Voters in Central Ohio decided many races Tuesday, with some schools getting approval from voters, while others will have to make cuts.
Columbus City Schools Levy & Bond Issue
NBC4 reported that Issues 50 and 51, the Columbus City Schools levy that tops 9 mills, was defeated in Tuesday's election.
The defeat will now put a halt on the district-wide plan to rebuild at least ten buildings, hire new teachers, and improve wifi throughout the district.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Dan Good said they will have to identify at least $50 million in reductions, and it is too soon to be able to know what those cuts will be.
Mayor Michael Coleman said he is not discouraged by the failure. He said he believes the campaign was successful in making education a topic of discussion in the community and that the message from voters is that the district still needs to work to restore trust and also work toward change.
This is the first time the district has seen a defeat of a school levy since 1991.
Alex Fischer, president and CEO of The Columbus Partnership, issued the following statement in response to the vote on Issues 50 and 51:
"We are disappointed by today's results regarding Issues 50 and 51. We remain firmly committed to working with Mayor Coleman and the broad coalition in our community that is dedicated to ensuring the best possible education for every child in Columbus.
Today, voters expressed a lack of trust in our school district – a sentiment that we understand. The voters are asking for reform before new taxes. The fact that over half of our kids will wake up and attend a failing school in the morning is a reminder of the challenges we must address.
All of our children remain our number one priority and we must continue to work together as an entire community, so that every child in Columbus is provided with the best education and opportunity to succeed."
Upper Arlington City Schools Levy
In Upper Arlington, voters approved a new school levy.
Issue 52 is a 4-mill levy that will generate about $6 million per year for the district.
Results came in at about 9 p.m., and the levy passed by a margin of about 56 to 44 percent.
Upper Arlington Superintendent Paul Imhoff said the message is clear: parents want to keep the district's programs and teachers.
"With the passage of the levy, it means we are going to be able to offer the types of program and services we have offered for our kids for generations," Imhoff said. "We have a long history of excellence in our schools, and we are very pleased that we are going to be able to continue those programs, and it is our intention to continue to improve our results as a school district."
Inhoff said the district will be able to keep the 68 positions that were on the chopping block had the levy failed.
Berkshire Township Zoning Referendum
A handful of voters decided a weighty issue in Delaware County's Berkshire Township.
By a very narrow margin, the zoning referendum was approved.
That gives the township the right to dictate the look and feel of a proposed Simon-Tanger Outlet Mall near Interstate 71 and U.S. 36/state Route 37 – if the mall is built.
Poll workers said that while turnout was steady, they didn't see the numbers they expected with such a contentious issue on the ballot.
In the end, voters decided to allow the developer to keep its zoning in the township. That means an outlet mall will open at the site in 2015.
The chairman of the township will meet with developers Wednesday morning to start working on the zoning plan.
Simon-Tanger representatives said they will break ground on the project in the spring.
Gahanna Income Tax
In Gahanna, voters cast their ballots on an income tax increase that failed last year.
It would raise the city's income tax rate from 1.5 to 2.5 percent.
According to the latest results, the increase was defeated with 54 percent against to 46 percent in favor.
Buckeye Lake Fire Levy
In Licking County, Buckeye Lake voters were asked to consider a 5-mil fire levy.
The department said it needed the money to continue operating.
The levy passed with 55 percent yes to 45 percent no.
3165 Olentangy River Road
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