Taxpayers for Westerville Schools

Putting children and their education first and uniting the community…

Superintendent’s Gold Appreciation Cards Available

Senior citizens who live in the Westerville City School District are invited to pick up their 2012-2013 Superintendent’s Gold Appreciation Card.

The free cards are available weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the receptionist’s desk at the Westerville City Schools Early Learning Center, which is located at 936 Eastwind Dr. They can also be obtained at the senior citizen centers for Westerville, 310 W. Main St.; and for Blendon Township, 6340 Hempstead Rd. The Gold Card, given to district residents over the age of 60 who hold a Golden Buckeye Card, provides free admission to sports events, concerts, musicals and plays (advanced reservation required).

The card is offered with appreciation to the senior community for their interest in, and support of, the students and programs in the Westerville City Schools. It is good for the entire school year.

Click here to see the announcement on the school web site.

Westerville School’s Superintendent Search

In case you have not heard, the search for our School’s Superintendent replacement has started. Below is a message from the school with options for you to provide feedback on the search.

The first section shows times and locations that you can come out for public comment/feedback. There is also an ONLINE SURVEY that you can take by going to the district’s web site – link listed below.

Please make sure that you provide feedback to the district by taking advantage of one of the options presented.

 


 

The Westerville City School District (WCSD) Board of Education today announced an additional opportunity for community members to participate in the search for WCSD’s next superintendent. The search, which began on November 1, 2012, is necessitated by the pending retirement of Dr. Dan Good on June 30, 2013. Persons interested in becoming involved in the process are invited to attend one of the following focus groups:

  • 7:30 a.m., November 26, 2012, Westerville Community Center (Buckeye C), 350 N. Cleveland Ave.
  • 7:00 p.m., November 28, 2012, Westerville Central High School (Media Center), 7118 Mt. Royal Ave.
  • 7:00 p.m., November 29, 2012, Westerville South High School (Media Center), 303 S. Otterbein Ave.
  • 12:00 p.m., November 30, 2012, Early Learning Center (Board Room), 936 Eastwind Dr.

Focus group participants will be asked to answer and discuss questions such as:

    1. What are the major issues that will be facing this school district during the next several years?
    2. What do you expect the next Superintendent to do about the issues listed above? In the first 100 days? First year? Long-term?
    3. Given your responses to questions #1 and #2, what specific personal and professional characteristics, skills and experiences will be absolutely critical for the next Superintendent to be a successful leader in Westerville?

Dr. Dick Caster, a senior school board services consultant with the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), is guiding the search process and will facilitate each one-hour focus group session. The search process will include profile development, distribution of marketing materials through print and electronic media, aggressive recruitment, a professional pre-screening, reference checking and interviews.

The Board of Education also announced and encouraged community members to complete a brief survey regarding the superintendent search. Surveys are available at every district school and office, as well as online at www.wcsoh.org. Responses will be accepted through the end of the day on November 30, 2012. The district’s website includes a Superintendent Search section for community members who would like to remain informed about the search status.

Media Trackers Reports on School Board

Media Trackers has reported on “Secret Coordination” and the spending of tax dollars to get the tax reduction issue removed from the ballot. They requested the e-mails from the Westerville School District on the matter and here is what they found:

On September 28th, Media Trackers published this article on spending tax dollars:
Westerville School District Spends Tax Dollars To Stem Tide of Taxpayer Advocacy Groups

On October 4th, Media Trackers published this article about “Secretly Coordinated Opposition” to the ballot issue:
Westerville City Schools Secretly Coordinated Opposition to Tax Cut Issue

 

Media Trackers Ohio is a conservative non-profit, non-partisan investigative watchdog dedicated to promoting accountability in the media and government across Ohio through cutting edge research and communications initiatives.

Supreme Court Rules against Ballot Access

Taxpayers for Westerville Schools is disappointed by today’s ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court. Earlier today, the Court sided with a protest against the tax reduction levy and has kept Issue 52 off of the November ballot. Taxpayers for Westerville Schools would like to thank all 5,126 people who signed the petition to place this issue on the ballot. It was our decision to try to reduce the 2009 levy and there was no way to know that the reason used to stop the issue would have ever been a valid argument.

“It is hard to believe that the protest to the petition was even valid. Every ounce of your being knows that the 2009 tax levy was an increase,” stated Jim Burgess, spokesman for the group. “While we respect the Supreme Court’s decision, it is a tough decision to understand when you look at the actual circumstances behind the issue.”

A local resident protested the initially approved ballot issue. Even the Franklin County Board of Elections said their decision was “hard”; we had hoped that meant that in the face of a hard decision that you would side with the people and provide access to the voting booth. In addition to the local resident who filed the protest, the Westerville School District spent taxpayer money to oppose taxpayers. It was highly inappropriate for our school board to be in collusion with the protestor and use taxpayer monies against the taxpayer on this matter.

Taxpayers for Westerville Schools will continue working in the community to bring about fiscal sanity to our school district. It is a shame that our Board of Education doesn’t know how to put our children first – i.e. keeping programs and services and employees while balancing what the community can afford. District residents must continue to be active and supportive of fundamental change or the next levy they see will most likely be for $25,000,000 or more.

Taxpayers for Westerville Schools is a volunteer effort of local residents unaffiliated with any party or platform other than having schools operate in balance with the communities they serve.

BOE Rejects Ballot Issue

Taxpayers for Westerville Schools was surprised by the Franklin County Board of Elections decision to remove Issue 52 (the 6.71 mill tax REDUCTION ballot issue) from the ballot today. (September 4, 2012)

The residents of the district worked very hard to collect 5,126 signatures to put the issue on the ballot. However, the Franklin County Board of Elections (BOE) agreed with a protestor, seemingly, over one word – “Replacement.” The protestor stated that the issue could not be placed on the ballot because it was reducing a “Replacement” levy from 2009. Yet EVERYTHING indicated that this levy was an increase in our taxes – the school said it was, our tax bill said it was, the newspaper reported it as such… And yet, the 2009 ballot language said it was a replacement of “voted” millage, instead of “effective” (or actually charged) millage. We were given no explanation as to why the BOE decided to agree with the protest.

While we are disappointed by this decision, it is being appealed to the Ohio State Supreme Court. We feel that the Supreme Court will take a deeper look at the details behind the levy and the law and do hope that they will side with the taxpayer’s right to vote on the issue. The issue should be settled before September 22nd, so stay tuned. We will continue to update our website and FaceBook page with information of interest to the taxpayers of this District.

We will also continue our efforts to help resolve the spending problems of the current Board of Education and the District Administration – while keeping our children’s education – FIRST!

Thank you for your continued support!

We Are Westerville #2

Taxpayers for Westerville Schools continues its video series titled We Are Westerville. A series about residents looking for fiscal responsibility in our schools. Click Here to go to the We Are Westerville page. This week:

Susan continues the video series. She and her husband have lived in Westerville for 12 years and a is former school employee. Susan and her husband volunteer for a variety of children’s activities.