Perkins Schools levy results

Perkins Schools levy shot down
Melissa Topey
Nov 5, 2013

Perkins Schools 6.73-mill, 10-year levy, with all precincts reporting, according to unofficial results:





There is no "Mr." Ahner. He is a boy, plain and simple. The extent of his employment history is working at his parent's mom & pop store selling nick-knacks. His lack of life experience and inability to understand the inner-workings of a system as simple as non family employment with a company with actual rules means in essence, he is little more than a poster boy for the no campaign.

But if by some chance, he really is a magician and can come up with solutions that eluded the foremost experts in the state and possibly country, more power to him, I'll certainly take off my hat to him if by some outside chance, that is the case.


Hey Subtle. I know you're angry, as are others but your posts have been extremely informative and I hate to see you in a negative light. I stooped to this level earlier in frustration to a backlash comment. We had our differences on many topics but I listened and thought about what you had to say. Ahner's young but hopefully he can make a difference by being a catalyst to those that voted for him. He has his work cut out for him and a huge load on his young shoulders. I really feel though, that if the board accepts and engages him, he will be a great tool for them to communicate with the public. My concern is, the public doesn't trust the message. Shoot me your thoughts!!!


I'll be honest, I hope you are right. I will also be honest and say I have never met a 23 year old that I would let lock up my office at night let alone make financial decisions. It takes life experience with things such as paying bills and working for a living and trying to balance your personal budget with less than the optimal amount of money for the things you want to do to really understand the balancing act it takes. He has worked for his family and had his college paid for. He has never had to struggle or even have a budget and probably never will; and at 23, that is a blessing, don't get me wrong. I was almost 35 before I realized how naive and oblivious I was at 25 ;)

Truly, I'm of the mindset that everyone has a right to vote how they want, and also the mindset to try to make the most of what you have, so I sincerely hope he does well.

The public doesn't trust the message because they have been fed a lot of misinformation from the 'no' side by a lot of people who don't understand the positions, or finance, or who just don't want to pay more.

The 'yes' side hasn't helped their cause by effectively explaining very complex financial decisions and mechanics... hopefully that will change. I have been investigating all of the aspects of the Perkins finance situation and have learned a lot. I learned the millage move was conceived by a school finance guru who has published several books that are used to teach school finance to people going into the field. It wasn't the pet project of Jim Gunner that people think it was. In fact, it was debated for years and proposed by 3 previous superintendents; though it is a tough sell because you really have to know finance to see the benefit.

I recommend to Michael Ahner, I hear he is a quick study (seriously) and no one in the state understands school finance better than Richard E. Maxwell so it will be good, unbiased information.

I personally just ordered my copy and recommend anyone who really wants to learn about the inner-workings of tax laws, levies, etc. does the same.


Information is exactly what we need. Information from a solid, reputable and trusted source.....but presented in a way that everyone understands and makes sense. This thing has been botched from day one and I honestly don't know how they're going to reverse the downward spiral. I listen to what you're saying and will definitely order the book! My kids are getting copies, as well as I think they are losing sight of this whole process and take things for granted.


^^This has to be one of the most ignorant comments yet!!! So someone who is reponsible for helping run the family business now doesn't have the intellegence to sit on the BOE?

Good 2 B Me

Agreed. Maybe he is the MOST qualified as he has been exposed to the Schools more recently than any of us. New, fresh ideas are always welcome. Just so they are not being used to raise money to build a new stadium.

Big Momma

Sandusky doesn't have those fees, has a great school, and open enrollment ;)

Brick Hamland

Didn't they have a mother enter a classroom last year and punch a 13 year old in the face? St. Mary's is a better option if you have to pay for your child to play 3 sports might as well pay tuition for small class sizes and no parents punching you in the face


Yes they did but you can't judge a school by the actions of one!


Sandusky receives MUCH MORE tax revenue Perkins does. We pay 28.5 mils, Sandusky residents pay 42.1 mils. Sandusky gets 75% of its state funding, Perkins gets 30% (amounting to 2.5 million dollars of Perkins money being given to 'less financially stable communities')

"Great" depends on what your ultimate goal is. Great for Sandusky is when 76% graduate. Great for Perkins is when 76% go on to receive post secondary educations.

I'd like to hear anyone's solution to the problem (and I am talking about the money problem, not the 'I'm going to try and blame it on the sup/BOE party line BS)...any no voter, even a single realistic idea within the confines of what is legal.

