Election Night Is Here

Post your comments regarding the three levies on the ballot: Batavia, Milford and West Clermont. Up or down, keep it on topic and what your thoughts are going forward for these districts. If you researched and voted, awesome. If you didn’t and voted, read up as much as you can the next time around. If you didn’t vote…why?

The summary report from the County should be here, but if not I will update the link.

UPDATE: At 8:51, all three districts are down with less than 1/3 of the votes counted. Milford is closest to passing, at 46-54%.

UPDATE: 9:15, over 50% of precincts reporting, and all three districts are on the wrong end of the vote.

UPDATE: Batavia squeaks by, with just a few dozen votes.  Milford fails by just over 300 votes. WC fails by almost 6000 votes.

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13 comments on “Election Night Is Here

  1. WC levy went down but when I was looking at the WC fb page it was still rife with complete misinformation about school funding and money management. Ms. Brinkman a newer board member respectfully tried to give the truth and yet ….. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Do people understand that they will have to borrow money from the state which must be paid back? Do they understand that when the state takes over the school board is out and with it any local control? Do they realize the state will put a higher levy on the ballot again and again until it is passed. From looking at Little Miami no changes were made to Superintendents and taechers and Admin…just no more local control.

    • HTT@WC, you are correct there is a lot of misinformation over there, on both sides due to the fact it’s an emotional issue. And yes, a lot of people don’t like the facts facing them regardless of opinion on the levy. Let’s take it one step at a time.

      First off, let’s put it a larger perspective. Our country has a massive debt and deficit, and our state is treading water by the practice of offloading spending to localities to a degree, and the repeal of SB5. The localities did not have the foresight or ability to manage their budgets in the recession, and are now suffering for it. Agree or disagree, there are funding issues in all levels of gov’t in respect to Ohio. The practice of saying don’t make the kids suffer, well, that’s already happened. Our leaders have already cashed the check on their future earnings so that in of itself is an act for which those kids in school today will pay for at some point in their lives. None of it is fair to them, and the issue is who is responsible for “fairness” when life isn’t fair to begin with? It’s an issue bigger than I could ever imagine to attempt to solve.

      The district announced 2 years ago that a levy failure would put them into Fiscal Emergency. That is unheard of. It was either a lie or a gross misstatement of the truth, and after 3 levy failures the district has only entered Fiscal Caution, which is the 1st step of 3 steps. After a friend spoke to a Clermont County school treasurer (not WC), this person laughed at the idea that the state will take over soon. There are far too many things that have to take place for that to happen. Just like the first time, and by taking away services that matter to school families, it is another scare tactic according to this person. I’m not saying they won’t have to borrow money, just that the state will not take over now or next year, and that they are not powerless to make changes that would lessen the amount owed by taxpayers. That strategy is just much more attractive to them than the alternatives, which I’m sure you are aware.

      I will agree that there will be another levy, and it will be higher because I do not think this district has the fortitude to negotiate anything other than for a levy or staff/program reductions. Since my following of these issues, that has been the direction and that direction alone, which is the prevailing strategy across Ohio (and a bad one IMO). But I hope we all understand, that even if the levy had passed, another levy would be on the way in the next few years regardless. $100 million dollars only would have returned 15 employees and a 50% reduction in pay to play according to the district statements and the board members I contacted. I’m curious to the thoughts about those numbers, or if you have heard differently than I. Thank you for your comments, and I’m interested on any additional thoughts you have on the aftermath of the levy failure.

    • @Happy, just a very simple question about WC. They have made all these cuts but not one cut has been made in fine arts grades 6-12 and yet they say we are 2.3 million in the red. Out side looking in it’s almost like they want to be where they are. Why are there no cuts in this area? There are as many fine arts teachers at Glen Este as there are English Teachers and English is required all four years of HS.

      • Jack O Brooks, you are incorrect. The middle school orchestra program was cut, much to my daughter’s disappointment.

