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Pro-levy group spent $16,626

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The Committee for the Levy, a citizen group in support of the school facilities levy, spent $16,626.91 on the recent levy campaign, according to a finance report submitted to the state on April 26, the deadline for filing.

Altogether, the committee raised $23,450.01 for the campaign, leaving a balance of $6,823.10, the report stated. According to campaign finance filings from the Greene County Board of Elections, the amount raised was significantly higher than in the past. For the last levy campaign in 2015, $1,307 was raised, and before that, $2,990 was donated in 2012.

Levy committee members were TJ Turner, Matt Grushon and treasurer Jalana Lazar. In a phone interview several weeks ago, Turner said that the committee also had volunteer help.

About 25 citizens contributed to the campaign, in amounts ranging from $50 to two contributions of $8,000, according to the report. Richard Lapedes, a volunteer with the levy committee, gave one of the $8,000 donations, as did Malte von Matthiessen. Mike Ruetschle, the initial architect on the project, contributed $1,500. 

Most of the revenue went to Burges & Burges Strategists, Inc., a political consulting firm from Cleveland. The firm received $12,570.35 from the levy committee.

According to the finance report, $4,000 to the firm was used for consulting, $4,314.88 went for consulting fees, postcards and Facebook ads, and $4,255.47 went for consulting fees and Facebook ads. 

The committee also paid $344.85 to Angle Mastagni Mathews Political Strategies, LLC of Fort Worth for a phone survey, and $3,248.91 to Spark Space Creative, LLC of Dayton for the layout, printing and mailing of a flier. The group also paid the post office about $424 for mailings.

In response to a question from the News regarding the purpose of the political consulting, committee member Turner responded, “All the committee’s efforts, time and resources to date have been focused on getting information out to the voters of the Yellow Springs School District about the importance of the levy.”

According to data from organizer Susan Dykstra Bothwell, the campaign against the levy raised $801, from which $708 was spent.


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