By: Lucinda Held-Faulhaber
The Village Reporter
Members of the Edon Northwest Local Board of Education will soon begin the search for not only a Superintendent but Treasurer/CFO as well after accepting both resignations during its monthly meeting held Tuesday, November 18, 2014. President Brad McCrea called the 5:30 p.m. meeting to order with all members and approximately fifteen guests in attendance.
With regret, President McCrea asked for the motion accepting the resignation of Ed Ewers as District Superintendent effective January 2, 2015. Ewers recently accepted the Assistant Superintendent position at Penta Career Center after three and one-half years at the helm of Edon Northwest Local Schools.
“I would like to thank you, Mr. Ewers, for serving the District,” shared Board Member Jamie Schaffter, “and for continuing to have the kids in mind with what was best for the District over these last few years. I wish you well.”
“I certainly have appreciated the opportunity to be here,” responded Ewers, “I’ve learned a lot. It’s a great community; a great school. My kids will be here …. and will graduate as Bombers!”
President McCrea again regretfully requested a motion to accept the evening’s second resignation, that of Treasurer/CFO Kerry Samples. He, too, has taken a position outside the District.
“I want to thank you, Kerry, for the professionalism in what you brought here as treasurer,” stated McCrea. “I wish you well in your future.”
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed [being here]; it would have been five years in February,” said Samples. “An opportunity opened at Central Local Schools ~ Fairview ~ which is my home district and where I live. I had to look at it and was hired last evening.”
Schaffter offered her thanks to Samples as well. “You have been very willing to bend over backwards to answer any questions or to provide people with information, especially over these past few months,” she remarked. “I appreciate that.”
Additionally that evening, Board members discussed the placement of an operating levy on the May 2015 Ballot and how best to proceed.
“In conversations with Mr. John Toner, [I understand] there are about fifty to sixty residents who are supportive of an operating levy and willing to help out,” stated Superintendent Ewers. “This is a great thing to have community input; a willingness to create that “grassroots” momentum. I see that as a positive for the District going forward.”
“Certainly, it is my recommendation as outlined [in my Board Report],” continued Ewers, “that an earned income tax seems to make the most sense; it’s something I’ve been hearing from community members as well ~ and it honestly did the best in any of the attempts made thus far.” An earned income tax does not tax dollars from pensions or unemployment compensation; it taxes dollars earned through wages.
Being the most favorable, knowing what percentage to ask for will require input from the County Auditor. “Based on previous numbers [from the Ohio Department of Taxation],” noted Ewers, “a one percent earned income tax would generate just shy of one-half million dollars.”
With subsequent discussion matters addressed ~ including the timeframe for receiving real estate taxes once collected (right away) verses turnaround time for an earned income tax (nearly eighteen months); what percentage rate should be collected by the levy, its type and duration; is land rental income considered “earned” income (yes); would a traditional income tax collect more dollars than an earned income tax (yes, approximately fifty thousand dollars more) ~ members decided to get the process underway.
“If everyone is in agreement,” concluded President McCrea, “we will have Kerry proceed with legal regarding a one percent earned income tax levy with five-year duration; results will be brought to us for a vote at next month’s meeting.”
Residents of the community are encouraged to contact any one of the Board members, Mr. Ewers or Mr. Samples with concerns, comments or questions they might have regarding the proposed operating levy.
Highlighting November’s Reports to the Board, administrators shared:
Superintendent Ed Ewers
•Congratulated students, staff and directors on their successful fall musical; everyone did a great job and the talents demonstrated onstage were amazing. Congratulations were also extended to high school students-athletes honored for their accomplishments over this past season.
•Shared he had been working with a local vendor regarding the high school gymnasium’s sound system. A project since first arriving, some improvements have helped but additional work will be required; a feasible solution, at a reasonable cost, could now fix the gym’s needs and provide better sound for the various events held there.
•Noted those attending last week’s Parent-Teacher Conferences appreciated the flexible time schedule and suggested it would be appropriate to postpone work on the 2015-2016 (usually done this time of year) until closer to the March 1 deadline.
Treasurer Kerry Samples
•Submitted his standard monthly SM2 Report indicating revenues were up twenty-six thousand dollars and expenses up one hundred thousand dollars for the same four-month period as last year. The District is tracking seventy-four thousand dollars worse than a year ago.
