Voters Reject Levy

ST. MARYS — The much-anticipated and heavily-discussed levy proposed by the St. Marys City School district failed at the polls Tuesday.

According to unofficial results, the operating levy, a 1 percent income tax coupled with a 5-mill property tax, failed by a vote of 2,316 to 1,522. This means that all budget cuts passed by the Board of Education that were contingent upon the levy’s failure will go into effect this fall.

St. Marys Superintendent Shawn Brown did not hide his disappointment as he discussed the future of the district.

“I expected it to pass,” he said. “We had a great levy committee, great committee co-chairs. (It’s) a lot of effort we put into it and we have to go back to the voters and find out why they voted no, what can we do different.”

Brown said the board will work hard in the future to initiate even more talks with the community on the subject.

“Honestly I don’t know that there is a different way,” he said, when asked if the board will aim for a different approach to get voters to vote in favor of a levy. “I know we’re asking for a lot of money and that weighs heavily on peoples’ minds,” he said.

The board will meet at 7:30 p.m. today for its regularly scheduled board of education meeting in the Memorial High School Auditorium to discuss the specifics of the budget cuts.

“We’ll have to get together with the full board, and obviously the cuts are going to be made and we’ll have to see where we’re going to go from there,” Brown said.

When asked if the Board might try its hand at another vote in the November election, Brown was uncertain, but said it was a possibility.

“I have to have a discussion with the board and see what they want to do,” he said.