No May levy for TPS - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

No May levy for TPS

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Its a hot topic at Toledo Public Schools and in the community; whether to put a levy on the May ballot.

School board member Larry Sykes told the board, "I need to know the detailed information if you want my support."

But fellow board member Bob Vasquez says that money is already budgeted.  "This money is already put into our budget and our 5 year forecast."

At Tuesdays board meeting, the issue was tabled because some were concerned they weren't ready.

"I think its very important to get this levy renewal passed," Lisa Sobecki, TPS Board Member said. "But if this was so important to the administration we would have had a plan and we don't have a plan."

Last week the TPS Finance Committee recommended putting a 6.5 mill renewal on the May ballot.  Voters passed the same five year levy in 2008 and those funds are set to run out at the end of the calendar year.  It would bring in about $13 million a year.

Sykes said, "We as a board need to rectify before we go to the community.  We need to meet with them community to find out why they're not supporting us."

Some applaud the board for holding off.

"It would really almost counter what they've been doing, showing the community they're being wise stewards of our money," said John McAvoy.  "I think May would be jumping the gun."

But one board member is worried about that wait.  The next time the issue can be put on the ballot is in August.  Bob Vasquez says there is no guarantee the district won't need new money even if the renewal passes.

"I we go in August then turn around and decide we need new money in November, I think that is something the pubic will start asking questions about," he said.

Two big reasons why many called for the issue to be tabled, are contract negotiations with the unions and the performance audit the district is currently going through.

Once the audit is done, the board will get recommendations on how the district can operate better and where it can cut costs.  Some people on the board and in the community argue that voters should have all of the information before having to decide on a levy.  A preliminary report is expected in April. 

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