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05-07-03: Celina school district levies get two thumbs up
The Daily Standard
    Voters had two words for Celina schools: yes and yes.
    Both levies passed by large margins bailing the district out of a projected $1.5 million deficit and ensuring extracurricular activities for next year.
    The five-year, 3/4 percent income tax levy passed with 4,345 yes votes and 1,826 voting no.
    The three-year, 6.8-mill property tax levy finished with 4,385 for and 1,688 against.
    Election night found the Mercer County Courthouse green with the neon support-the-levy t-shirts as school district residents watched the result postings. As victory became assured, congratulation hugs and hoots were common.
    "Fantabulous, is how I feel," school board President Cindy Piper said as it became apparent both levies would pass. "I'm also relieved, and proud the community has rallied behind our schools."
    Only Franklin East and Franklin West precincts voted both levies down, but narrowly. Franklin East final was 186 for the income tax levy and 258 against. The property tax went down 204 to 229.
    In Franklin West, the income tax was vetoed 174 to 139 and the property tax levy votes were 141 for and 160 against.
    "Actually, this is the best we've ever lost in Franklin," board member Mary Lehman quipped, calling on Franklin's two-decade record of never supporting a school levy.
    She added she was "especially pleased the rural areas showed support."
    "And I'm so glad not to have to vote in that next rounds of cuts," she said of the Plan B budget reduction plan that would have eliminated many full- and part-time staff, book fee subsidiaries and all extracurricular activities including the entire sports program.
    The levies will bring in about $4.5 million annually for the school system.   
    Board Vice President Joe Bath said he's proud to say he's a resident of the Celina City Schools district. "The people really came through, putting the needs of our kids first."
    Ken Fetters said he's extremely happy and "proud that we as a board have maintained our excellent system without ever asking for an increase from the voters."
    "This is a culmination of a lot of hard work from the 300-plus campaign workers and, of course, (Bulldog levy co-chairs) Tom and Rosann Rable," commented board member Matt Gilmore.
    District Superintendent Fred Wiswell, who, with board and administrative staff members, has made levy support presentations nonstop for the past six weeks, said he is "absolutely ecstatic."
    "This has been a tremendous and wonderful effort of the community. I believe this has been the most thorough and complete campaign ever. Passing both levies is a huge relief," he said.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822