‘Vote no’ signs rally opposition

A vote against a tax levy isn’t a vote against a school district.
Alissa Widman
Oct 11, 2013
Individuals opposing a proposed Perkins Schools levy honed this message Wednesday when they met to share ideas about improving the relationship between the district and its taxpayers.

See those “vote no” signs in local yards?

Jim Rosin isn’t ashamed to admit he created 250 of them, as well as creating Citizens for Accountable Schools, the sponsor committee distributing them.

“I got fed up,” Rosin said. “I decided enough was enough and came up with the name because that’s all we want: accountability.”    Mary Bakewell, J Franklin, Kathie Mueller and Steven Pullano — all township residents who oppose the Perkins Schools levy on the November ballot — met with the Register at Rosin’s home Wednesday to discuss their self-declared grassroots committee.

They’re not against Perkins Schools, just its current methods of doing business, they said. “Something needs to change,” Mueller said. “We really have a disconnect in our community right now.”

Perkins Schools is proposing a 10-year, 6.73-mill levy on the November ballot, its third attempt this year to collect additional funds for operating expenses.

If approved, the levy would generate about $2.8 million a year, stabilizing the district’s budget and possibly restoring some programming and staffing reductions approved this summer.

It would cost the owner of an $100,000 home an additional $236 per year in taxes. Perkins Township residents currently pay $998 a year in school-related taxes.

The school district is expected to spend almost all of its reserve cash at the end of the school year, with a mere $23,500 remaining, according to its most recent five-year financial forecast. The district’s annual budget is about $21 million.

Members of Citizens for Accountable Schools claim the financial struggles could have been prevented.

A few of their points of contention with Perkins Schools officials:

• Moving “inside millage” — funding used for day-to-day operations — into a separate account for building improvements in 2011, in anticipation of constructing a new high school building.

• Spending $1.7 million to cover half the cost of constructing a new Perkins High School football stadium in 2012.

• Proposing a 10-year tax levy for a third time this year without considering smaller or shorter levy proposals.

• Increasing pay-toparticipate athletic fees to as high as $730 per high school sport, with the funds covering the district’s entire athletic budget and athletic director’s $109,000 salary.

Voters approving a levy is the only way to eliminate the fees.

“We can’t keep going down this path,” said Franklin, vying for a Perkins school board seat this fall. “I support the school 100 percent. But its leadership should focus on giving our kids the best education possible. That focus isn’t there right now.”

Franklin’s candidacy is part of the committee’s two-pronged approach: promote the need for change, and then do something about it.

The effort isn’t without its struggles.

Pullano and other committee members said several of their signs have gone missing from their yards recently, prompting them to file multiple reports with Perkins police regarding possible theft and criminal trespassing.

“Some people are afraid to speak up because of the backlash,” Bakewell said. “But if you don’t speak up now you’re just part of the problem rather than the solution.”

When approached at Wednesday’s school board meeting, Perkins Schools superintendent Jim Gunner told the Register he has no comment on the Citizens for Accountable Schools committee.

Comments

The New World Czar

Finally- good to see that the people who the levy committee sneered at as the "uninformed voters" are getting their message out.

BDupler

Wait, someone saying that changes need to be made, then trying to be the force that makes then by actually running for office? When will the rest loud mouths in the area catch on to the fact that this is how you do it?

Good 2 B Me

Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to run for the BOE. We all do have the ability to VOTE NO!

Wald

Great article. The levy supporters try to guilt trip the No voters by saying they are anti-kids, when that isn't true at all. We're just tired of Gunner and the BOE making poor choices when it comes to how our tax dollars are spent. I saw a sign the other day that reminded me of the Perkins super and BOE, which said something to the effect of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It's time for change and new direction in the Perkins school system. Vote No to the levy and Vote for Ahner and Franklin!

Stop It

don't get caught....

"Pullano and other committee members said several of their signs have gone missing from their yards recently, prompting them to file multiple reports with Perkins police regarding possible theft and criminal trespassing."

