LIMA — The five-year renewal levy for Lima City School District passed in a landslide Tuesday as the superintendent and school board members watched with little doubt.
Superintendent Jill Ackerman said school officials and volunteers worked hard to educate voters on how the money would be used. She said that was the key to the overwhelming support with 65 percent of the vote, which was 5,953 voting for the levy and 3,212 against.
“It’s important that we inform people not just what it is but where that money goes, specifically,” Ackerman said. “We are extremely pleased once again that the Lima community came out in full support of this renewal.”
While the Lima levy passed so did the levies for Bath, Perry and Spencerville school districts.
Auglaize Township was trying to pass an additional 0.75 mills for five years but it failed with 737 voting against and 612 voting for the levy.
All Allen County officeholders will keep their jobs because none were opposed. Those include commissioners Cory Noonan and Jay Begg, Prosecutor Juergen Waldick, Clerk of Courts Margie Murphy Miller, Sheriff Sam Crish, Recorder Mona Losh, Treasurer Rachael Gilroy, Engineer Brion Rhodes and Coroner Gary Beasley.
Beasley led voting with 33,759 voting for him while Crish had the lowest votes among county office holders with 27,794, which some voters said they chose not to cast a vote for Crish because of a pending FBI investigation against Crish, his pending financial problems, and admission of his gambling addiction.
Ackerman said people look beyond just state test results and realize the positive things happening in Lima City Schools and the contribution the schools make to the community.
“These five years I have been superintendent have been nothing but great excitement and a lot of Spartan pride,” Ackerman said.
Bessie Shears, 73, said she voted for the levy.
“Schools kids need an education. I voted for them to help the kids,” Shears said.
Shamya Point, 18, also voted for the levy.
“Whatever we can do to help the schools out. It’s not that much. We’re already paying for it now,” Point said.
The 5.99 mill operating levy was passed in 2012. The levy will generate $1.27 million for general operations and more than $425,000 for permanent improvements, money that proved very beneficial to the district after the levy was first passed. The district also purchased new buses, maintained staffing and upgraded technology.
But not everyone supported the levy. Those against it were opposed to the tax.
Dan Atzinger, 64, voted against the levy.
“I don’t want to pay the taxes,” Atzinger said.
Dashanna McClellan, 33, also voted against the levy.
“I’m just against it. Tax money. I was against it because tax money,” McClellan said.
Michael Schmidt, 50, was against the levy.
“Two things. One, I don’t have children and the other is I just don’t think the money is spent how it should be,” Schmidt said. “We are spending a lot of money and the students should be getting more for it.”
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.