Medina Board of Education votes to add 5.9 mill levy to November ballot

MEDINA, Ohio - The Medina City School Board voted Monday to add a 5.9 mill levy to the November ballot after removing one in May amid financial controversy.

Interim Superintendent Dave Knight used M&Ms at a Monday board meeting to explain how the deficit would impact Medina City Schools.  
The School Board Monday voted 'yes' to adding a five-year, 5.9 mill emergency levy to the November ballot after previously removing a levy this past May surrounding controversy over former Superintendent Randy Stepp's employer contract.  
The new Board of Education President Dr. Karla Robinson said before the meeting, "Pulling that levy off the ballot was not an easy decision for us. Our financial realities did not change even though we had controversy in our district."
That reality is over a million-dollar spending deficit, according to Robinson and the BOE treasurer.  
"The reason we pulled it off the ballot was that we really feel like we did not have a concrete plan ready to share with the public about how our levy funds would be used and what would happen if they failed," Robinson continued.
Saying the BOE now has this plan, Robinson and the rest of the board discussed this with tax payers at the Monday public meeting, some very concerned over the ongoing audit over funds used by Stepp, allowed by his contract, to pay for his education.
On the issue at whole, a small business owner said, "It was a huge gap in fiscal oversight, which in my small business perspective is a really serious concern."
The President of the Medina Athletic Booster Club, William McMillen spoke on another financial issue telling the board, "It also raises a lot of questions about the willingness and ability of the administration to work with parent groups when they're not forthcoming." 
While some showed frustrations, others showed support for the levy saying, "I'm asking you, please put the 5.9 mill levy on. They need the services, they need the help," speaking about her kids and other students. 
Another parent said, "I'm for the levy because I'm for my kids' education. They get one shot at this."
But that same parent also called for board members' resignations adding, "There is a lack of confidence. People don't want to give their money to a board who in the past has misused money."
If the levy doesn't pass this November, board members say cuts will most likely include the closing of a school for the 2014-2015 school year, a time when new standardized testing is expected to be implemented according to one parent at the meeting.  
The Medina Board of Education president said information on the levy will be available on the Medina City Schools Board of Education website.


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