Loading…
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
HomeNewsLocal
07n4pecko wait TPS Superintendent Jerome Pecko awaits results of the election. He said officials will meet today to decide the next steps if the levy request was in fact defeated. Toledo voters rejected the levy.
TPS Superintendent Jerome Pecko awaits results of the election. He said officials will meet today to decide the next steps if the levy request was in fact defeated. Toledo voters rejected the levy.
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo
Published: Wednesday, 11/7/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Imagination Station, 2 city levies fall at the polls

Voters OK library, children services, metroparks, and mental health

BY NOLAN ROSENKRANS
BLADE STAFF WRITER

After elections officials counted ballots well into this morning, four of the five Lucas County levies passed and two others -- both in the city of Toledo -- failed.

Lucas County Board of Elections officials counted ballots until just before 4 a.m. They were delayed in releasing the last 7 percent of voter ballots as they sorted those that were unreadable and finished scanning the last of 22 precincts that were trickling in late.

Some races were extremely close, including a narrow win for the Lucas County Mental Health and Recovery Board and a narrow defeat for Imagination Station.

Levy requests by the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, Lucas County Children Services, and the Metroparks of the Toledo Area were approved.

Meanwhile, levies for Toledo's parks and recreation facilities and for Toledo Public Schools were defeated.

Employees of Imagination Station encourage a 'yes' vote from Tuesday morning commuters in Downtown Toledo on the corner of Erie and Washington Streets. Voters rejected the renewal of a five-year, 0.17-mill levy Employees of Imagination Station encourage a 'yes' vote from Tuesday morning commuters in Downtown Toledo on the corner of Erie and Washington Streets. Voters rejected the renewal of a five-year, 0.17-mill levy
THE BLADE/LISA DUTTON Enlarge | Buy This Photo

TPS officials, who held an election night gathering at the district's Summit Street Annex building, held out hope at about 11:30 p.m. - when only about a third of precincts were in - that they could still eke out a victory for their 4.9-mill, 10 year levy. Early returns had the money request facing a deep deficit, but the voting margins closed to a nearly 50-50 split, before beginning to widen again.

Without knowing which precincts had been counted, board of education member Brenda Hill said there was no way to know how the vote would go.

"We won't get a good picture until all the precincts are in," she said.

But with the likelihood the levy would fail, district officials were faced with what's next. The levy would have generated $13.3 million annually. Voters have not approved new levy money for the Toledo school district's general fund since 2000 and twice rejected ballot initiatives in 2010.

Superintendent Jerome Pecko said TPS leaders would meet this morning to discuss next steps. The school district's budget is balanced through the end of the fiscal year, so immediate program cuts wouldn't be necessary. But a failed levy would leave large budget deficits starting next fiscal year that would need to be closed.

"We can manage without eliminating programs; that's the good news," he said. "The bad news is we start seeing deficits."

Board president Lisa Sobecki said that even if voters rejected the levy, she said the district had gained significant community support during the campaign.

"At the end of the day, folks are recognizing the hard work we are doing," she said. "Now we have to convince the voters."

Ms. Hill said she expects the board to try again next year.

Children Services renewed a 1-mill levy, and added a new, 0.85-mill tax. The library system renewed a 2-mill levy and added a new 0.9-mill tax, and the Metroparks won a 0.9-mill levy.

The Metroparks levy includes a 0.3-mill levy that expires at the end of the year, but could only be used for purchasing land, not for maintenance and day-to-day park operations. The passed levy will assist with major maintenance and improvements at several parks, such as the Middlegrounds in downtown Toledo, Fallen Timbers Battlefield in Maumee, and others.

The Imagination Station's levy was a renewal of a five-year, 0.17-mill levy, while the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board's was for a new 1-mill, 10-year levy.

Toledo's parks and recreation facilities request was for a 1-mill levy.

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at:

nrosenkrans@theblade.com

or 419-724-6086.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories









Poll