Chardon School Levy…another viewpoint

We are pleased to provide a forum for this Chardon Township resident to present her views on the proposed Chardon school levy.

Chardon Schools – Why I am voting NO on Issue 21

The Chardon School bond issue, Issue 21 – “The Plan”, would be a 5.3-mill increase over 37 years! The ballot issue facing voters on November 5 represents only the first phase of the facilities plan. Should voters approve the current bond issue to replace the middle and high schools with a building complex for grades 6-12, yet another bond issue will be forthcoming to replace the elementary schools with new building. The total cost of both phases of The Plan will eventually be 8-mills. Not only that, but according to the district’s budget projections, taxpayers will likely see yet another operating levy on the ballot in 3 to 4 years!

Our property taxes are already among the highest in the state when compared to income. Currently, 64.66% of my already substantial real estate tax in Chardon Township goes to the Chardon Schools; this significant tax increase would be an unwelcome burden. The Plan is an outrageous ask being presented to the residents of the Chardon School District! We can’t afford it!

The community is hearing a lot of dialogues. There is talk about substandard facilities, but many of these claims are due to maintenance issues that have long been neglected – this is self-inflicted disrepair. There is talk of overcrowding, but that problem is due to the district reconfiguring grade levels in an illogical and very unpopular manner and to the closing of facilities including Maple Elementary – this is self-inflicted overcrowding!

There are unnecessary dream provisions in The Plan – we don’t need a new sports area, a new 700 seat auditorium, a new transportation complex, or a new board of education building.

The arguments we are hearing about renovation versus replacement costs are inflated. One example is that residents are told that the leaking roof at the high school can’t be replaced correctly due to the extra cost of asbestos removal, but that same asbestos cleanup cost would also be incurred if the building were torn down! Another example is that low-energy LED lighting upgrades to existing buildings have already been paid for by the taxpayers; this sizeable investment would no longer be needed or utilized under The Plan. There are many examples.

One of the saddest things about The Plan is that it is never-ending in terms of the lives of the residents who will bear the burden of paying for it; many of us won’t live to see this plan fully paid for. And think about this – students who are in high school now would be paying for these bond issues over nearly their entire working careers!

Buying into The Plan would force people out of our community!

I am voting a guiltless NO on Issue 21!

Kathy Johnson

Chardon Township



Categories: Geauga, Tax Levies

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  32. You know it is very easy to say that this plan and that plan is wrong. But to never provide a solution or alternative to deal with the issue is worse. Maintenance issues, you don’t think they would do something for the maintenance issues if they had the funding? You think they purposely skirted the issue for something else? Salaries? Hmmm. How well has the faculty done on report cards? Fairly well. I could do exactly as you have done on each of the issues you present and am fairly confident you could find a trade off. You need to look deeper. Get out of the soundbite mentality. As for the “saddest thing” yes you will be paying for it awhile, but you know what, 60 years ago (1959), people approved the building of good facilities so that you could have a decent education. The majority of those same voters had experienced the Depression, so you know they were probably not the best voting public to try to get funds from. People who experienced the depression pinched their pennies for the rest of their lives. But they knew better and thought it was important. Today’s decent education is significantly different than that of 1959. The trade off in costs between books and computers, and what is truly needed for today’s (and tomorrows) workforce is a debate in and of itself. It is happening so fast, I candidly do not know how schools are supposed to keep up with it (both financially and in knowledge). So my best plan is that this is the best plan I have. I am not going to simply sit on the sidelines, try to poke holes on what is proposed, and not provide an alternative OR GET ACTIVELY INVOLVED to make it better. 60 years ago somebody respected and valued my future enough to invest in me (and i was born in 1961). It is now my responsibility to pass on that same legacy. It takes a community to build a child, well it also takes a community to build a community. Please take some time to think about what others have done for you. If not, please come up with your DETAILED PLAN on how you intend to provide to others what was provided to you. Thanks.

  33. These schools including Wickliffe are bat shirt crazy. These tax increases are not sustainable. Make do with what you have and quit taxing the crapola out of us residents.

  34. We agree wholeheartedly

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