Villagers reject school facilities levy
- Published: May 9, 2018
Yellow Springs residents resoundingly voted down a combined property tax/income tax levy for new and renovated facilities at Yellow Springs High School/McKinney School on Tuesday, May 8. Sixty-four percent of voters, or 1,309 villagers, cast “no” votes on the levy, while 730 villagers, or 35.8 percent, voted for the levy, according to unofficial results late Tuesday night from the Greene County Board of Elections. Altogether, 2,039 Yellow Springs and Miami Township residents cast ballots, or 53 percent of voters.
The vote was only the third time in local history that a levy for Yellow Springs schools was defeated, according to Yellow Springs News archives.
The levy included two new taxes, a 37-year, 4.7 mill bond issue and 0.25 percent income tax increase. For the owner of an average priced Yellow Springs home who made a median wage, the levy would have cost about $450 a year, and would have raised $18.5 million for a combined rebuild/renovation at the high school. The levy discussion was framed by growing community concerns regarding affordability, sparked by increasing living costs in the village.
The vote came at the end of an year-and-a-half-long effort by the local school district to raise funding to improve school facilities. While the May 8 levy was substantially less than an initial option presented by school leaders of a $32 million combined K-12 facility, leaders had indicated they would be returning to voters for future funding for improvements to Mills Lawn School.
See the May 10 Yellow Springs News for more detailed coverage of the levy vote, and other election results.
One Response to “Villagers reject school facilities levy”
Many, many thanks to Mario Basora for leading a levy campaign with grace, good humor, and unfailing patience. Many thanks, too, to the more than 1/3 of voters who see the need to renovate and brighten our old school buildings, uplifting all our children through a quality public school environment as well as curriculum, and are willing to risk some personal sacrifice to make that happen.
As Diane Chiddister acknowledged in her recent editorial, “Villagers know that the school facilities need fixing. The Mckinney ‘shoebox’ has to go.Roofs need repair. A security vestibule @ the YSHS entrance appears prudent…Other systems likely need upgrades, too.” Who will do this work? It is too big to be done @ weekend workbees. And, remember the toxic asbestos that must not be disturbed in the process, lest it requires expensive abatement.
Now the ball is in the court of those who voted no. What levy and when will you be willing to support?
And to the multitude of local talent who apparently can design & build something much cheaper than the current proposal whom the school board failed to consult, where are you? Please, step forward & speak up! Can you build something beautiful?
Unless, of course, you really don’t want to pay what it takes for a viable local school system. What did the people of Hamlin have after the Pied Piper led away their children when they refused to part with their gold? A very sad place. Aging. Shrinking. Not a community I want to be part of. Do you?