By Kristin Bednarski
Voters rejected an operational levy for Milford Exempted Village School District Nov. 6.
The 4.5 mill operating levy failed with 50.69 percent of voters against the levy and 49.31 percent of voters in favor of the levy. The levy failed by 299 votes.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Farrell said the results of the election are disappointing for the district.
“We are thankful for all of those who voted for the levy, and for those who didn’t, we hope we can find out through listening sessions some of their concerns,” Farrell said.
Farrell said they received a lot of positive feedback from the community at their campaign events including listening sessions, information distributions, levy rallies with good attendance and more.
“We thought we had a good message, and we got good feedback,” Farrell said.
Farrell said the board has cut nearly $20 million over five years, including reducing teachers, administrators and supplies.
Farrell said the levy was not on the ballot to bring those services back, but rather to maintain current services.
“We passed the last levy in 2008,” Farrell said. “We said it would last four years and it did.”
Farrell said the district was in poor financial shape when the last levy was passed, but they remained fiscally conservative and managed to continue to receive high ratings.
Farrell said unfortunately, now that the levy has failed, the district still needs to make up for the loss of nearly $4 million in state revenue.
“Before the board makes any decisions about the future we need to listen to them,” Farrell said about getting feedback from the community. “The board still needs to decide what is in place next year, and do we do a levy in May.”
Farrell said with the close margin of defeat, they will certainly be watching for any changes once provisional ballots are counted, but he said they aren’t extremely hopeful.
He said the close vote does give them hope if they decide to put the levy back on the ballot next year.
“We don’t feel like there was a large negative feedback,” Farrell said “But we do feel like we didn’t get our message out to enough people.”
Election results are unofficial until they are certified by the Clermont County Board of Elections. For more information visit www.clermontelections.org.