Perkins Schools offers free pizza, levy discussion

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Alissa Widman Neese
Jul 16, 2013

Citizens for Perkins Schools will host a question-and-answer session with Perkins Schools superintendent Jim Gunner at Chet and Matt's Pizza at 6 p.m. tonight.

Anyone can come and ask the group questions about the upcoming August levy vote or general questions about the district.

Chet and Matt's Pizza will provide free pizza and drinks.

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Come on. We aren't talking about an organization that is financially stable. Jim Gunner has publicly cried out that Perkins School District is on the brink of financial ruin. He is going to have to "dismantle the district" and the community will "no longer have their school district."

What inflammatory comments for the leader of an organization to publicly state over and over.

In your response, it's businesses that are financially healthy or at least stable enough to finance their operations that can, as you say, take advantage of lower economic costs to strengthen their position for the future (which, by the way, interest rates are at historic lows, but construction costs are not. Most construction companies have been having strong years the past 2 years).

It is not businesses who are the brink of financial collapse. You can't have it both ways. You can't be out publicly stating you are going to have to "dismantle the district" or there will "no longer have their district".... but then move millions away from operating funds and take millions out in loans to design new buildings.

No competent and successful leader does that. Not one... other than Gunner.

It doesn't make basic common sense. Their is not an short or medium run need for new buildings. A want for new facilities, yes.... a need, no. There will be a need in the future, but in the short and medium runs there is not. Further, Perkins Schools cannot afford to buildings and facilities right now. Gunner has stated repeatedly they are about to "dismantle the district." The community will "no longer have their district" due to their perilous financial position.

New facilities and buildings aren't needed at the moment, and evidently Perkins Schools are on the brink of financial ruin. What does Gunner and Board do? Move millions away from operating funds and take out millions in loans to design and plan new facilities.

It doesn't make sense. Like I said, I started my career in financial management and consulting right before the recession hit.... I have never seen a client employ a startegy like that.... ever.... because it does not make sense.

New facilities/buildings are not needed at the moment, we're on the brink of financial disaster and having to "dismantle" our organization..... but we're going to move millions away from operations, and then millions more in loans to design and plan new facilities? Only in Gunner's world.


It seems that we agree that our district is due for an infusion of funds. After 18 years with 2.9 mills in additional money (none in 13 years), and after the district has taken other steps to stay solvent on both the revenue and cost side, it is time to pass this levy (between Nov. 2004 and Nov. 2010 no levy was asked for other than permanent improvement renewals). An operational levy is needed to keep the district above state minimum standards.

The facility issue will hang over the district until addressed. This board chose to begin to address the issue as opposed to ignoring it. We can debate about the timing-was two years ago the right time, is now, is next year, is five years? But I think we both would agree that when the facilities are addressed, it should be done with strategy that costs residents the least.


You really like to "Blow Smoke" stating that there hasn't been any new money. Perkins has witnessed continuous growth in tax values. People that have lived here over 20 - 30 years have now realized how much more we are paying. I recently talked to a couple who are moving to a Condo in Norwalk after 40 years, 200 more square feet, less traffic, less taxes, and 25,000 cheaper. Our school leaders and those associated with Perkins are way out of touch with reality. No explanation you can give to the average citizen can justify more taxes.


No smoke-it's the reality of school funding in Ohio. Just putting these out there for consideration: (1) Perkins receives $500,000 less state aid than it did in 2002 (2) Perkins receives 33% of revenue to operate from the state; the average district receives 45% (3) as for property tax rate: the state average is 35 mills: Perkins is at 21.6 mills, 14 mills below the state average (4) Perkins has either the lowest (or next to lowest) school tax rate in Erie County (5) the state has cut approx. $2.8 million dollars from Perkins in the past two years; in May,revenue projections for FY 2014 were $2.5 million dollars lower than in FY 2011

Growth in property value does not equate to additional money for schools unless a new or replacement levy is passed. When a levy is passed, the amount of dollars generated by that levy remain constant (we actually vote on a dollar amount expressed as mills). The auditor adjusts the millage rate as needed to keep the actual dollars collected static. There is no adjustment for inflation or other factors to that amount. That is why the effective millage paid is less than the actual millage voted over the years and why districts have to be on the ballot so often. School districts see a rise in property tax collections with new construction and the new construction in the township hasn't been enough to offset revenue losses (also, remember that often large business are granted TIFs that delay taxes paid to schools in order to fund infrastructure improvements to encourage businesses to locate in a district). I do not know the school tax rates for Norwalk but have recently read that its board is mulling a levy request.



Why must you answer with lies?

"Growth in property value does not equate to additional money for schools unless a new or replacement levy is passed."

Inside millage grows with property value.

Why do you think the school board moved the outside millage to inside millage? Because of that very reason.

You and a few others have become the mouthpiece of the school during this debate. Your lies make the school look dishonest. Be careful with what you write.




When the levy fails, can we expect all those who voted yes to donate to the schools the amount their taxes would have gone up if the levy had passed?