District seeking support for levy

Huron Schools is looking forward, not back.
Alissa Widman Neese
Sep 7, 2013
New superintendent Dennis Muratori honed his message Wednesday to a group of about 20 individuals, part of a newly formed levy committee of more than 100 individuals known as Citizens for Huron Schools.

“Wherever there is a crowd, we need to tout what we are as a district,” Muratori said. “That campaign is ongoing, beyond the upcoming levy vote.”

Amy Roldan and Brad Hartung, two district parents and active community members, created the grassroots committee this summer to promote an upcoming Huron Schools levy vote.

The district’s five-year, 5.9-mill operating levy is up for renewal in November, the first time since voters approved it in 2008 — and they’re not taking anything for granted.

“We can’t just assume a renewal’s going to pass just because it won’t increase taxes,” Roldan said. “We need to keep everyone informed.”

The committee’s goals go well beyond simple campaigning.

Its members also strive to reconnect the district and community, especially considering the divisive aftermath of firing its former superintendent. Although the issue isolated some community members earlier this year, several are hoping to move forward together.

“This is about face time, reconnecting with the community and sharing what we do and what we offer,” Muratori said. “This serves many facets of moving the district forward and part of that is re-engagement and listening to our stakeholders.”

Citizens for Huron Schools first met Aug. 13. The group meets 7 p.m. every Wednesday in the McCormick Junior High School auditorium, 325 Ohio St., branching into subcommittees to organize specific efforts. Anyone can attend the meetings.

Its first public appearance will be Sept. 13 at the Huron High School cafeteria for its first fundraising event, a spaghetti dinner prior to the school’s first varsity football game. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors and will be available at the door.

Several local businesses plan to support the endeavor, including Cornell’s Foods and Huron Market.

As the November vote comes closer, Huron residents can expect to see yard signs, door-to-door campaigners, pep rallies and more public outings, Hartung said.

We’re researching which precincts may not have had the best turnout in 2008, and we’re focusing our efforts,” he said. “We want to keep letting people know how proud we are of Huron Schools and all they’ve accomplished. Ultimately it’s about keeping everyone informed.”

Comments

donutshopguy

We will have to see if the "Fred Fox Fiasco" has any effect on the outcome of this levy.

Marlam99

There's no way I'm voting for a levy with all the money they've wasted on firing Fox why should I give them more to flush down the toilet? I can't wait until the 3 school board members that caused this mess are up for re-election!

srblogger

vote for it..just a renewal. regardless of fox, this was going to be up for election. and it will come up again in 5 years.

Lil DAB

Remember the 12.5% more you will be paying on top of the levy amount. The state budget approved earlier this summer removed a state subsidy for local school levies.
The state used to pick up 12.5 percent of the cost of new or replacement levies from its general fund. Levies approved in November 2013 elections and future elections will no longer be subject to that state subsidy.
Lawmakers who eliminated the state subsidy say doing so makes the full cost of local levies more transparent to taxpayers.

http://stateimpact.npr.org/ohio/...

kal-el

The increase only affects NEW levies, NOT renewals.

Oh, by the way, Tea Party Republicans...see what your (mostly GOP) elected officials have done? Increased the sales tax AND the property tax. Shifted the tax burden to the local level.

Good job.

Fromthe419

kal-el, let's face the facts. Our government is basically broke (but they can print money), the states are broke, cities are broke and many large municipalities are teetering on bankrupcy, the schools are broke and most of the people I know are broke (or living pay check to pay check). When a bloated government fails they pass it on to the only one they can, the tax payer. This is not a Tea Party issue, this is a scope of government issue. What do you want from your government and what can it afford to provide to you and at what cost?

Sam

Thanks to The Republicans who DECREASED the income tax which is the real burden on the working class. The increase on the property roll back helps fund local government and schools.

abigbear

yep vote for it its all a circus its the only time they care to reconnect with the community or listen to our stakeholders..
so vote for it because I Will NOT!!!

I'm Done

You are lucky to have this superintendent. Give him a chance. Look on the bright side, he lives in your district.

Fromthe419

I don't live in Huron School District, but if I did, I would vote for this levy. Dennis Muratori is as fine a man that you will ever meet. Huron Schools are very lucky to have him, he cares about the District, he lives there, he is one of you. I've know him for over 25 years and he is about a straight shooter you will ever talk to, if he says he will do something, he follows through...there is no BS with him. The school district I live in has done what is needed to fund our schools, but if for some reason they did not, I would open enroll my kids in Huron just because of the leadership at the top with Mr. Muratori.

Darwin's choice

Dennis Muratori may be a great superintendent, however, there are still too many fools on the board who squander money away. No way on this levy!

srblogger

darwin, you can remove a couple of those fools in NOV. doesnt change the fact the renewal regardless of who is on the BOE was going up for renewal. regardless of the fox issues, this was going to be on the ballet. we have two choices, we can vote in the renewal and keep our taxes around where they are. or we can say no and pay much higher, much earlier. now you choose.

Bherrle

I am a resident of Perkins, however would encourage Huron residents to vote Yes for this renewal levy. Voting No means you are taking money away from your schools. Think about who that will hurt. It won't hurt the three board members some are angry at. It will make your new Super's job harder, and it will take away from your teachers, staff, and most importantly, your students/children.