Busgarage

Don't get caught?? Are you actually encouraging people to trespass and steal?

Hawkeye

Integrity people, Integrity! Now we all know who would be taking them, show some class. It is the opinion of the people, just because they don't agree with vote yes doesn't mean they go and steal signs. I guess they(vote yes people)learned (from the BOE)that it is okay. Monkey see monkey do.

fifteenthgreen

Probably the same people wheeling our Vets to the polls!

fifteenthgreen

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/...

Holy crap, Perkins. Another school in our area with a laptop program. But their district leaders seem to have figured out that providing them for FREE isn't the answer. Plus, they made some fiscal adjustments to compensate for the entire programs implementation. Not us! Give everyone a free Apple MacBook Air. How dare you think that we would stoop so low as to think we should use a lowly Chromebook. Not Perkins.

The Bizness

A chromebook or even a low end tablet is all really need. If you went the tablet route just make the students purchase a bluetooth keyboard.

has anyone looked at a textbook on a 10.1 inch tablet screen? It is pretty amazing, especially when interactive capabilities are added to it.

Señor Clown

Yup, a Chromebook that retails at $250, but that was likely discounted for an educational purchase quantity of 139+, and then the students kicked in $50 on the cost. Port Clinton either has a better handle on their spending, or doesn't get as caught up in the 'Standard of Excellence' that necessitates providing every student with an Apple product.

VOTENO

I love all the signs with my name on them.

fifteenthgreen

:) That's pretty good!

Dont Worry Be Happy

Lol

Sean Cassidy Sa...

I firmly believe everyone has a right to voice their opinion. I believe in the right to vote. I voted yes and will continue to vote yes. I think it is great there are people that oppose the levy that are running for a seat. This is how things are supposed to work. All that I ask is for real answers not sound bites. Yes inside millage. Inform me how will effect the capital improvement budget? What is the future plan for the buildings? Stadium I hear you, is that a real number and where did it come from?

I believe being a tax payer trumps my next question but how many
"VOTE NO" people have a vested interested interest in the school system?

Just for not so serious kicks "Vote NO" your name is not on the sign. Sean Cassidy

VOTENO

Vote NO in NOvember!

fifteenthgreen

Sean -

Thank you for exercising your right to vote...yes or no.

Real answers from who? The candidates, bloggers, administration, campaign team, parents, taxpayers....who?

I suggest that you go back and read past SR articles to get your answers on the millage, budgets, future building plans and the actual 3.4 million that was spent on the stadium as a whole. Easier that way rather than compiling for you then stay on here for the duration of the campaign. Your input will be invaluable, either way.

I feel most "Vote No" citizens love the school district and community. Just not the lack of leadership, trust, ethics, communication and the refusal to except no for an answer.

Let me ask you this since you are an alumni. Do you feel the school is in any worse shape than when you attended Perkins? Do you feel addressing a new campus can be put on hold until this fiscal crisis is in order?

By the way, "Vote No" is really his birth name and like Taxpayer, he is loved on here!!! :)

VOTENO

!

Sean Cassidy Sa...

Fifteengreen,

First off, I appreciate your response and I like the birth name comment, that was funny. Mostly thank you for an outlet to voice my opinions.

The answers I am seeking are from the candidates and also the "Vote No" community as well. By answers I meant solutions.

I understand that is a little one sided question. This is a fiscal crisis and now is not the time to campaign on "a new direction".

I agree that the citizens love the community. However, it is my opinion the levy has now become a vote of confidence of Mr. Gunner not a financial issue. The BOE election covers the leadership issue.

I graduated in 1991, my wife 1994, her brother 2000, my brother 1996, my sister 1998 and her parents 1969 and 1972. Please consider I was in middle school when athletics at that level were cancelled due to funding under Mr. Roshong. I found it hard to believe he weighed in via the register a few months ago.

I believe discussions of a new campus could be put on hold but in that same breath money cannot be taken away from capital improvements. I can also say I am deeply disappointed that the community missed the opportunity to obtain the 40+ million grant for a new campus. I also do not think it was unethical to move the money either.

