Clyde-Green Springs faces fiscal emergency

State takeover looms as familiar sting of defeat for school officials sinks in
Alissa Widman Neese
May 13, 2013


Tuesday’s fifth-straight failed attempt for new levy funding, however, has left them scrambling for a plan to stabilize finances and avoid fiscal emergency.

“Everything is on the table,” acting superintendent Laura Kagy said Tuesday. “(Board members) don’t have a list, but they’re considering anything and everything. It means cuts.”

Voters Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a five-year, 5.25-mill emergency operating levy for Clyde-Green Springs Schools in Sandusky and Seneca counties. The levy would have generated $1.1 million a year for the district’s day-to-day expenses. Its budget is about $20 million.

Clyde-Green Springs Schools has been in deficit spending for several years. If the pattern continues without cuts or new levy funding, the district will be in fiscal emergency a year from now, Kagy said. 

State law allows the Ohio Department of Education to take over failing school districts that have been deficit spending and have no financial projections that indicate improvement.

Board members could discuss cuts at their May 20 meeting, but likely won’t take action until June, Kagy said. District treasurer Joyce Dupont will also likely present a new five-year forecast to the board, which could change before the state’s school funding proposal is made official June 30.

“The board is scheduling work sessions to hash through scenarios of what possible reductions could be,” Kagy said. “I can’t tell you what yet, because there’s no way of knowing where we’re going to land right now until the budget is finalized.”

The district has decided not to pursue a new emergency operating levy in August but may place one on the November ballot.

Voters likely shunned the May levy for a variety of reasons, Kagy said.

“Some people commented they aren’t in favor of any new taxes, regardless of the purpose,” she said. “Others said they are but can’t afford it. It all depends on people’s circumstances.”


Señor Clown

Imagine that, a school district begging for more money. Why does it seem like the same story everywhere you look?


Board Of Education, you work for us, not the other way around. We've told YOU NO FIVE times.
This is the FIFTH failed levy you have had to discuss cuts & give taxpayers a plan, yet at a public information meeting (that was not advertised well to get good attendance,) one of your own says, "We don't have a plan for cuts. We will see what happens May 7th." This perceived incompetence is what gives you a NO from the 62% that voted. There is no transparency, no coming forward to taxpayers with a clear and concise plan. We are given a quote in a newspaper that '"perhaps" busing will be re-instated. We are told at the Clyde public info meeting wages "could" be unfrozen and re-negotiated.' Yet while our income is cut with your increased tax, nothing is said about the education of the children. The old mantra "it's for the children is worn out." We have been "punished enough" as one of the board members said you should do to voters/taxpayers. Another board member blames taxpayers for the financial situation the school is in! Newsflash to teachers and students, this is not taxpayers and voters fault! Look at the administration and board members for the spending and decisions made with OUR money!

Since the May 7th defeat, 'No' voters have been called names and we have even been told to stay away from the school since "we don't support it!" Your unofficial "spokesperson" has told the voters she is ashamed of us and apologized on behalf of the community. Where is the THANK YOU and APPRECIATION to the taxpayers that support this district with 70% of their property taxes and the 1% EARNED INCOME the school receives from those that work and live in the district?

Ideas, suggestions and comments have been struck down at public meetings and deleted from the 'pro levy' Facebook web page. Maybe a state fiscal takeover is not such a bad idea. One of the things that will be looked at in addition to finances will be nepotism and 'empire building' within the school. From the school board on down the ranks of employees include multiple family members.

These board members and administrators in positions of being stewards of OUR money should be accountable for it. Look what has already happened under the watch of the school board. This administration would rather avoid having spending limitations put on them and being directly accountable to the state. By 2011, thirty seven Ohio school districts have dealt with fiscal emergencies since 1996, and 32 became financially solvent. It takes an average of 3.4 years for a school district to right itself out of fiscal emergency. How many years have these levies been failing? Maybe it is a good idea for a commission appointed by the state to take over financial control of the district. A financial recovery plan within 120 days of a meeting could be the right answer! This school board and administration has been unsuccessful. We need to look at the November ballot real hard to replace board members that have lost their enthusiasm, passion and have conflict of interests!

nosey rosey

Agree 100% with everything you said!

