Toronto to place school levy on ballot

TORONTO – The city school district board members on Thursday voted to place a five-year, 5-mill renewal levy on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The proposal, which last was passed by voters by a 62 percent to 38 percent margin in 2009, raises about $318,000 annually, according to Fred Burns, district superintendent.

“We will be going back to the public with a 5-mill, five-year renewal levy for school operations to be placed on the Nov. 4 ballot,” said Burns. “We’re pretty confident people will support it.”

Burns said there are no new taxes, and the amount raised by the levy proposal will remain the same.

“(The proposal) will not cost anyone anything different,” he said. “This is the only levy we propose. I will be going to different groups and organizations as I have in the past (to campaign for the levy) in September and October.”

Burns said funds generated by the levy go toward textbooks, employee salaries and day-to-day operations of the district.

“The majority of the funds go toward our personnel, and they make the difference in education,” he said. “(The levy proposal) comes around every five years, and it reminds us we must earn the voters’ trust every five years. It also shows we’re trying to live within our means. It will not place any additional burdens on the taxpayers.”

In other matters Rich Lucci, transportation director, announced his resignation, “although he will be coming back three days a week on a part-time basis,” said Burns. Lucci was responsible for transportation, special programs and other miscellaneous duties.

“I’ll be taking over transportation duties,” Burns said.

In other business, the board:

– OK’d donating old light poles and lighting from the Toronto High School Stadium to the Shadyside Local School District.

“It’s not costing (Toronto) anything,” said Burns. “(Shadyside) is fronting the cost. It also will open up views for both sides of the stadium.”

– Voted to keep lunch fees the same as last year.

– Purchased high school social studies books costing $18,006.

– Approved hiring Jerry Vinci as junior high assistant football coach for the next school year.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Karaffa Elementary School library, 1307 Dennis Way.