I know I didn't answers all your questions and hope to soon.

Thank you for your time,

Sean Cassidy

Nemesis

"I also do not think it was unethical to move the money either."

So you don't think the board should be subordinate to the voters?

They asked for that amount for capital improvement to build a new campus.
The voters said no.
TWICE.
So they did an end run around the voters.
They could have asked for a smaller C.I. levy to cover repairs and maintenance, but they didn't. They just TOOK the larger amount, effectively holding the operating budget hostage. They underhandedly subverted the will of the voters.

And you don't think that's unethical?

Nemesis

You must not have been paying attention for the last six months. The stadium numbers came from the SCHOOL BOARD. The capital improvement budget will go back to what it was; if it's not adequate, then the board can put up a capital improvement levy and be specific about how it will be used - the voters have already made it clear more than once that they don't want new buildings.

You say you don't want sound bites, but that's all the school board has offered. "Support our schools" "Support our kids" "Support our community"
and the like. They might as well say "every time you vote against a levy, God kills a little baby kitten." And yet, by your own admission, sound bites are what gets your vote, along with a firm statement that you'll continue to vote the same way with the implication that nothing will change that.

Stop It

"every time you vote against a levy, God kills a little baby kitten."

ROTFLMFAO!!!

Mamatech

The NO voters say you support the schools and the students and they should get the best education possible. How will that happen when the district has no money at the end of the year? Perkins schools has been forward thinking in their education . Our school system deserves more support from the community than it receives. People feel the community is divided? Well, all the negativity and nastiness that is posted on this website regarding Perkins schools , the board, and Mr Gunner is what is making the divide larger. This is America and everyone has a right to their opinion and their vote. However, we don't need to attack those with differing opinions . Everyone needs to pull together and put the kids and their education first.

VOTENO

NOvember!

fifteenthgreen

When you say "pull together", you mean what, Mamatech? Vote yes? That would be too easy. Why is the community divided? Does the district really not have any money? We're all "yes" voters on here when we believe in what we're voting on and trust those that are responsible for the very funding being entrusted to them. Shawn has it right. It's a confidence and trust issue. Not fiscal.

eriemom

I hate to blow a whole in your statement, We're all "yes" voters on here when we believe in what we're voting on and trust those that are responsible for the very funding being entrusted to them."

I don't ever remember seeing a yes vote from Voteno.

Unless as you explained voteno is his given name and he just likes signing on comments.

Nemesis

You probably don't remember hearing anything from him before this current situation, so your statement is meaningless.

eriemom

My memory isn't that bad.

Nemesis

But apparently your logic skills are. It has nothing to do with your memory, but rather the fact that VoteNO created that user name in response to the current Perkins levy cycle.

Sean Cassidy Sa...

Fithteengreen agrees with me here on confidence. For the record I do support Mr. Gunner and the current board.

My point being leave the leadership issue to BOE elections and not the passage of the levy. The two need to be separated.

On the last ballot the township had a considerable millage increase, much larger than the operating school levy, for the police department. That was not a vote of confidence for the trustees it was a vote for funding a much needed service. Off topic I voted for the levy and will continue to support the department. This community needs that continued security and those jobs. Its not exactly apples to apples but you must admit it is very similar.

I know the next set of questions. Stadium, how much would it have cost just to replace the old stands and other required repairs? What then is the cost difference between repairing and rebuilding? I do not know.

Computers, how does the current school network function with student computers? Which platform does the school network platform use? How much does it cost to renew any software licenses? How do all of these variables play out when purchasing student computers? I do not know. Let's not over look the fact ignoring the role of technology has in education is just out right foolish. Don Lee had it right a few weeks ago.

These are things for me to find out. Clearly it is easy for everyone to arm chair administrate without all the information.

It is plain 'ole economics.

I spoke of solutions earlier, these are type of issues that need addressed. A new direction, moving millage, and reducing fees does not provide solutions.

Sean Cassidy

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