Herald JournalHerald Journal, Dec. 27, 2004

Details set for HLWW levy proposal

By Jenni Sebora
Staff Writer

The questions of when, how much, and how long regarding the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school operating levy have been answered.

With the March 29 mail-in ballot being set at a previous school board meeting, the HLWW school board approved “how much” and “how long” at last Monday’s meeting.

The decision to have a two-tier vote was in debate with the board noting that it can be confusing on the ballot when the voters cast their votes.

A second question should spell out a purpose that is tangible to voters, such as purchasing a bus, commented Levies for Education and Achievement are Really Necessary (LEARN) Chairman Kendell Kubasch. It is a necessary expense and voters know exactly where that money would be going, Kubasch said.

“I would rather see it go for technology. This district needs to get up-to-date on technology,” Board Chair John Lideen said.

After some discussion and debate over the second tier question, the board decided to keep the transportation emphasis.

Board Member Al Doering said that if it passes, some money from the general fund operating levy could be used for technology purposes.

Regarding the possible cuts the district is facing, Waverly Mayor Charlie Bush, who is also an English teacher for the district, urged the board to not make all the proposed cuts or the district will not be a viable district.

He also reminded the board not to let the state “off the hook,” noting that the state has to do its part in funding schools.

The board is going to look at the best way to communicate with the state on the issue of school funding.

What the ballot will say

After a lengthy discussion and an introduction of the motion twice, the board approved two questions for the March 29 ballot.

The questions for approval are:

• a five-year $500-per-pupil unit or $648,831 net increase levy for general operating expenses

• a seven-year $50-per-pupil unit, or a $68,954 net increase, designated specifically for transportation, to include bus purchasing.

The district will keep the existing operating levy of $101 per pupil unit which expires in 2007.

The board decided to keep the first operating levy vote at $500 per pupil unit because that is the maximum levy amount at which the state will still contribute money.

“Anything more than the $500-per-pupil unit, we can’t get state aid. Let’s keep it clean and simple,” Board Member Charlie Borrell said. “I don’t mind having a second question to keep the first at $500 per pupil unit.”


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