You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

2 local school districts think August elections worth expense

Most counties will not have special elections.


Voters in just two school districts in an eight-county region will decide tax issues in an Aug. 5 special election.

Those districts — Lebanon in Warren County and Northeastern in Clark County — think the additional expense required to pay for special elections is justified and allows them another chance for passage in November if voters reject the requests in August.

Taxing authorities in Montgomery, Butler, Greene, Miami, Darke and Preble counties opted not to call special August elections, prompting expressions of relief from election boards.

“As election officials, we are thrilled we don’t have an August election, so we can adequately and timely prepare for the gubernatorial in 2014,” said Jan Kelly, director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections. “Coming into a gubernatorial, it really sets us back.”

In addition, officials said special elections cost voters more than general elections because the taxing jurisdictions — the two districts in this case — pay the entire cost of the election, as opposed to the just the cost of ballots and legal advertising during even numbered years like 2014.

During odd years, the jurisdictions also pick up all costs for primary and general elections, officials said.

In 2013, the Northeastern district paid about $19,000 for an August election, according to Matthew Tlachac, director of the Clark County Board of Elections.

Special elections cost roughly $1,000 more per precinct, depending on number of voters and other factors, officials said.

Warren County election officials estimated the Aug. 5 election would cost about $30,000 more than in November.

Lebanon Superintendent Mark North compared the cost to “an insurance policy against losing $4.2 million.”

The levy expires at the end of 2014.

By going on the August ballot, Lebanon can count on another try in November if voters reject the three-year, 5.38 mill levy — previously renewed in 2008 and 2011.

“If something strange happens, it gives us one more shot,” North said.

The levy costs property owners $164.77 a year per $100,000 in property value, while providing $4.2 million a year in operating funds, according to Warren County Auditor Nick Nelson.

“If we don’t have that revenue coming in, the district would be devastated,” North said. “You would have to fire over 100 people.”

In the Northeastern district, voters have previously rejected additional levies in November 2012, as well as August and November 2013.

The 1-percent income tax is projected to raise more than $4.1 million a year for five years, the equivalent of an additional 9.08 mills in property tax, according to a resolution passed by the school board.

Rather than from general funds, the board pays the election costs out of 2015 property tax distributions, Tlachac said.

While spanning all or part of 19 precincts, Tlachac estimated the Northeastern election would cost about $16,000.

Voters last approved a new levy in 2004, Northeastern Superintendent Lou Kramer said.

Meanwhile, costs have risen with inflation, Kramer said. The district has made 10 percent in budget cuts in recent years, most recently cutting high-school busing, according to Kramer.

By going to voters in August, the board can count on another chance with voters in November, if needed.

In addition, “if we’re successful (in August), we can immediately bring back high-school busing,” Kramer said.

While Northeastern voters are being asked to pay additional taxes, Lebanon voters are being asked to continue paying the same amount they were originally assessed when the emergency levy first passed in 2005.

Meanwhile, the district dropped to 24th lowest among 610 Ohio school district in terms of spending per pupil, while cutting costs in each of the last three years, North said.

“It’s been renewed the first time every time,” North said. “There’s no new tax.”

New voters have until July 7 to register to vote in the special election. Also, Aug. 6 is the deadline for the Nov. 4 gubernatorial election.

Instead of preparing for that, election officials in Warren and Clark counties will also have to gear up for the August election.

Ballots must be printed, poll workers identified, and equipment programmed and transported to polling places.

“I was looking forward to November too,” said Brian Sleeth, director of the election board in Warren County.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Delta investigates pilot's actions during altercation between passengers
Delta investigates pilot's actions during altercation between passengers

Delta Air Lines said it has returned a pilot to duty after investigating his actions during an altercation between passengers on a jetway after a flight. Video of the altercation was posted on entertainment website TMZ.com, showing a pilot trying to break up a fight between two passengers on a jetway. The pilot can be seen grabbing a passenger...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. pays tribute to dad on what would have been his 66th birthday
Dale Earnhardt Jr. pays tribute to dad on what would have been his 66th birthday

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took a moment Saturday morning to pay tribute to his father on what would have been Dale Earnhardt’s 66th birthday. “Happy Birthday dude,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrote on his Instagram page alongside a photo of himself as a child with his dad. It had already been quite a week for the younger Earnhardt. He announced...
Climate protesters march to edge of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago
Climate protesters march to edge of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

An estimated 500 people marched to the edge of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club Saturday, hoping to turn up the heat on a president they say has turned his back on the threat of climate change. “The time for denial is over,” said Patrick Ferguson, an event organizer. “The time for climate solutions is now.” Protesters...
Child carriers recalled after reports of children falling through openings
Child carriers recalled after reports of children falling through openings

Thousands of child backpack carriers were recalled this week after the company that makes them got reports of children falling through the carriers’ leg openings. In a recall notice issued Thursday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said at least four children have fallen from Osprey’s Poco, Poco Plus and Poco Premium child backpack...
Missing cop faked his death, fled to Mexico, police say
Missing cop faked his death, fled to Mexico, police say

A Texas police officer who was originally reported missing is believed to have attempted to fake his own death and to have fled to Mexico, officials said Friday night. Austin police Officer Coleman Martin, 29, is facing a Class A misdemeanor charge of “false report,” as a result. Martin’s wife told KVUE-TV on Saturday that &ldquo...
More Stories