In 2008, the school needed 50 million in repairs because the last time a building improvement levy was passed was 1978. Perkins has been operating on FAR less tax revenue than ANY school in the area for over a decade. We give them ALMOST enough money to run a school the size of Edison on a yearly basis; too bad we're a bit bigger than Edison.

We have not passed a levy in 13 years, through 4 superintendents and over a dozen board members, because regardless of who is sup or on the board, the community always has an excuse.

The sports fees are the total cost of all the sports and then divided by the total number of athletes that played last year. You voted down the levy, as was your right, but it doesn't change the fact that there is a shortage of money. To keep sports running, they implemented pay to play. They could have canceled them outright.

We deny them revenue for repairs, we deny them revenue for athletics, we basically give them enough money to keep the lights on and the buildings warm and yet people complain that they have to pay for programs that cost a ton of money when we the tax payers don't give them any money. Oh yeah, then the state steals 2.5 million just to be certain there isn't enough to go around.

The teachers have had their pay frozen for years and are far from the highest average salaries in the area; same with the administrators.

All the schools expenses keep piling up, yet we give them nothing and wonder why after tying the boards' hands, they have to use alternative means to keep the school afloat.

So tell me, what is the solution, seeing how easy it was to fabricate reasons to not pass the levy, at least one of you should be able to come up with something.


Subtle - We need to break it all down and how are the "no" voters going to be reached. The current message and campaign isn't working. The campaign needs a different approach. I can afford the pay to play fees but many can't. I think this needs to be addressed first as many are going to struggle with final payments due. Many districts have reversed this and refunded fees even without passage. ???

Food For Thought

Wait, you got it in the first sentence, THEY ARE YOUR KIDS! I could give a flying beanstalk how much you are going to pay. I am going to sleep well knowing me and my wife can still goto the movies once a month with MY $26. Get over yourself, take care of your family instead of putting that on me.


Wow. You need to move to secluded area that doesn't have families, schools, or community pride. That's probably the most selfish comment made so far. Enjoy your movie.

Food For Thought

You think that me paying almost $.70 per square foot to the schools alone isn't generous enough? I should pay even more because Johnny's Mom and Dad don't have the money to pay for pay to play fees? Why not do fund raisers, I will happily pay a teenager $20 to cut my grass if they need money for their fees. We live in a continual state of entitlement, I am sorry but it is not My responsibility to pay for your kids sports, I will contribute to educational endeavors but not sports. For instance, music and the arts I don't think should be part of the pay to play.

Please do not mistake my desire not to be forced to pay for something for a lack of charity. I learned from a very young age that you have to work for what you want, and this is no different. When was the last time you had a kid come to your door looking to make some money for something they want? I know I haven't seen one in over a year. Your comment is what is wrong with this picture, people shouldn't get a free pass and it's time for kids to learn that fact.


Thousands sounds like a bit of an overstatement.


Not an over statement. Thousands! I have two children in all high school sports at $730 a pop, along with band, all choirs (although that is an honor, it's very expensive), Model UN, just to name a few....I refuse to tell them they can't participate in what they love, and what they are good at. One works to help, the other wants to but is too young. I've raised them well, and am blessed to have two young men know what it takes to get what they WANT, but know they have what they NEED. I've made multiple cutbacks in the home, and many personal sacrifices as a single (divorced) mom that's in school myself, and not one complaint from any of us. We take great pride in all that we do individually AND as a team, so It's tough to hear people make negative comments that tears at the heart strings of a close knit family of parents and students. If you haven't experienced it, you have no idea the effect this has on all involved. It's not about asking for handouts. I don't need your cents per square footage...or your $26 monthly movie allowance. At the moment, we are paying the price for someone's mistake....all these kids need is to know that no matter what, their community supports them and will do what it takes to help them through it. Most of you have turned your back on the kids just to upset Gunner, who will most likely leave anyway.


And PS, ever try and do the same fundraiser that hundreds of kids are doing all at the same time? It's impossible, and the amount they get towards their account is so minimal it's almost not even worth doing it. People complain when we DO knock on their door, now they complain when we DON'T.


To all of us in Perkins you say your fighting Gunner, but did you stop to see that he is already leaving the district. So in the end you didn't fight the BOE or Gunner you put the kids out in the cold and think that you are all high mighty for putting up the good fight. You didn't do anything, but hurt those kids and their parents financially. Gunner blindsided us, but you smacked us right in the face.


Write to the BOE or go to a meeting and tell them to move the millage back, then maybe a levy will pass.


