Three Margaretta levies voted down

MARGARETTA TWP. It was one, two, three strikes you're out for Margaretta Schools and fire administra
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



It was one, two, three strikes you're out for Margaretta Schools and fire administrators Tuesday night.

Erie and Sandusky County voters said no to all three Margaretta Township levies, two of which were renewals.

Margaretta Schools Superintendent Ed Kurt did not rule out the possibility that some teachers may lose their jobs as a result of Tuesday's failed levies.

"That hasn't been decided yet," he said. "Despite the forecast or the inability to pass levies, we have a declining enrollment and we have adjusted personnel with the declining enrollment."

Margaretta has cut back on five teaching positions since January.

Township Trustee Chairman Gary Pooch said Tuesday was the first time in township history that voters turned down a fire levy.

"We're just kind of reeling from our wounds a little bit and seeing what we're going to go back and do in the fall," Pooch said.

The school district's 1.5-mill, five-year permanent renewal levy was most surprising to Kurt as this is the second time it has failed in less than a year. It also failed in November.

Kurt said as a result, Jude Hammond, the school board treasurer, would have to come up with a revised five-year forecast to present to the school board at its May 16 meeting.

"We have to set a game plan for how we're going to address this in the fall," he said. "We'll look at that and where we're at and try to make the best decision for the district and the children. Margaretta still needs to get a permanent renewal passed to maintain our buildings and we're going to need to get an additional operating levy passed because we'll need that."

The county results for Margaretta school's 1 percent income tax levy was overwhelmingly negative, with 333 voting for the levy and 1,043 voting against it.

But Kurt said getting levies approved is not a unique problem to Margaretta Township.

"It's not a Margaretta Township issue," he said. "It's hard to get levies passed in the state of Ohio. It's money, and it's one thing that voters can say no to."

The Erie County voting results for the township's 2-mill fire levy was 576 ballots cast for the levy and 618 ballots cast against it.

Pooch said the failed levy won't mean cut programs or positions for the fire department. He said that since the department's current 1.25-mill levy expires this year, another levy will have to be presented voters in November.

"We're going to keep going," Pooch said. "At our next meeting, we'll put our heads together and see what we can do in the fall."

Pooch said he would look to the community for input on why Tuesday's levy failed.