Prepared Text for Board Meeting Ė
Marc A. Schare†
David, thanks for the opportunity to discuss the levy. As to open questions, I have all the information that I need, but I think we as a board might want †to might consider a few factors.
First, there is an open question as to the size of the levy. A levy amount of 7.9 mills does not seem justified by the forecast unless you play out the forecast through 6 years. If the board chooses to try to answer the question ďHow much and how oftenĒ at least through the next six years, you maybe can justify 7.9 mills. If the board chooses to worry solely about the next 3 years, we could possibly go as low as 6.5 mills. This is a philosophical question and one which I had hoped to get at through community engagement. Do we levy enough to meet our immediate needs or do we levy enough to get a consistent cycle in duration and amount.
Second, there is an open
question as to the commitments that we will make to the community. Iím a
proponent of board resolutions that clearly and concisely state promises that
we are willing to make. We are promising the levy will last 3 years. Letís get
that in writing. What else are we willing to absolutely commit to. How about this. If the district
gets a windfall, either from the Governorís plan on Wednesday or the
Presidentís stimulus package, we commit in writing to using that money to lower
the size of the 2012 levy, and by the way, the House education committee
projection is that
Third, there is an open question as to the size of the ending cash balance in 2012. While Iím normally willing to follow the lead of our treasurer on these types of issues, Iím having a difficult time justifying an additional mill simply to show that we have the money in the bank if a rating agency cares to look By definition, this pile of money is designed to sit there, unused, at least through 2013, perhaps generating interest at an excruciatingly slow pace. Iíve no doubt that it is a fine fiscal practice for municipalities, however, I question whether this is the right time, with Ohioís unemployment rate at a 15 year high, to start implementing it.
Fourth, there is perhaps
an open question as to whether we would like to take this opportunity to start
to change the levy dialogue in