It's official: N. Baltimore levy passes PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by By JENISE FOUTS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Saturday, 21 June 2008 06:29
imagesThe official final count was 540 votes for the levy (50.33 percent) to 533 against the tax (49.67 percent). NORTH BALTIMORE - Today is a great day in North Baltimore.
Shortly after 8:30 this morning, members of the Wood County Board of Elections certified the results from the May 5, including passage - by seven votes - of the North Baltimore School District's dual property tax, income tax issue for construction of a new junior/senior high school complex.
The official final count was 540 votes for the levy (50.33 percent) to 533 against the tax (49.67 percent).
Though the issue failed in the fall by about 180 votes, and by four votes on May 5, there were still two absentee ballots and 13 provisional ballots which needed to be included in the total count and certified after the election. Of those 15 votes, 13 reversed the levy outcome from failing to passing.
Five persons representing North Baltimore were at the board of elections' one-minute meeting: Superintendent Kyle Clark, Treasurer Eve Baldwin, school board President Jake Trevino, levy campaign co-chair Tracy Cotterman and businessman Dennis Miller.
After Board of Elections Director Terry Burton distributed an election report summary to each guest, they spied the results and immediately erupted into exclamations of joy, sighs of relief, hugs and handshakes, a few tears - and an immediate need to escape from the room and share the good news by phone.
"All right! All right! Hallelujah!" responded Baldwin, adding, "It's going to be a good day in North Baltimore today."
"It's a great day in North Baltimore," Cotterman corrected, wiping her eyes. "It's moving us into the 21st century and gives our children the best education possible," said the lifelong village resident. "More important, it's going to help North Baltimore get out of this recession. North Baltimore has had some hard knocks with losing its businesses. I think this'll help us. It's going to make North Baltimore what it could always be."
She indicated the time spent on the campaign was well worth the effort. "The volunteers are an amazing group of people. They did what we asked them, and went above and beyond."
Her first two phone calls were to Marlene North, principal of Powell Elementary, and her husband, C.J. Cotterman.
Trevino's first call was to his wife, Mary, a health aide at Powell Elementary School. He couldn't reach her, so he texted her the information. When he later reached her, she said the announcement had been made over the school intercom, and "You could hear the whole building erupt."
Hearing that, Cotterman responded, "I just want to put every single child on a fire truck and take them through town."
"What a relief. I'm just elated," said Trevino. "I'm happy. This is the best news we've had in a long time. This is good news for the kids, the schools, the community. I'm on Cloud 9. We did a lot of hard work, the citizens, the community, walking the town. I thank God things worked out. I just want to thank the voters of the district wholeheartedly." During another call, Trevino stated, "I don't think I've prayed this hard in a long, long time."
Clark made numerous phone calls while smiling and relaying the same mantra, "It passed by seven votes. We're on our way." Taking a brief break from his calls, the superintendent said he was ecstatic. "I'm very happy for the community and for the youth of North Baltimore, now and well into the future. They are going to have a facility they're going to be very proud of."
He surmised the issue passed in spring, instead of fall, because the board was able to answer more questions for voters, particularly the location of the site chosen for the new complex. Clark said the board will notify the Ohio School Facilities Commission of the certified results. "At that point they will start school meetings with us and the architect, Fanning & Howey of Celina. The process then begins. The process is probably going to be, I'm told, about a year's worth of design and development and schematic drawings and construction bids let out. And then followed by about a year of construction.
"I think the earliest, and I may be optimistic, the earliest ... is the fall of 2011 (for the complex to open). I think that's a safe time line."
If an issue fails by one-half of one percent, there is an automatic recount. Burton said there is a 0.66 of 1 percent difference in the vote total. "We're not going to re-count. We're not going to go any further."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 May 2009 12:42

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