John Harville

Begin with Dr. Kagy. Her salary and benefits as Assistant Superintendent exceed $100,000 annually... and none of it stays in the District. Her school taxes are paid to Buckeye Central as she lives outside the District.

John Harville

"...the board will wait until the new superintendent [at $103,500/year] comes in August to meet and develop a plan..." Treasurer Joyce Dupont in April.
-This is just ONE example of how the District doesn't communicate, even with itself.
-Kagy says the District will be in financial emergency by next year.
-Elchert, before he retired as Superintendent, said the District would be okay until June 2015.
-Kagy's comments are just ONE MORE attempt to "show them [taxpayers] enough punishment" as suggested by Board Member Tom Conley.

John Harville

Cancel sports. You'll pass that levy in no time.

John Harville

Replace the 1976 Continuing Levy... and then don't introduce a new levy until the Auditorium Bond issue retires in 2031.
Conduct a REAL meeting WITH the public to discuss the future - which includes at least seven renewal levies in the next decade.

John Harville

Apparently Dr. Kagy and the Board didn't learn anything May 7.

CHS asst principal, CMS principal, GSS principal, Acting/Assistant Supt., District Treasurer (?), District Librarian - all live outside the District and use our taxdollars to pay taxes to other Districts.

How dare they ask US who give 50-70% of our tax dollars to this District?


Sounds like Perkins.


Is Dr. Kagy still driving that Cadillac Escalade? People say that teaching is not a easy job, but come on. They work 9 months a year, have all weekends off, all major holidays off, work 6.5 to 7 hours a day. Pay them for what they work & schools may not be in the trouble that they're in. If you go to the Ohio State Teachers Web site you can see what each teacher makes.


David Stubbledine will help.


KURTje, are you referring to DAVID STUBBLEBINE helping PASS levies?

The mention of Escalades, island retreats...summers off...all while my household income gets cut with an additional tax levy; while insurances, various taxes, utilities increase!

I did a little "digging" myself...

"...and then to see that they own several homes, and one is a prime island retreat... maybe some positions and some salaries need to be seriously looked into.. in my opinion"

"I THOUGHT, YOU DAVID TOLD THE COMMUNITY THAT YOU WOULD ELIMINATE THE PROPERTY TAX IF WE PASSED THE 1 1/2% INCOME TAX ISN'T THAT WHAT THE SENIOR CITIZENS WE'RE TOLD TO GET IT PASSED DAVID ? And to my acknowledgement this has NEVER happened and probably never will. Scare tactics, lying to the public and using our children as way's to keep putting it to the community for your spending habits."

Clyde taxpayers better keep their eyes and ears open! 'Hats off' for being educated at the polls for the 5th defeat on an additional tax!


"Is Dr. Kagy still driving that Cadillac Escalade? People say that teaching is not a easy job, but come on. They work 9 months a year, have all weekends off, all major holidays off, work 6.5 to 7 hours a day. Pay them for what they work & schools may not be in the trouble that they're in. If you go to the Ohio State Teachers Web site you can see what each teacher makes."

What is the purpose of asking what she drives? It is of no relevance to the situation. The reality is public education is a burden that falls on everyone. We are all expected to help pay for it. Someone paid for our education, it is now our turn to turn around and foot the bill. I, wholeheartedly, disagree with the statement that teaching is easy. Teaching is not a profession where you only work 9 months a year 6.5-7 hours per day. I don't know of any teachers who only "work" during the school day. There are lesson plans to write, papers to grade, and progress reports to fill out, etc. So, as a teacher, I disagree with your perceived idea of what teaching is. Furthermore, I question what you believe our pay should be. All teachers are required to have a Bachelor's degree and many have a Master's degree. What do you think we should earn? I certainly don't believe we should make what people make working at McDonalds. My advice to you Tonto is to go back to school and become a teacher. Only then can you see how easy teaching is. I think you will be shocked.

John Harville

Well said! Teachers also have to be parents to their students, breakfast chefs, counselors, nurses, watchdogs to be sure the right custodial parent gets the kids after school, studying for the test before it's taught to the kids... Yeah, administrators are the ones drawing the big salaries - and only the superintendent and treasurer answer to the Board.

