Bellaire BOE pondering levy options

BELLAIRE The Bellaire Local Board of Education wasn’t ready to move on an emergency levy during its regular meeting here Monday.

Instead, the board discussed the option of meeting with the county auditor’s office to look at various options when it comes to having the emergency levy and even replacement levies placed on the November ballot.

In December 2009, the school district was declared to be in “fiscal emergency” by the state auditor for failing to overcome a budget deficit in the district’s five-year forecast. Since then, the district has had emergency levies and income taxes placed on the ballots to fix the financial woes, but all have been rejected by school district voters.

The most recent vote on an 8.25 mill emergency levy was shot down by voters in May, 1,039 to 842.

The district has cut staff and expenses as part of its efforts to lower the deficit.

“A lot of people don’t comprehend we need the money to pay off existing loans, buy buses, to buy technology and restore needed programs so we can give our kids the same opportunities as everybody else,” said Board Member Mike Wallace.

In other news, the board approved waiver days for Sept. 9 and April 25, 2014 for the 2013-2014 school year.

The board approved a request for the Red Line Dance Team to attend camp at Kent State University in July.

Along with supplemental contracts, the board approved Cathy Johnson as superintendent secretary/EMIS coordinator and Paige Maffe was moved from kindergarten staff to first grade staff for the 2013-2014 school year. The board also accepted the resignation of Arrin Midei, speech and language therapist and Doug Cross, custodian.

The board also met in executive session for about an hour and 20 minutes to employment of personnel and upcoming negotiations.

Because of a scheduling conflict, the next regular board of education meeting is scheduled for July 15 at 7 a.m.