Moving the millage took the financial burden off the homeowner and put the burden on the businesses. When Kalahari becomes available for taxation, we will generate 1.5 million per year through the inside millage, same with the other large buildings such as NOMS. If we move it back, there will be a one time payout and then basically chicken-feed after the first year they become taxable.

The millage move was a financial strategy developed by Richard E. Maxwell one of the foremost experts on school finances in the state and possibly the country, not Gunner, not the board, they implemented a plan that an EXPERT designed and that has been successfully implemented in districts such as ours with great success nationwide, in districts facing far greater financial hardships than Perkins.

Honestly, if you don't understand what inside millage is and how it works, why would you parrot what someone else says... because clearly, they don't understand it either.


I would say a piece needs to be drawn up then on Mr. Maxwell's strategy and be presented to the community. At this point, the majority is overwhelmingly against this move and we need all the information we can get. I feel the district's message has been too vague. You actually go into more detail than the board, Gunner and campaign team combined.


Moving the millage took away the taxpayer's right to vote on any future building issue. I don't feel comfortable giving a BOE and super that I don't trust that kind of power. Move the millage back and propose a new levy. If the new levy passes, I'll gladly pay, even if it is a bit more expensive as long as it is what the taxpayers decide. I want to vote on decisions, not have them made for me. That's all you need to know.


The buildings have needed 50 MILLION in repairs since 2008. You voted on a campus that was going to consolidate all four buildings on a single piece of property, cost 100 million dollars of which 50 million of that was government subsidies (i.e. a free 50 million).

That was put up for a vote and you turned it down. Regardless of the decision to not build the campus, the buildings still needed 50 million in repairs. Those repairs have to be addressed and the money has to come from somewhere. The inside millage move was made so that there would be money available when the time comes that Perkins can no longer open the doors without either repairing or rebuilding the facilities.

No matter what you think about who is superintendent, or who is on the board, it's their job to insure the school stays open and is structurally sound enough for the students to safely attend. Each year the school goes without the funding to make the repairs, the repair bill grows. What was 50 million in 2008 is now probably closer to 55 million.

The money has to come from somewhere. The inside millage move was the only thing left that could be done after the levies didn't pass because the board has to insure the doors stay open, that is their job. It is also their job to find the solution with the least financial impact on the taxpayer over the long run. I'm no expert, but I have read what the experts estimated, and in my opinion, Furry and Meadowlawn can probably be repaired and Briar and the high school *should* be consolidated and rebuilt.

The repairs to Briar and PHS would cost 70% of the cost of a new building, not including ground maintenance and parking lot care, and would not provide the monthly utility savings on heating and cooling that a new energy efficient building would provide. Those repairs have been estimated to make the school viable for 15 years following completion, at which point, at least another 25 million will need to be spent.

Building a new consolidated building for Briar and PHS will decrease the monthly utilities totaling millions in savings, will produce a school that would be viable (without major repair expenditure) for at least 30 years, and will save the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. It's the board's responsibility to find the best financially sound solution that puts the least burden on the taxpayers, and the experts in the field say that is the best solution.

Only a fool would insist they repair the old buildings at much greater cost to the tax payer instead of building new simply out of spite... are you a fool?

Good 2 B Me

I have to laugh at your comments. If you are so intelligent and KNEW how to fix these issues, why did you not run for the BOE? Why did you wait until after the levy failed to show the people that you are of a superior intelligence?

You crack me up.


"That was put up for a vote and you turned it down"
No, I didn't. I didn't live in Perkins when that was on the ballot.
"Only a fool would insist they repair the old buildings at much greater cost to the tax payer instead of building new simply out of spite"
I never suggested I'd rather have the old schools repaired at a "much greater" cost than building new out of spite. Once again, you're spinning. Your circumlocutory explanations of school finances don't change the fact that the right to vote on building issues was taken out of the hands of the taxpayers, who are expected to foot the bill, by the millage move. Either you're too thick to understand this, or you don't care about the taxpayers' democratic right to have a vote.


...and we still have that asbestos issue to deal with and apparently no money left in the account to fix it!

Kobayashi Maru

He's trying to leave - no one has hired him yet. Don't be so sure some other district will take him - they can read this website and they see they hatred many people have toward him. And no, the kids won't be out in the cold. The buildings still have heat, and specials, and sports, although Gunner and the board said those things would be cut if the levy failed in May, and August.


Someone will eventually hire him!


His contract runs until or through 2015. He cannot be easily asked to leave. This represents another bad decision by the BOE. He's a divisive figure and they gave him a lengthy contract.