  2. Our state may be treading water yet there were levies in surrounding areas that passed although some were renewals. Some communities are willing to invest in their children’s futures just not this one. It is not completely surprising to me as levies have never passed here easily therefore the district has always been responsible about asking for money. The district has been cutting for many years prior in what I would consider foresight. The state may not take over soon but it will happen and the state will not make the cuts suggested here. Why would it be acceptable to further cut Fine Arts? That suggestion is ludicrious and short sighted. Cut teachers, cut the arts, cut salaries, cut administrators? Yet raise scores and stay rigorous? The parents of this district do not have a concept of rigor. What? Read with my child, sit down and actually help with homework, practice math facts each night, sign a planner, volunteer at school? The halls should be filled with parents ready to volunteer, are they? Nope. So now the question is who makes these decisions? The board. The board has made no decision on cuts. Healthcare costs will be raised on the part of the employees that should make people happy but it probably won’t. SB5 should have been voted down. There are now four opportunities to place a levy on the ballot in 2013—February, May, August and November. Remember we are only permitted to be on the ballot three times in a calendar year. No matter when it is placed on the ballot in 2013, the District would not receive any monies from an approved levy until 2014. The Board could choose to place the levy on the ballot in May and, if not approved, in August and November. From what I have read and heard we will have a $2.3 million deficit in this fiscal year and a deficit of $6 million in 2013-2014. Yup headed for step two of the fiscal chain. Millage for the levies will probably need to be increased because of a further drop in property values. Natural attrition rates may eleiminate some personnel cuts. Only the Board can make the decisions on further cuts. John Smith/Jack Why not attend a board meeting or two? Make your voices heard. Be men of action, rather than ….well nevermind.

    • WTT, I think you make some valid points. One cannot just cut and there will need to be revenue, but the amount will depend on a number of things. The community now knows the extent to which the district has gone to highlight certain areas, but yet ask that you do not look behind the curtain on the others. Being transparent on everything is not possible for that reason, because it would further undermine their current support.

      I agree that there should be a large contingent of parents volunteering, but either through indifference or being required to work, I cannot answer why. A lot of parents offload the entire responsibility of learning to the schools, and that is a major problem. If parents are so concerned, they should spend more time teaching their kids at home.

      I heard at one of the schools the principal actually kicked out all of the volunteers (at least temporarily) due to the protests of one parent. There are principals that blackball parents because of their views, and I know that for a fact, which in turn causes them to leave. I quit volunteering because as much as I enjoyed it, I could no longer support a district that openly misleads the community and is not open to different ways of thinking. Asking those guys to attend a meeting may sound like a good idea, except that the meetings do not want public input and will not answer questions until after the meeting in private. Those same answers will not see the light of day and they will not be put in writing for that reason. Those “off the record” comments are what needs to be front and center, however, can be communicated only by those in the district employ.

      You are right that a segment of staff that is/will retire will reduce the personnel costs by some, and the benefits can be reduced without becoming burdensome. However, if the 7.9 mils would only bring back 15 employees, then there is something wrong with the structure of the organization. In your opinion, what were the good parts of SB5 and what were the bad?

  3. …..and remember this West Clermont hasn’t passed an operating levy, which generates new money, in 8 years – back in 2004. Before that, it was 1994 (remember the 1st in 10 campaign?). That’s only twice in the past 18 years. Not many surrounding districts can say that.

    • @ Happy, again you forget to include the inside millage and the levy for two new elementaries. You want to bring up surrounding districts, check the last time Bethel passed a levy. BTW they are top rated in Clermont County. I will say this once again, a levy will NOT pass until the BOE brings in new leadership, the trust is gone and every time Brooks/Cropper open their mouth they only make things worse. Happy I will make a small wager with you that I have attended more BOE meetings over the years than you have. Attending BOE meetings with this group is a complete waste of time, they have their agendas and that seems to be the only thing they care about. If Brooks really cared about WC and the kids he would retire and go double dip some where.

    • That of course depends on who those people are. However, just like a change in ownership or management of a business can turn things around, it can and has also for a district. Look at Milford for instance. However, in other cases, the wrong hire doesn’t move the needle, like in Lakota.

  4. Personally I don’t believe leadership would change anything. All that rhetoric is just an excuse to not support schools. This district has never supported schools easily or without question. Which, I don’t have a problem with, any time a district asks for money it should be looked at carefully. However, every levy has been a fight. They simply want to cut their nose off to spite their face as my grandma used to say. The only volunteers I have ever seen not allowed to volunteer were the ones who could not pass background checks. As far as the inside millage move I actually applaud it. It was the hard thing to do that had to be done. I thank the leadership for having the balls to do it. It did not pay for salaries it paid for a reading series and math that the children desparately NEEDED.

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