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Final Results In: School Levy Approved

Issue 14 will keep the district in the black next school year

Voters have approved a 6-mill renewal levy for the Strongsville schools, averting cuts in busing, athletics and other programs.

Issue 14 passed Tuesday 7,227 to 6,410, according to unofficial results from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

"The real winners today are our kids," Superintendent Jeff Lampert said. "We thank the voters for their trust."

The issue will run for the next five years, generating $7.6 million a year. The revenue accounts for about 11 percent of the school district's operating budget.

Had it failed, the district had one more chance to get it approved -- in August -- before . 

School Treasurer Bill Parkinson cautions, though, that the renewal approved Tuesday won't keep the district out of the red for long -- by fiscal year 2014, projections show a $2 million deficit.

"We still have to look for new money," Parkinson said.

Fedup with Taxes March 07, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Get rid of Lampert (we are paying his pension and salary at the same time)
tom m March 07, 2012 at 04:16 AM
lampert is the teachers unions best friend
Kat March 07, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Lampert is getting a pension from a previous employer. He, you and everyone else has a right to retire from one job and take a new one.
lyn March 07, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Now that the voters have given you the renewal, please remember everything the taxpayers have said as you are going into new contract talks. You, the board, work for us, and for the good of the children - not the teachers. Next time, we will not be so willing to vote yes, as this yes vote was not an overwhelming approval. Do not forget this. Put our teachers pay and all benefits in line with other neighboring districts with similar excellent ratings. Then, you can gain the respect back the board should deserve.
Nancy March 07, 2012 at 10:29 AM
I agree with lyn -- also, the comment we need to look for new money is the type of attitiude I was afraid would happen. How about, "let's look at where the spending is". and see if we cut anoher 2 million. You will put another levy on the ballot, as a cost, with the same threats and woes. Let's try being proactive -- you have 2 years to do so.
Bob Trask March 07, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Typical "thank you, but we will need new money soon" comment, with no mention of renegotiating the "Cadillac" retirement benefits that the teachers and other employees have. Those benefits, along with the 10 or 12 raises over the past years since that benefit began, need to dealt with. That 10 plus percent would give the district more than enough money to operate in the black. Since the Board said this levy was not an increase in taxes, taking away the retirement pickup would not be a salary decrease, since salaries would not go down, employees would just begin paying the share that most of us have paid for our retirement. Kids are the focus, not the adults. The board needs to realize they work for us, not the employee groups.
tom m March 07, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Bob Trask for Superintendent
lyn March 07, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Bob - Well said!
Robert March 07, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Look into it - the pension pick-up actually saves the district money over a similar pay increase. That was one of the reasons it was done those many years ago. Paying an employee more in salary means the medicare contribution goes up along with the unemployment insurance costs. Picking up a portion of an employee’s pension doesn’t have this impact and can actually end up costing the employer less. In other words, pension-pickups are a useful tool used by local communities to help control their costs. If you want that taken away in the next contract - a concession from the teacher's union, then be sure to call it what it is, a pay cut. You decrease the compensation package, you are cutting their pay.
Robert March 07, 2012 at 02:58 PM
"We" are not paying Lampert's pension, he paid into it over the course of his employment, now he is drawing it after he retired from that job and working a new one. He could get a job at Wal-Mart and still collect his pension. While I find it distasteful and think he ought to be working for the district for a fairly low salary since this is his retirement job there is nothing illegal about it. Really troubling when someone "retires" from their position and is immediately re-hired to the SAME position. It would be nice to see limits put on "double-dipping" but too many of our legislators in Columbus are doing it themselves to ever curb the practice. Yup, I'm looking at you William G. Batchelder. HB 388 was looking to curb double-dipping, but NOT for elected officials, big surprise.
Momsdiamonds March 07, 2012 at 02:59 PM
You aren't paying his pension. He's getting one but it's not from any money you contributed.
lyn March 07, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I guess you could look at it as a pay cut, BUT I look at it this way: if this was in lieu of a raise, then lets say it had been a raise - then add 10% on to their salary, and that becomes an average salary of $77,000, right? (If $70,000 current average salary plus 10%) I don't think you want taxpayers comparing THAT number to other districts. As it is now, ours is one of the top paid, plus THE top paid in fringe benefits. I look at it as a much needed correction. Cuts and healthcare costs are passed on to employees in private businesses all the time - why should publicly paid employees be any different?
golf77 March 07, 2012 at 05:12 PM
As mentioned previously, the teacher's pay and benefits ( and lets not forget the school administrators) need to be in line with other school districts. Becasue as I see it, it is not for the kids, it is mostly for the adults. Just remember, as you, the Strongsville resident goes out and maintaines their home, you are mostly doing it to maintain or increase your homes value, thus your property taxes goes up, which in turn, a good portion is going to the schools and not to our kids but the adults!!! And to let you know, everytime a homeowner or business owner appeals their property taxes, the school system sends in their school board attorney (who by the way, we the taxpayers, are pretty much paying for) to fight and find anyway to deny your right, "even when you have proof" to lower your property taxes. I have seen first hand, some of these attorney's they send in, and they don't have a clue about the appraisal completing on your property and the appraisal process, and that goes for a good number of people on the county board of revisions. The one thing that really sticks out with all of this, is the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled, that it is "illegal" to fund schools through property taxes, but yet our school systems and public representatives look the other way and continue to do an "illegal" act, go figure, only in America!!!
m smith March 08, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Sure pass the levy...then we will need more money? Big surprise? Cut some of the school board members, replace with volunteers, parents....who really care about the kids. Cut some of the administration at the schools. Does the high school really need all those assistant principles? Do not cut teachers....As a taxpayer I am tired of the threats to cut buses and activities....go ahead. Remember though, when you cut busing some years ago parents just drove the kids to school. I can drive again, we as parents can ban together and do car pools. Cut the school board, I do not feel that they do anything to help the schools. It is the teacher who helps students pass the OGT's, Iowas and any testing NOT the school board.

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