Excerpt: Tough choices for voters in Perkins school district

Feb 3, 2013


If it weren’t for the question of money and how to pay for construction of a new high school campus, probably every resident in the Perkins school district would agree its old school buildings should be replaced.

If there were a bottomless pot of money, some residents might even agree with an Ohio School Facilities Commission report that concluded the conditions of the aging high school building present a “serious health and safety hazard” for students and staff.


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But the Erie County Health Department did not see it quite the same way when it sent inspectors to the school after the Facilities Commission report was released last week. The commission and the health department have different jobs, however, and different standards.

The commission looks at the long-term viability and costs to maintain the district’s buildings, while the health department reviews immediate dangers that might be present in the building. It’s apples-and-oranges to compare their findings. 

Like the Facilities Commission, Perkins school board members and district superintendent Jim Gunner must look long term with regard to the district’s buildings, and decide what they believe is best for students at a reasonable and affordable cost to the community.

The increasing expenses of maintaining aging buildings must be balanced against the community’s willingness to pay more now, in new taxes for new construction, and to qualify for a share of the state funding available now for new school buildings.

From the board’s perspective, residents can pay to maintain old buildings, or pay to build new buildings. Over the long term, the cost difference will be reasonable, board members believe, especially when weighed against the improved educational opportunities and reduced operations costs a new green campus would provide the community. The prudent and wisest choice, according to school board members, is to invest in the district’s future.


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Perkins School Board wants to see old buildings? Let them tour Margaretta. GEEZ


At some point we need to take a serious look at combining a few of our districts. Their too small and are eating up to much tax dollars to keep them operational!


I can not agree more. THAT would be the most prudent and wisest thing to do.

yea right

Well if these bldgs need replaced then so does the the White house and US Capital bldg oh wait how bout .... think u can get the picture


Vote no!


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Lets face it,the School Board and Gunner just want a new building period.My 15 year old car gets me around just fine and the operating cost is a tenth the cost of buying a new car.

In the movie The Money Pit the foreman says,if the foundation is good everything else can be fixed.

Is there a problem with the pool?If not why build a new one?


In the next 10 to 15 years half of the students will be taking their studies on-line and only going to school to test.That is if the teachers union will allow it to happen.


The school board members say it's the prudent and wise choice to make.Is this the same board that purchased defective and dangerous wind mills that we still have not been repaid for yet.Why should I trust the school boards judgment?


The same board that built a football fiald knowing full well the school needed work, the same board that spent over $100,000.00 to move themselfs into the school that is now not safe.
Things do need fixed, tore down, rebuilt. But to trust this board with more money, that is just nuts.


Lets see if I got this right.The Health Dept.said the school is safe and the school board said it's apples and oranges.. How can anyone argue with a well reasoned argument like that ?


Smoke look at it this way. Your roof is old and ready to leak. It isn't leaking at the present time. Are you smart enough to fix it now or will you let it go until the damage is more serious. The health dept simply stated that the schools were not a health risk. It didn't say repairs weren't needed and building new was cheaper than fixing old.


The Ohio School Facilities Commission said it was a health risk. The health department said it wasn't. So do you trust a organization who's job is to build new schools and say little "white lies" to obtain their objectives? Do you trust a school board and superintendent who for the third time have used this organization to promote the building of a new school?

Folks, it's an issue of trust. I do not trust a man who has used his little "white lies" to me personally three times in regards to him moving into the district. Wouldn't of it been easier just to fess up you have no intention of moving to the district you want to burden with excessive tax levies?


The presence of asbestos is a health risk. It may be presently contained but still presents a risk. The school is loaded with it. whether or not you like Gunner shouldn't enter into your decision.



It's a matter of trust.


Perkins Township has the second lowest tax burden of any district in Erie County. The proposed levy will still leave the township at a much lower tax rate than surrounding communities-hardly "excessive". Seems to me the district leadership has watched the finances reasonably well without having received any new voted tax dollars since 2000. Doesn't matter who the superintendent is, the community still should support educating kids in a decent environment.



"Doesn't matter who the superintendent is, the community still should support educating kids in a decent environment."

I believe the community is supportive of the kids. They just don't trust the leadership of the school system and will not hand over money to people they don't trust.


Well then, I guess the community hasn't trusted a superintendent or school board since 2000 (last time a levy increase passed). That's an awful lot of distrust over a long period of time. It is interesting to me that over the same time period many levy renewals and some new money levies have passed (EHOVE, Senior Citizens, Fire Dept., Metroparks, Health Dept.). I guess all of those entities have the public trust.


I'm actually really disappointed that the Register's editorial isn't more forceful.


Vote no on both levies.




Donutshopguy, you hit the nail on the head and several times over!

This has to do with trust and the leadership lost that trust.

No fooling...it's still a no from me. Still wish I could cast a vote of no confidence for the lot of them at that office.


I guess you will be filing your paperwork for the next school board open seat then?


Then they would be your boss.


I'd encourage anyone to run for the next school board open seat, but serving as BOE member should not be the only way the citizens voices are heard.


The Register makes it sound like us taxpayers in Perkins have a tough decision come voting time. Not one person I've talked to has said it's a tough decision. I've heard nothing but no. Not one person has told me they are voting yes. I'm hearing no on the renewal also. I guess we will se some layoffs in the near future!


In today's paper, Mr. Reddaway states that new teachers were hired when the school went to open enrollment....I thought that open enrollment would not cost the school anything....so why are we paying to educate students whose parents do not pay taxes???


Open enrollment revenues more than covered the few additional teachers who were hired. There were a few classrooms in the elementary buildings that needed the teachers. There was still a net gain in revenue to the district. By the way, those open enrollment parents do pay taxes in their home district. In fact, they are paying higher taxes in their own district since Perkins tax burden is the second lowest in Erie County. Their tax dollars are following their students to Perkins. So your statement about those parents not paying taxes is incorrect.