Taxpayers for Westerville Schools

Putting children and their education first and uniting the community…

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!