Voters say no to River View’s income tax levy

| November 6, 2019

COSHOCTON – Some tough decisions will need to be made by River View Local School District officials. Voters turned down a proposed income tax levy that would have replaced funds lost from the devaluation and upcoming closure of the AEP plant in Conesville.

“I’m extremely disappointed for a number of reasons but number one because we deal with kids,” said Superintendent Dalton Summers. “This is a loss to the community and the kids.”

The .75 % income tax levy would have been for five years and would have generated around 2 million dollars. The amount would have only replaced what was being lost by AEP, but 2,404 voters said no compared to the 1,765 who said yes. (Results are unofficial until declared by the Coshocton County Board of Elections.)

“As we stated multiple times over the past several months, local schools are governed and funded by the decisions of the local community,” Summers said. “This decision was made today. We will need to regroup as a BOE (board of education) and administration and determine the appropriate ways to adapt to the loss of funding.”

Decisions on how to cope with this loss will not be made in one board meeting, but hopefully by the first of the year.

“There is not a list of items that are on my desk or in the boardroom that hold the answers to the reduction plan,” Summers said. “We work for kids and we need to be methodical and do everything we can to give them what they need for success. Having said this, there will be reductions that are not good for kids. This BOE and administration will have very difficult decisions to make over the next few months.”

They also must decide whether or not to try again with the levy.

“We are not a company or a for profit institution,” Summers said. “Every decision we make not only affects our employees and their families, it will have an effect on all families within our school district and the entire community. We know we have to represent the kids of this district first. So whatever decision we make, it will be with their best interest in mind. We do have a renewal permanent improvement levy that must get passed in the spring. We have to keep this in mind as it is crucial for our transportation, buildings, and technology needs. It is not a new tax and we need to make sure it is renewed. After that, we just need to make decisions for our kids.”

Joining him in this tough journey will be new board members Evan Fischer and Gail Gallwitz.

“The service you have chosen carries an awesome responsibility and a sometimes challenging level of decision making,” Summers said. “It can be, like most services to the community very challenging and difficult, but the end products of what you govern and are responsible for are the most rewarding. We look forward to working with you to continue making River View a great school district.”

Summers also congratulated David Lapp on his reelection to the board and thanked Brent Porteus and Dan Hothem for their decades of leadership, service and commitment to the school district.

“Thank you for being a champion of kids and a servant leader of this community,” Summers said. “We wish you the best in your future endeavors.”

He also is thankful for all those who worked hard to try to help the levy pass, those who showed their support, and the district’s employees.

“We had a lot of community support and this (outcome) disappoints a lot of people who worked really hard,” Summers said. “We have a lot more work to do from here now that the community has made its choice.”

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Category: Education

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