Perkins fourth levy attempt fails

“People are fed up with Perkins Schools. There’s no trust in the board, or anything about the district. It’s all gone”
Alissa Widman Neese
May 7, 2014
A resounding “no” from Perkins Schools voters has denied the district new funds yet again. For the fourth straight time in a year, voters rejected a tax levy proposal Tuesday, with 58 percent voting against the measure, according to unofficial election results.

The 3.95-mill, 10-year levy would have generated $1.68 million a year for the district.    It would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $138 in additional taxes a year. Perkins Township resident Mary Bakewell, a vocal opponent of Perkins Schools levies throughout the past year, said the repeated failures boil down to two key issues — a lack of expendable income among elderly voters, and a general distrust of the district.

“People are fed up with Perkins Schools,” Bakewell said. “There’s no trust in the board, or anything about the district. It’s all gone”

Perkins Schools officials retooled their approach this levy campaign, touting a lofty goal of restoring $1 million in district programming if voters approved the levy.

After hosting a series of community meetings, school board members focused on meeting attendees’ key concerns in their restoration proposal.

Despite the effort, the district still couldn’t sway a majority of voter support.

With the levy’s failure, Perkins Schools is now projecting its operating funds will be completely depleted by 2017.

Its annual operating budget is about $21 million.

Voters haven’t approved a new operating levy for Perkins Schools since 2000.

Costly budget cuts are likely looming, with updates possible at the next Perkins school board meeting May 14.

Perkins Schools superintendent Jim Gunner did not return a phone message Tuesday night seeking comment.



“People are fed up with Perkins Schools. There’s no trust in the board, or anything about the district. It’s all gone”

^^^^ That about covers it.


Maybe the board needs to listen? Are you hearing what the no vote is trying to tell you? I am poor, I cannot afford anymore. I don't live extravagantly. I live within my family's means. Maybe Starbucks is a treat, but a tax is mandatory and we cannot afford to pay it right now. We can opt out of Starbucks if it is not in our budget, we cannot opt out of taxes. The economy is rough right now and I am fearful of what the future holds. Maybe the board needs to see how the other side of Perkins lives.


I agree with you 100%! my husband and I are on a fixed income. we qualified for the homestead exemption in 2012 and since then our taxes have raised over $400.00 this year. we have lived in our house for 15 years. no house on our street ever sold for more than 80,000 and now the tax department says that our house values have risen to a higher bracket!!! my neighbors tax almost doubled. we don't have sidewalks, gutters, or curbs. the newest house on our street was built in 1955. it looks like perkins cant get a levy passed so they are going to raise the value of our property .

Licorice Schtick

If you are certian your house is overvalued, visit the County Treasurer's office.


Quit mowing the lawn and put a couch in the front yard staked on pallets. And buy a couple chickens to let run around. Then they'll lower yours and your nieghbors taxes back down and stop messing with you.



Erie Countian

I reluctantly voted yes. But, I said it in a previous article's comment section, and I'll say it again here: Until Gunner is gone, I don't believe a levy will pass. He has absolutely no trust or credibility with the majority of the community and neither do the BOE members who back him. It's time to clean house.


I dont think it just the mistrust of the super as much as the residents maybe tired of paying high taxes as well one might say that these kinds of taxes are unfair taxes because everyone has to pay them regardless if they have chilren in the school system or not.


Gene, the reason we all pay taxes to support schools is because we Americans decided a long time ago that educating our youth is something we need to do. Since schools are a non-profit, we all help fund their existence. Just as we all pay taxes to fund maintenance of all roads and bridges (not just the ones we use), it's something that we do, assuming that we want to still consider ourselves a civilized society.

Furthermore, assuming you had kids, many other local residents paid taxes to put YOUR kids through school. So now, it's your turn. To repay you, we Americans agree to pay taxes to help keep Medicare and Social Security solvent, so that you can receive those benefits. Sound like a fair deal?

Licorice Schtick

Nothing builds economies like an able, educated workforce, and nothing did more to build the United States into the economic force that it is than free public education. Everyone benefits.

But today's high school diploma is based upon an obsolete model and no longer adequate. Most students are wasting much of their time, working way below their abilities, and graduting with a nearly useless degrees. We need better public education, not less of it.

looking around

I think when one reaches a certain age and has paid the taxes that has educated 2 or 3 generations it is time to be exempted from school tax. Your lucky enough to be still in your own home and not in a senior center, your time has come. Someone else can get the next 3 generations.

P.S. I've had no children and have and still pay school taxes in two different states that I own property in. Enough is enough!


No not a fair deal. Maybe Gene sent his kids to a Catholic school, maybe Gene never wanted SS and Medicare, maybe Gene is broke. I would prefer to have all the money I paid to SS and Medicare back in my pocket and I'll take care of myself. Gov is not good stewards of our money. You coaster ate just concerned with your pension. Pfffttt


This "oh I'm a poor voter I can't afford anymore taxes is BS" why recently has the fire,police,serving our seniors and lastly just this election metro parks passed then?


