Norwalk school board splits vote on levy option

Cary Ashby • Jun 20, 2018 at 9:21 AM

The Norwalk school board will require more discussion about putting a levy on the November ballot since a vote Tuesday failed to pass.

Board president Lisa Wick and member Beth Schnellinger voted for authorizing the ballot language for a 10-year renewal levy, but Steve Linder and Ralph Ritzenthaler turned in “no” votes. Vice president John Lendrum was absent, so the 2-2 vote failed. 

Linder said he considered the levy option “a Band-Aid approach” and if the voters approved it, it wouldn’t go far enough in helping the district financially. 

Wick told Linder if he felt that way, he shouldn’t have voted in favor of a related resolution during the last meeting. In May, the board voted 4-1 in putting the levy on the November ballot. Ritzenthaler, who voted against it, said Tuesday he wants a tax that generates money that increases each year and sets up the district financially in the long term.

“All we are doing is back-pedaling,” Wick said. “Joyce (Dupont, treasurer) has given us a lot of information and now we’re just back-pedaling.”

The proposed tax would have brought in about $1.54 million annually. Dupont said it wouldn’t have been an increase for the taxpayers and added she’s not sure if the district is at the point where it can ask voters to pay more than they already are.

Superintendent Geore Fisk said the goal is to get out of deficit-spending and return to being in the black. The next meeting is July 17.

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