Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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4 race for 3 positions on Ottawa Hills school board

Four people, including two incumbents, will vie for three positions on the Ottawa Hills board of education on Nov. 6.

Willis Day IV, the president of the board, is seeking a third term on the panel. He graduated from Ottawa Hills High School in 1973.

Mr. Day, 46, said the school district is now “in the best shape in terms of morale and [finances] since I joined the board, and even earlier.

“We now have a good administration and I'd like to help maintain the stability we now have,” Mr. Day said.

He has been president of the school board for the last six years and said the district is important for the well-being of the community.

Mr. Day is an attorney and president and general counsel for Willis Day Properties, Inc.

Mrs. Gilmore, 40, said her family moved to Ottawa Hills because of the school district, and she has been an active and involved parent of one child in elementary school and a younger child who will enter the district.

She ran for the board in 1999 and lost by three votes to board member Daniel Steinberg.

Mrs. Gilmore is an attorney and a certified public accountant. She said her qualifications can be helpful as the school board deals with the problems of school financing in Ohio.

Mrs. Gilmore said she is not particularly critical of the district “but nothing stays great unless it's challenged.”

Mrs. Gilmore said she wants to be a voice that challenges the board to continue the district's quality of education.

Mrs. Rohm, 40, said she has been involved in the schools and recent levy campaigns by the district, “and I want to continue that involvement at a new level.”

Mrs. Rohm has three children in Ottawa Hills schools and doesn't work outside the home, “because they're a priority.”

She has an undergraduate degree in political science and three years work toward a PhD in clinical psychology from Bowling Green State University.

Mrs. Rohm said one of the areas on which she will concentrate if elected is maintaining small class sizes, particularly in elementary grades, in light of current growth and projected growth in the school district.

Mr. Wilson, 49, school board vice president, is seeking his second term.

Mr. Wilson said his first two years on the board were “a trial by fire.”

He noted that in that time a levy request failed and the board had to hire a superintendent, two principals, and a treasurer.

Mr. Wilson, an attorney, has two children in the high school and another who graduated from the district in 1997.

He said he believes the board has a good administration in place.

In addition to the school board race, district voters will consider two levy requests: a 1-mill, 5-year replacement levy for capital improvements an a 1.9-mill, continuing additional levy for operating expenses.

The 1-mill levy would cost taxpayers $76.56 per $250,000 valuation and bring in about $166,263.

Funds will be used for repairs to buildings and grounds and improve technology in the schools. The operating levy is for teacher salaries and benefits and other increased expenses triggered by inflation.

If approved, that levy will cost taxpayers $146 per $250,000 valuation and should generate $315,899. The board of education earlier had considered a 4.9-mill operating levy.

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