Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
After two failed attempts, voters in the Green School District of Franklin Furnace voted Tuesday to approve the district’s proposed emergency operating levy. The $475,000 tax levy passed on Tuesday with a vote of 1,026 to 953.
“I feel very excited and very proud,” said Green Superintendent Sandy Mers.
Asked what this means for the school, Mers replied, “We can take a breath,” although she clearly had little herself, winded by the sudden turnaround in the poll.
The school district first asked voters during the March primary election to pass the levy, but failed with a vote of 684-660. Remaining optimistic, the district arranged a special election on Aug. 7 for voters to re-consider the levy. The estimated cost of a special election is about $20,000, but Mers said it cost the district only $6,000 because the Scioto County Board of Elections was able to build its own database to save money. The levy failed again in August, with an official certified vote count of 566-509.
With only one day remaining after the August election before the November filing deadline, the Green School Board met in emergency session immediately after the election and voted to try again in November. The third time was indeed the charm for Green School, as voters on Tuesday finally approved the school levy.
“Our education will continue, regardless, but now we’re going to be able to relax and concentrate on education, not concentrate on ‘we need a grant for this,’ or ‘we need a grant for that,’” Mers said.
Mers said the presidential election turnout certainly helped the school levy issue, and thanked community involvement for making it happen.
“I graduated from St. Thomas University School of Law in 2011, and had it not been for Green and the dedication that the staff and faculty give I do not think I would have made it that far. I’m feeling Bobcat Pride all the way around,” said Nicole Logan, a Green graduate and member of the levy campaign committee.
Mers said last month that under no circumstances was the school in any danger of closing or consolidating with nearby districts. But if the district did not pass the levy, she said the school could have fallen into fiscal watch, caution, or emergency status with the Ohio Department of Education. The school has already cut 17.5 positions since 2006, she said.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or email@example.com.