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.