Voters reject West Clermont school levy

November 7th, 2012    Author: Administrator    Filed Under: News

By Kristin Bednarski
Sun staff

Voters again rejected an operational levy for West Clermont Local School District Nov. 6.

The 7.9 mill levy failed with 60.29 percent of voters against the levy and 39.71 percent of voters for the levy.

This is the second year in a row voters have rejected an operational levy.

Last year the 7.9 mill levy failed with 60.42 percent of voters opposed to the levy and 39.58 percent of voters in favor of the levy

West Clermont Superintendent Dr. Gary Brooks previously warned that without additional funds from the levy this year, the district will have to continue to make tough financial decisions.

“We will continue to look for reductions but it will be difficult to come up with the type of reductions necessary should it fail another year,” Brooks said prior to the election.

In the past seven years, the district has made more than $50 million in cuts to services including staff, classes and transportation, according to Brooks. The district has also been forced to increase revenue with pay-to-play fees for sports and other clubs.

West Clermont Local School District Board of Education members hosted several listening sessions this year, where they received feedback from members of the community, not limited to families with children in the district.

“The board member made a concerted effort to reach out to the community in many ways,” Brooks said prior to the election.

Despite the effort to reach out to community members and inform them about the financial state of the district, voters rejected the 7.9 mill levy that would have brought in approximately $9.8 million to the district.

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10 Responses to “Voters reject West Clermont school levy”

  1. robert hunley says:

    what you needed to ask BROOKS is what cuts has is office made and has any one at the board office or on the board made a sacrifice by reducing their take home pay
    our dist,is broke and suffers
    and the board just sits there getting paid
    making bad desicions wasting money on bad ideas

  2. jan Glier says:

    I think it is a shame that as usual the children suffer for the mistakes of the adults. However adults will pay the price as the schools will continue to downgrade and the property values plummet. When will we learn that the schools are not the place to vent frustrations as they are one of the few taxes that still gets funding through a levy.
    I am appalled at the stupidity of voters.

  3. Krista says:

    There was a major lack of communication about the levy for this past election. The school board and the community involved in publicizing the levee did not do enough. Many people were clueless about what all will be cut and how it effects their community. these children are suffering and will not compare to others when heading off to college. These are our possible future lawyers, doctors and teachers.

  4. Margie says:

    Amen! My husband worked for West Clermont Schools for many years. He ended up quitting his custodial job due to the fact that their spending was out of control and in return left him with an overloaded amount of work and caused him to have a break down. Do you think anybody cared? Absolutely not! After all the years of service that he had dedicated to West Clermont Schools they just let him go.

  5. Heuberger says:

    I strongly disagree that a levy needs to pass and I also strongly disagree that children are “suffering” in our district. The word suffer is quite a strong word to use in this instance don’t you think? When I hear the word suffer I think of really bad things happening, not just the school district where the kids live refusing to make good decisions about where to spend their money. In order for me to vote yes on a levy I need to see some more accountability on Mr. Brooks part to make responsible decisions and make cuts that make sense not that punish the parents for not voting yes or the complete dismissal of Mr. Brooks. Yes kids should be bussed and kids should have library, music and gym, but not if it cost a single family in this district their home. That would be the case for us. We just can’t afford to pay more taxes and we walk the line every month with our bills. I understand what it is like to not know how you will get the money to cover costs for vital items on your budget better than anyone else. I live it. What I do is prioritize. I say well have to have a house, a car to get to work, the lights, the water, the heat, food for the kids, so it looks like we can’t have cable or go on vacation or save money for retirement. It’s not as hard as the district is making it seem in their pleas for more money. I can’t just call out to the heavens to drop a load of cash on my door step when I am out of money and niether can West Clermont Local. I need to see smart decisions and better attitudes from the board. I think voters were definitely justified. I hope the district does go in to fiscal emergency so we can finally uncover what the real problem is and fix it for the future of our students. It’s the best gift our district could ever receive.

  6. mike says:

    the reason why we didn,t vote for the school levy was the busing the board said that it was not the choice of the people but i beg to differ. in a house hold with 2 incomes to make things work we don,t need any more taxes but when we did the math we loose alot more with out busing than with. if they would have brought back busing instead of other activites we would have been for the levey. and next time they need to put out what the levey consist of when they put it on the ballot. heck my kids teachers didn,t even have the info and thats sad.

