Tallmadge votes against levy, will return to ballot

Danielle Toth

In a close vote, Tallmadge voters voted against the renewal of a 7.5-mill operating levy for the Tallmadge City School District. About 52 percent of 3,639 voters voted against the levy, while 48 percent voted for it. About 26 percent of voters in Summit County turned out for the election.

The levy will be placed on the ballot again in either August or November.

“We are disappointed with the loss,” said school board President Thom Craig. “I think that the low voter turnout hurt us. We will need to regroup and meet as a board and decide what to do next.

“We will analyze these results. We need to work hard to get our parents out to vote in support. We will decide whether or not we are going back in August and what to put on. We want to maintain our financial stability, and it is very important that we pass an operating levy.”

The levy, which raises about $2.8 million a year, changed from a five-year- term levy to a continuing levy, meaning the levy would raise funds for an indefinite period of time and would no longer need to be renewed.

“This levy represents 14 percent of our current operating budget,” said Nancy Wack, community relations coordinator for Tallmadge City Schools. “It is necessary for us to maintain the current level of programs and services.”

Funds from the levy are used to pay for basic operating functions in the district, including utility bills, salaries, textbooks and paper and fuel for buses, Wack said. The owner of a $100,000 home currently pays about $230 a year for the levy.

The levy was originally passed in May 2001 for its five-year term.

Contact public affairs reporter Danielle Toth at [email protected].