We sincerely appreciate the confidence of the community who are partners in education for the children we all educate. Our families, with their ongoing support, are the strength of the community,” he said. “We look forward to increasing opportunities to all members of this great city while remaining fiscally responsible with the decisions we make.”

The Springfield School District’s 1-percent, five-year renewal income tax was approved, with 62.70 percent of voters supporting the tax. It will raise roughly $2,167,000 annually.

2019 Primary Election Results

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2019 Primary Election Results

The funds will be used for general-fund operating expenses such as salaries and benefits, utilities, maintenance and repair, supplies and any other expense necessary to operate the school district.

Thomas Yazvac, Springfield schools superintendent, thanked those who supported the tax. “This demonstrates the faith the community has in our schools and commitment to our students,” he said.

“This renewal will enable the schools to continue investing in educational excellence. The Springfield Local Schools will continue to be accountable to the community, while providing our students career opportunities in a safe and secure environment.”

In Beloit, the West Branch School District’s 0.5 percent, five-year additional income tax was rejected by voters. Between Mahoning, Columbiana and Portage counties, there were 1,670 votes against the tax, and 1,277 votes in favor.

It would have raised roughly $850,000 annually. The funds were meant to help fund the district’s operations, as it is currently in deficit spending.

Tim Saxton, the superintendent of West Branch district, said the district would continue to focus on students regardless of difficulties caused by the lack of funding.

“As we face this deficit, we will have to make tough decisions. However, we will keep our focus on our students and our dedication to providing a well-rounded education. I will consult with the board of education to determine next steps and continue to work with parents, students, faculty and staff to move this district in a positive direction,” Saxton said.

In Niles, voters narrowly defeated 52 percent to 48 percent a 10-year, 5.6-mill renewal levy that would have helped the school district as it navigates a state-imposed fiscal-emergency designation. The levy would have raised $1.3 million annually.

Niles Superintendent Ann Marie Thigpen, who could not be reached Tuesday night to comment on the election results, warned before the election that if the levy failed, it would likely worsen the financial situation for the district and the learning environment for its 2,287 students.

“It would most definitely change class sizes if defeated [because] more staffing cuts would be unavoidable,” she said. “Smaller classes are best for the children.”

Thigpen said defeat would necessitate increases in athletic and activity fees.

In Vienna, voters in the Mathews Local School District approved a 9.25-mill, 5-year renewal levy 52 percent to 48 percent. The levy raises $1,460,000 annually. Those funds make up about 16 percent of the schools’ total operating budget.

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