•Shared the District received $12,700 from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s Another Billion Back rebate from premiums paid in 2012. (Last year, the District received over thirteen thousand dollars.) Both rebates were made possible by strong investment returns in the workers’ compensation fund.
•Noted the annual audit is now underway; the final report will be reviewed once completed.
7-12 Principal Anthony Stevens
•Shared students raked leaves throughout the community as a School Service Project (hopefully, more will take place down the road); eight Student Council members attended the annual Leadership Conference at Defiance College; an after-school reading intervention program between high school and elementary students is being planned. Additionally, thanks were extended to all faculty who played a roll in the annual Veterans Day Tribute.
•Noted despite the weather, there was a good turnout for last week’s Parent-Teacher Conferences. Overall, feedback from parent/guardian surveys was positive; organizers look to continue improving the process.
•Presented an overview of College Credit Plus, the State’s dual enrollment program. Eligible students can take a course and earn high school and college credit to appear on both their high school and college transcripts (it will replace the current Post Secondary Education Option, aka PSEO). He will receive training in preparation of the program’s implementation in 2015-2016.
KK-6 Grade Principal Michelle Molargik
•Recognized October’s Bomber Courtesy Club members and 2014 Elementary Quiz Bowl participants.
•Commended students and faculty on the wonderful and very moving Veterans Day Program; over three hundred forty-seven dollars was collected for the annual “Pennies for Vets” drive.
•Shared Edon Elementary School had been recognized as a “School of Promise” for 2013-2014; a special ceremony honoring teachers and students will mark this achievement at a later date.
•Noted turnout for Parent-Teacher Conferences was great; nearly two-thirds of elementary parents attended. Feedback indicated many were very grateful for the all-day scheduling format.
In other action taken, Board members:
•Commended October 2014 High School Student of the Month, senior Caleb Mason and Junior High Student of the Month, eighth-grader Faith Livensparger.
•Commended September 2014 High School Student of the Month, junior Orion Dargitz and Junior High Student of the Month, seventh-grader Justin Estep.
•Voted to rescind 2014-2015 Supplemental Contracts with Brien Moore as Eighth Grade Boys Basketball Coach and Terry Whitney as Fifth and Sixth Grade Girls Basketball Coach due to scheduling conflicts.
•Approved 2014-2015 Supplemental Contracts with Tony Booth (Eighth Grade Boys Basketball); Brien Moore (Fifth and Sixth Grade Boys Basketball); Madison Muehlfeld (Fifth and Sixth Grade Girls Basketball) and Terry Whitney (Fifth and Sixth Grade Girls Basketball volunteer).
•Approved a Substitute Food Service Cashier Supplemental Contract with Staci Dye for 2014-2015. (Was inadvertently left off the list approved in August.)
•Approved Maternity Leave for Toni Thiel for a minimum of eight weeks commencing on or around March 1, 2015.
•Approved the Classified Employee Salary Schedule effective August 1, 2014 and Classified Employee Insurance Plans effective January 1, 2015.
•Approved Administrative Employee Salary Schedule (KK-6 Elementary and Grades 7-12 Principals) effective August 1, 2014.
•Approved the Amended Five Year Forecast. (The original forecast, required to be submitted by the end of October, was approved prior to negotiations being finalized; the State allows revisions due to major changes such as this. With negotiations now completed, wage increases, any insurance increases or decreases, etc. are now built into the forecast; these were the only changes made.)
•Approved the resolution accepting the amounts and rates as determined by the Budget Commission and authorizing the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the county auditor as presented; the 2000 bond has been decreased from 3.25 mills to 3.0 mills. (As the District gets closer to paying off its bonds, there will continue to be a reduction in mills; residents will see slight tax decreases as well. Additionally, once the bonds are paid off in December 2019 (old building) and December 2024 (current facility), the collection mills are gone.)
•Accepted policy revisions as presented by the Policy Committee. (All policies can be viewed on the District’s website; follow the BoardDocs link on the homepage.)
•Approved minutes from the October 11 regular meeting and October 30 special meeting, October’s Financial Reports and the amended Certificate of Estimated Resources and Permanent Appropriations for FY 2015 as submitted by Treasurer Samples.
Prior to adjournment, members voted to enter into Executive Session for the expressed purpose of discussing personnel; no action would be taken.
The next regular monthly meeting of the Edon Northwest Local Board of Education will be held Tuesday, December 9, 2014 in the school’s Media Center beginning at 5:30 p.m.
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