PERRYSBURG — In the three-way board of education race, with two seats to be filled, newcomer Kelly Ewbank won a seat.
She received 5,535 votes. Incumbent Ray Pohlman will be returning with 5,257 votes. Board President Jarmon Davis trailed with 4,728 votes.
“It was a ton of hard work. I went to about 3,000 doors. Going to door to door, and getting the word out. Honestly, people wanted change,” Ewbank said. “Fiscal accountability, I think, is what people were frustrated with.”
Ewbank, a Perrysburg graduate, used the tagline YJ4L, or Yellow Jacket for Life.
She was also thrilled with the passage of the school levy.
“I’m going to push to be accountable for taxpayer dollars and really looking at what’s a need and what’s a want moving forward, because we cannot get into this deficit spending again. Staying into a budget. Just because you have the money doesn’t mean you have to spend it.”
The levy was the primary issue for Pohlman.
“As a member of the current board, I’m very, very thankful to the community for the passage of the levy,” he said.
“I know as new money it can be very difficult. Secondly, I’m very thankful to be re-elected to the school board and honored to help the school system.”
Pohlman is a retired math teacher from Perrysburg schools and he spoke about the school funding formula and educating the public on how it affected the district was important in his race.
“(The formula) eats up the funds quickly because we don’t get enough funding from the state, because of the formula being flawed,” Pohlman said. “We had to educate people, that it wasn’t misuse of finances, that it wasn’t overspending money. We showed them how the administrative average wasn’t above the state average and the per pupil spending was below the state average.”
He also recognized some problems with communication about the levy with residents.
“The other thing was some folks felt it was all of a sudden that it was sprung on them,” Pohlman said. “So we need to evaluate what that means. I think that although the board knew a year ago — that this was going to be a levy that would be coming up in 2019, for 2020 — perhaps we did not communicate that effectively at times. We certainly want to make sure, in the future, that there is plenty of runway, so to speak.”
He also wants to continue having Superintendent Tom Hosler as part of the team working on House Bill 305, also known as the Cupp-Patterson bill, which would reformulate the way districts are funded by the state.
Pohlman brought up the suggested committee which would go over the state auditor’s report on the school district for finding ways to improve the district finances.
“That’s going to be a priority for the board,” he said.