by Patty Russo
The pending 16.78 Loveland school combined levy ballot issue, likely the largest net increase asked of taxpayers for schools in the state of Ohio’s history, makes it clear that residents of our district have been trusting if not apathetic for too long. Just because people are elected to represent a community
Patty Russo is a 10-year Loveland Resident
doesn’t mean that the best interest of the entire community is served. After this Levy is defeated, I hope every taxpayer takes heed, practices due diligence, stays engaged, and holds this board and administration accountable.
I am for fiscal responsibility, common sense planning, realistic budgeting, accountability, and quality education. I am against this levy.
The proposed levy has exposed key issues about Loveland City School District (LSCD) residents that I suspect are reasons we reached the point where we are today.
- You are busy working and focusing your time/energy on being the best parents you can be rather than inserting yourselves in the process of managing your school district.
- You do not regularly attend board meetings but you want what’s best for your kids and for your community.
- You do not ask questions because you trust elected representatives to make decisions in the best interest of the community and of the students.
- You assume those in elected positions are careful stewards of your hard-earned money and that they spend it wisely.
- You want to be able to sell your house easily at a good price when the time is right.
- You expect the community you chose to move to is not going to try to be something it’s not.
After this levy is defeated, actions for restoring health and trust in our community are necessary.
- AUDIT – Request an audit of the district to understand how your money has been spent
- OPEN CHECKBOOK – Require LSCD to enroll in Ohio Check Book immediately
- RATIONALE – Ask the board why the community was not informed 6 years ago that maintenance shifted from investing in items that ensure the long-term viability of buildings to as-needed fixes (band-aids) until buildings could be replaced. (Who would do that with any real estate investment?)
- RE-BOOT/REDUCTION – Require the board to prioritize needs, and revise and reduce the plan to a reasonable, common sense amount while removing the bells, whistles, and non-essential costs. Revisit the baseline plan for using what we have and working within our means.
- REINVESTMENT – Require board and administration to use any extra funds not needed for a new, common sense plan, to be used to reduce any existing or new debt
- ACCOUNTABILITY – Attend board meetings, do research, ask questions, hold district representatives accountable
- TRANSPARENCY – Require the Board to provide detailed board meeting minutes rather than simply logging minutes by agenda topic. Require the board to live-stream all board meetings so that everyone can participate/be informed even if they cannot attend in person