It took a large table to fit all the players Perkins Schools hopes to have on its levy campaign team.
It will take an even larger effort to convince the public a levy is necessary to secure the financial future of the school and avoid fiscal crisis and state intervention.
Seventeen concerned citizens, parents and school leaders sat down Wednesday night to discuss the fate of potential levies. Their verdict: the current economic and emotional climate in Perkins won't make passing anything easy.
"We cannot cut our way to a balanced budget," said Brian Printy, board president. "If we don't pass our levy, the state will begin to (take steps) toward state oversight. Then they make whatever cuts are necessary and the community doesn't get to decide what those are."
Huron schools experienced a fiscal crisis several years ago and Perkins is going down a similar path if the district can't rally public support.
The district is eating up its cash reserves as this year progresses. By fiscal year 2009, the school district will be in debt.
"We will be borrowing to keep the doors open," said Terry Chapman, board member.
But meeting attendees agreed, abysmal numbers or not, passing a levy in a district where the last three failed isn't as simple as a campaign. Especially, they said, in a school district where teachers went on strike and arbitration continues.
"How are you going to pass a levy? I'm serious," said John Schlessman, Perkins parent.