BTW I would rather have a policeman arrest the man who stole my signs, The fireman put out my house fire that got started because I had a point of view and I will be a senior someday and so will you, sonny, so pray to GOD that it isn't someone like Chapman who doesn't give a crap about your sign, Gunner who lets your house burn because there is building opportunity there and BOE put you in a rest home and desert you because that seemed like the best option. And can I say that I did not vote for Metro parks, but I would much rather see green space than the monstrosity they wanted to build.

Erie Countian

I agree, elogan! It's funny how senior services levies, Metroparks levies, mental health levies, etc. always seem to pass, but not a school levy!People always seem to be able to afford what benefits THEM. I believe in supporting our students, so I held my nose and voted yes, even though I don't trust Gunner in the least. But Perkins is long overdue to pass a levy and I had hoped that if this one passed the board would stop the insanity, return to basics and be much better custodians of our tax dollars. Things have gotten completely out of control under Gunner and this Board. They have played fast and loose with our monies. They were not honest or trustworthy. They will never regain the respect or trust of the community. It is an embarrassment to drive by our aged high school and see that multi-million dollar showplace of a stadium next to it! The stadium would have been a nice,completely adequate and modern facility if we had only used the private funds raised, but Gunner and the BOE decided to throw millions of dollars of our much needed funds to make it a Taj Mahal instead. Then they cry because they need more money for basic upkeep of our buildings that are supposedly unsafe!? I believe we should vent our frustrations by voting the current board out when the time comes. (And I also hope the BOE will finally listen to the overwhelming negative sentiment and get rid of this superintendent before trying another levy vote.) Taxpayers paid for the "no" voters' public school educations and that of their children and grandchildren.They paid for my own and my childrens' public education, too. I feel it is a civic duty to support our public schools as generations have done before. It is hard to do so right now, but I cannot in good conscience vote no. Ultimately, it's about time the state lawmakers in Columbus do what they were ordered to have done years ago and straighten out the school funding mess in Ohio!


Passed because all of Erie County voted on those, not just Perkins or Sandusky.


gene44870...Do you think for a minute the K-12 education you and I received could have been (or WAS) funded by just the parents of our generation of students? No it had to be (and WAS) funded by ALL of the taxpayers of the community we lived in. People can have whatever reason they want to vote no, but this is the one issue that really doesn't sit well with me. People who didn't have children in school at the time helped fund YOUR education. It's the responsibility of EVERYONE to prepare the youth for the future. It's called giving back. It's called paying your civic rent.

This, of course is just my opinion, and meant to comment only on your point and not any other issue voters might have.


I agree lot2learn. Unfortunately, there will always be people who are only in it for themselves. They want government/public services, but don't want to pay for them, and certainly do not want to pay for someone else - even if others have subsizided their own usage in the past.

It's interesting that these types are hyper-alert when they perceive someone else to be "living off the system", but are blissfully unaware of when they do that very same thing themselves. Often the ones who complain the most are "takers" themselves...


Well said, Lot2learn! It is our civic responsibility to support the education of the next generation.

looking around

What if Gene went to a private school? Lot's of us did. Many people for one reason or another make a choice not to send their children to public school be it a religious matter or concern for the type of education that they will receive. Don't be so quick to put everyone in the same barrel.

Maybe you would like to see records kept to show what each of us owes for your "civic rent"


Perkins has the most over-paid staff in the area, students AREN'T suffering despite the comments made by the "YES" voters, and you have a Super that isn't trusted.

Put all those factors together, as well as several others (including a poor economy), and ANOTHER failed levy in Perkins should have happened.


Uh, Wally. The economy is poor? Inflation is low, hiring is up, unemployment is down, discretionary spending is way up, the Dow Jones is at a record high, the deficit has been cut in half over the past couple of years, the Feds ended the bailout because it was no longer needed, home values are up, new home construction is up, the list goes on.

Are you reading 6-year-old newspapers, or getting your news from Fox, perhaps?


So what great jobs do we have here? Where can you work in Sandusky or Perkins to earn enough to support a family? The Mall? Kalahari? Yore an idiot.


Thank you sugar for writing out a much nicer reply than I would have. Great job.


So you have kindergarten teachers making $70,000 a year and that's not overpaid?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Golden days are here again!

Labor Force Participation Rate for 25-29 Year Olds Hits Record Low

In addition to this gem I do believe that we have the same number of people working today as we did in 2007. Less unemployment is good, right? Yes, except we have about 17,000,000 more Americans than we did then.


And don't get me wrong glad those passed as well. I also voted for them!


Gene high taxes we already pay??? We're already one of the lowest in area!

44870 South

I live in a modest home in taxes are higher than my in-laws who have a very nice home in a nice area of what are you talking about??


Lot2learn. Very nicely said. Thank you!