An anti-levy campaign against Bowling Green School's May levy request both out-spent and out-raised money by nearly a 2:1 margin.
And the backlash from anti-levy signs has affected at least one city business.
According to documents filed at the Wood County Board of Elections earlier this month, Citizens for Financial Responsibility raised $31,025.57 in donations.
The largest donation came from Robert Maurer, who spearheaded the campaign to vote against the district's 6.75-mill property tax request. He gave $18,925.57 toward his campaign.
Citizens in Support of Our Schools, by comparison, raised $18,699.26 to promote passage of the levy.
Among the anti-levy campaign donations, JFN Group LLC, at 515 Buttonwood Ave., and High Plains LLC, at 908 Scott Bld., both gave $2,500 to the campaign. Those properties are owned by John F. Newlove and John H. Frobose, respectively, according to the Wood County Auditor's website.
Also donating were Douglas Sieple, $500; Gary Wulff, $3,000; Dud Dauterman, $3,000; Andrew Schuman, $100; and Kori Iott, $500. Only nine donors, including Maurer, financially supported Citizens for Financial Responsibility.
In comparison, 72 people made donations to the Citizens in Support of Our Schools, ranging from $15 to $500.
The most generous donations were from local attorney Mike Marsh, who donated $500; the Bowling Green Education Association, which gave $400; and Milton and Lee Hakel, who also gave $400.
Lee Hakel is a member of the Bowling Green Board of Education.
Kelly and Laura Wicks donated $250 as did Wood County Insurance.
Wicks and his team led the campaign.
Both the high school and middle school PTOs donated funds, as did several - but not all - building principals, school board members, administrators and teachers.
Rumors have been circulating that the district has canceled contracts with local businesses that supported the anti-levy campaign, but school's Superintendent Ann McVey denied that assertion.
"We are encouraging as many purchases and contracts with local businesses as possible," she stated.
"I understand that the property owner has the right to place a sign ... that are not necessarily the view of the business owner," she continued.
"We have had no discussion in this district about boycotting any business. There has been a push to do as much business locally as possible.
"When we say that we're trying to support this community, that's true," McVey said.
School board President Ellen Scholl agreed.
"There's no district policy that says we're not using any businesses in the community," she said.
"I would not support (a boycott) in any way. We need our local community and need them on our side and not working against us," she added.
But Maurer owns nearly 80 acres within Bowling Green Schools, including sites of local businesses who support the schools.
Maurer placed "vote no" signs on many of the properties he owns, which he is allowed to do, whether that business supported his efforts or not.
But Dan Long, owner of Longs Cleaners on West Wooster Street, said placement of a sign near his business has apparently had repercussions.
According to Long, high school orchestra director Shawn Hudson has canceled future uniform cleaning work with the company. Long said he called Hudson, but hasn't gotten a return call.
Hudson would not comment this morning on why he canceled business with Longs.
"I am exploring other local options," he stated.
There was no contract with Long's, "it's always just been something that was done," Long said.
As of now, he will continue to clean marching band and Madrigal outfits.
Long said he has heard there is a "Maurer Followers List" circulating listing those businesses who apparently didn't support the school levy because of a "vote no" sign on the property.
"It's just very disappointing when I heard this," Long stated. He was "very irritated that people could think that way."
"I can't help Bob Maurer owns the property that I do business at."
He and Maurer went to high school together and Long said he talked to his friend about the issue.
Maurer could not be reached for comment.
Loss of the band contract will cost the long-time Bowling Green company between $3,000 and $4,000, and Long said he has worked with the school district for 35 to 40 years.
"It surprises me that people will do this in Bowling Green," Long stated.