PDT Staff Report
FRANKLIN FURNACE — Green Local School District hosted a special election Tuesday evening asking voters within the district to approve a $475,000 tax levy for emergency operating expenses.
A total of 1,068 out of 2,746 total voters took part in the special election, that saw the tax levy fall short of passing by 56 votes. The school paid for the special election which was estimated to have cost $20,000.
After the votes had been counted, Green Superintendent Sandy Mers said she felt defeated.
“It crushed me, especially for the kids and the teachers. I had three teachers that worked their heart and soul for this. They care about the school; we all care about the kids and their education, and it’s defeating. It really is,” she said.
Mers said without the levy, the school could fall into fiscal watch, caution, or emergency status with the Ohio Department of Education. The school has already suffered many cuts, including 17.5 positions which have been eliminated since 2006.
The district previously tried to pass the levy in the March election, but failed with a 684-660 vote — only 24 votes. Before that, they failed to pass a different levy in November 2011. This time 562 voted against and 506 voted for the tax levy, with only nine provisional ballots still to be counted. Mers said she did not believe the Scioto County Fair had an effect on voter turnout.
“We’ve had community meetings, a door-to-door campaign, a phone campaign; we put out all the facts. I don’t know what else to do,” she said.
The Green School Board will meet August 8 to discuss plans at taking another shot to pass the levy in the November election. The filing deadline for the November election is also is August 8.