Kottage Kat

SB 5.


@ Kottage Kat---Senate Bill 5 has nothing to do with this post either. In case you forgot, SB5 was overwhelmingly rejected by the voters in Ohio.


Kottage Kat, any and all of us that have followed the multiple posts on ALL the local school levies know exactly what you meant. 'Nuff said. kellieandnate just jumping in? Welcome to the "Vote No forums!" ;-)


No, I'm not just jumping in. I usually follow the local school levys. It is my understanding that ignorance is bliss around here and many people live under the impression that it isn't their responsibility to fund public education. How sad.


YOUR understanding and YOUR impression is where ignorance is conceived. Taxpayers aren't stupid like you and your BOE allies want you to believe! Taxpayers KNOW that over 50-70% of their property taxes ARE what funds the school! Taxpayers KNOW and see the 1% earned income tax coming out of their paychecks. How much responsibility do you EXPECT to be on taxpayer shoulders, Kelli or Nate?
Taxpayers RESPONSIBLY share the financial burden of the school district. Now it is the responsibility of the BoE and the administration to step forward and do what they were voted in and hired to do; to be good stewards of that money and respect that the taxpayers have said NO for the fifth time and make the responsible cuts.
Sure, it will be unfortunate if you or your family member's pay or job is cut as the result of what the board should have done 5 levies ago...but in this economic time where families have made numerous cuts to their home budgets; and companies have had to lay off employees; taxpayers can't be the open wallet for your answer to the school's financial woes.
Be mad at the BoE and administration. Not taxpayers. We support, we voted, and we continue to give. "Taxed Enough."

John Harville

But it's time to trim administrative costs. The CG=S office consumes about $1.8 million of the budget in salaries and benefits. Does the treasurer REALLY need THREE assistants - payroll, receivables and payables?


Furthermore, if the majority of Ohio thought that SB5 was a FANTASTIC idea, it would have passed at the polls. Reality didn't! Give it up!


@kelliandnate, I do believe teachers should be paid less. Again teachers in the Clyde system had approx. 79 days off this summer. They had 5 days off each for Christmas & spring vacation. They will have a total of another 11 days off which will all be 3 day weekends. So if my math is right that is 100 days off not counting weekends. Now lets say we push the work day to 8.5 hrs. How can you say teachers need to be paid what they are getting paid. If you break it down, teachers are one of the highest hourly workers there is. The average worker at whirlpool works 40 hours a week for 52 weeks a year. That's 2080 hours a year. Teachers work what 36 weeks a year? That's 1440 hours a year. Yes this does have to do with why the system is in such a crazy mess. But you say lets pay more so teachers can enjoy all this time off.

John Harville

79 days off this summer? Not counting state-required classes for hours to continue teaching... summer workshops...
AND... teachers have a 9-month salary stretched over 12 months.
What would you have teachers do on student vacation days? Or should we do away with holiday student vacations (I'm all for that!) There are 11 3-day weekends between August and June? And how many of those are federally-mandated? Teachers don't set the school system hours.... many I know would prefer year-round... This is not about teacher salaries... it's about an administration that takes home more than $2 million annually.


It's that $75K a year salary the teacher gets stretched over the 9 months. Not all teachers take part in summer workshops. Several teachers supplement their income by getting paid coaching and sponsoring. Couldn't they volunteer for those things since they say it is all for the kids? Other teachers supplement their income by working summer jobs. These are all their choices. Same as if I were to work a second or 3rd job. At $75K a year, though, I wouldn't HAVE to!


Look it up people "average" teacher works 185 days a year. With the "average" yearly wage, that makes them have an hourly wage of $45.00. The hourly worker at Whirlpool works 260 days a year. Also kelliandnate no I don't think you should make what the person working at mcdonalds makes, but why should they pay so much for you only working 185 days. Also with the Dr. Kagy making over $110,000 and other adm. individuals making 90k plus, maybe they should give a little back so the mother of 3 working at Mcdonalds gets a little relief on her taxes.