  7. Sam says:

    Busing was the deciding factor for me as well. When the district laid out the plan for the funds, they were going to reduce the pay for play for sports. I’m sorry, having busing was more important then the reduction for the pay for play. I now have to take a few hours out of my work schedule to provide the transportation which makes my check less. Less money to pay the higher taxes. Doesn’t make sense.

    DISTRICT TAKE NOTE! I will never vote for a school levy until transportation is restored. And it better be soon cause soon they’ll be driving and then I’ll have absolutely no reason to ever vote for it.

  8. Angie says:

    I have grand kids that go to Gleneste Middle. Mom works 3rd shift and no one is home when they get off of school and all night. My daughter called the school and asked for bus stop to get on and off be moved down the street to my house where someone is always home. They would be riding same bus but would be getting off and on a few stops away, but in front of my house where other children also get on and off the bus. The bus transportation people said no they do not drop kids off to day care and will not do this. Instead they will drop them off on summerside road with no side walks and no one home all night and have them walk down the road to my house that is on a side street.The bus driver also wrote them up for getting on the bus at my house in the mornings. They also get in trouble from the school for this and will be kick out of school. We called the school and they can not or will not help us. They say they can not do any thing about it. Well I am a tax payer and I pay for the schools and the bus’s and I think they need to work with us or we will not work with them. I think it is clear that they don’t really care about our kids or the safety of the kids here. Now if they heard that the kids were home all night by them self’s, I’m sure that they would be reporting this to 241-kids but yet make them walk on roads that have no side walks or with any one home because they won’t drop them off where the parents need them to be. I don’t even have kids any more. Why would I want to vote for a school that can’t control the bus’s that they pay for. Why would I want to vote for bus service that can’t do what the parents ask and need. It isn’t like they need a different address every other day and this is the same bus that they always take. I pay over $1500 to the schools in tax’s but for every thing else I pay less than $400 all together for Fire, Police, library and so on. Why do they need so much more. Every little thing the kids do they kick them out of school for 3 or more days. Why are we putting kids out of school to run the streets and sleep late and watch TV. Why don’t we have a in school suspension class, Where they would still be getting money for having the kid in school and the kids would not be getting what they want. I won’t be voting for any new money for the levy.

  9. Creamer says:

    I am saddened, but not at all surprised to see that this current levy failed. I remember, many years ago, as a student in West Clermont schools, using shared Newsweek magazines for textbooks in High School Social Studies, because the district could not afford books for us. I remember fewer years ago, wearing yellow t-shirts and standing on street corners with signs, as a teacher at Withamsville-Tobasco Elementary, begging the community to pass a levy.

    This is not a new attitude in this community, nor it is the fault in any way of Superintendent Brooks. This is just one more example of the short-sightedness and self-centeredness of the taxpayers.

    You won’t vote for a levy until bus service is restored? How is that going to work, when bus service was cut due to insufficient funds? You’d like to know what cuts have already been made? Fair enough…so go seek that information! Taxes cost a lot? Yeah…they do…so lobby your state to provide greater funding for education so that districts don’t require levies to meet the minimums.

    You get what you pay for, folks, and you (this community) have never wanted to pay for the education of the children that reside there. There have been excuses and blame, over the years. Get out of your recliner, get into the board meetings, find out what is really going on, and then get out your wallet, because no matter what caused this, it is going to cost to fix it…and will cost more dearly if you don’t.

  10. Michele says:

    It’s a shame that the school does not have bus service but is building a brand new High School?? They try to bully parent’s into voting there way for more, more, more.
    I bet if the student’s boycott the class room and do home school for 1 half of a year thing’s would be a lot different. It is hard for family’s who half to work, to try and get a child to school with no bus service, that’s a terrible stress for family’s. Shame on the West Clermont School Board.
    Why does surrounding counties have bus service? West Clermont has more business, home owners that have tax’s coming in for that area then any other school in Clermont County where is that money going???? I say home school see how they like it.

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