If you angry at your board, for any reason, then vote in new board members.

Informed

Those three board members that some of you are mad at got rid of a lying, stealing superintendent, while the other two, along with previous board members, looked the other way and did nothing. Don't forget that.

Julie R.

What exactly did he steal?

Restless1

Informed: You are not too informed. Let's hear some backup to your statement.

Informed

Fox used district time and resources to conduct his affair....it's in the emails. To me, that is the same as stealing from the taxpayers.

Informed

When you use district time and resources (email, etc) to conduct an affair, to me that is tantamount to stealing from the taxpayers.

Nemesis

So, if he uses district time and resources (like his office phone) to call his wife and tell her he's going to be late getting home, that would be OK, but because he called his mistress, you have a problem with it?

Informed

If he was sneaking off to meet his wife during school hours and lying to the office, teachers, or principals about where he was going, then no, I would not be okay with that, either. He is supposed to be working, not getting some!

Yellow Snow

If the renewal is passed, how long can they pay the bills before they need additional funding? Or will they put a new levy on next year's ballot even if the renewal is passed?
Two-thirds of my taxes go to school funding, the remaining third of my tax support county and township needs. I guess I just don't understand how county and township manage to get by on so much less funding than schools.

Tsu Dho Nimh

The treasurer says the district is good through 2015, maybe even 2016.

Gardenman

I would not vote against this renewal as a way to lash out at certain school board members. I see the motiviation but it's really not addressing the problem in the Huron City Schools. The problem is the Board. To vote NO will only hurt the students who have been the lowest priorty by some Board members.

If students were important then the taxpayer's money would not have been spent into the thousands of dollars for legal fees. The sad truth is not one dollar of those legal fees has made any Huron student any better prepared for life after graduation. We pay school taxes to educate students to reach their dreams and this Board has wasted our money lining the pockets of lawyers. AND they are still not done spending for legal fees.

My suggestion if you want to address your distaste for the Board is to concentrate on the root of the problem and that is the school board elections.

srblogger

i am semi with you on this gardenman. However, if you remove one of the three stoogies (as a certain someone calls them) and put back in place say a Bulea. Then you have three BOE's that are going to push to get Fox back his position, which causes a new entire mess of money loss. Your best bet in the best interest of the KIDS,is to leave the 3 in place and hope to god they dont repeat themselves. get the fox mess over with, then replace those three plus the other two little by little. which tends to be lacking by the BOE.

Point of emphasis is and I'll keep repeating it. Despite the spending on the Fox mess, this RENEWAL was going to be on the ballet at the same going rate. Voting NO- puts you back in the mess we had 6-7 years ago.

Gardenman

Don't know what would happen if this or that incumbent was reelected to the Board in November. I DO KNOW what this Board has done up to now. There is a group directly affected by all of this but has not been heard..... THE STUDENTS in the Huron Schools.

I think if you asked them would you like to see $150.000 + spent on out of town lawyers to remove the superintendent OR would you rather see that money spent on new computers, smart boards in the classrooms, new textbooks, tutors for math/science/ etc. new equipment for physical education classes, etc. I think we all know the answer to that one !!!

As I said money was spent to line the pockets of out of town attorneys and none of that spent made any Huron student better educated. The kids are losing in this while the Board argues. All the attorneys did quite well though and they don't even pay Huron school taxes. We give the Board of Education our tax money to educate our children NOT to pay lawyers to defend their actions at the Board table.

All this tells me what I need to know in November when I go into the voting booth and vote on Board of Education candidates.

Informed

Maybe you need to look into the amount of money Fox has cost the district because of grievances filed (and won) by teachers because he repeatedly violated the contract! Talk about money wasted!
Sometimes it costs money to remove a cancer. And as you can see by the state report cards, Huron is still doing fine without Fox.

Nemesis

I guarantee you that no one here is as critical of public school overspending as I am. I campaigned for 15 years against new levies in one of the most wasteful districts in the state, and even sued to get a levy repeal on the ballot. However, I fully support this levy.
Why?
Because, in the more urban areas of the state, a fixed term levy subject to renewal like this, for operating expenses, is unheard of. There are districts in Cuyahoga County with over 120 mils of school levies on the books, because they always put up permanent levies, the revenue for which doesn't keep pace with inflation. Thus, every three years, like clockwork (and by odd coincidence, right before their collective bargaining agreements are to be renegotiated) they float a new levy, with additional millage, and claim it's "to keep pace with inflation." The only problem is, the millage is always way more than current inflation rates would warrant - they know they can get away with this because, let's face it, most voters won't, or sadly, can't do the math. Thus, their per pupil spending has grown at twice the rate of inflation. Those districts wouldn't think of a fixed term operating levy, and they're currently abandoning fixed term levies for capital improvement and trying to replace them with permanent levies as well, to get those budgets on the same hyperinflationary three year merry-go-round
Huron, and many other districts in this area, don't play that game. Funding operating expenses through fixed term levies and renewing them at the same or nearly the same millage is the right way to go, and should be reinforced, because, believe me, you DON'T want the alternative. Some of the board's recent conduct is highly questionable, but it doesn't rise to the level to justify the funding cuts of non-renewal of an existing fixed term levy.