Tuesday, May 12, 2009
THE FORD GARAGE PURCHASE: WHY THE NORTHWEST SCHOOL DISTRICT LEVY DID NOT PASS ON MAY 5, 2009?
It is not difficult to surmise that the main reason why Stark County's Northwest Local School District levy did not pass was because of action of a prior board of education to purchase the former Progressive (nee Fulton) Ford building located at 2309 Locust.
Current school board members were hearing about it during the campaign for the 12.9 mill levy that was defeated this past May 5th.
The levy lost by 351 votes. The SCPR believes that it is likely that at least 176 voters voted no rather than yes because of the former board's decision to purchase/lease the building at $1.32 million at 4.6% interest over 15 years (reference: Repository report on 8/7/2007).
Credit one board member from that board (Thomas Mayberry) for opposing the recommendation of then superintendent Dennis Lambes that the purchase/lease be made. If Mayberry was correct in his computation, Northwest could have saved about $900,000 by building its own bus facility.
What should be particularly galling to Northwest voters is that Northwest has higher priorities in providing for, maintaining and repairing other school district facilities.
The SCPR believes that the school bus purchase/lease has a "bailout" smell to it. One current board member has been heard to say that the former Ford garage would still be there sitting vacant if the Northwest schools had not made the transaction.
The moral of this story is that it does matter very much who sits on local boards of education.
Just ask the parents and students in Stark County's Northwest Local School District.
And, by the way, all five Northwest school board positions are up for election in November.
Get out the magnifying glass Northwest voters!