To the Editor:

In fall 2019, Perrysburg School District was in fiscal crisis. The state just completed a performance audit on the district. The audit was the result of multiple years of deficits, forecasted future deficits and the fact there was no levy in place to address the deficits.

That fall voters approved a $54 million operating levy that began in 2020 and runs through 2024. If that levy had not passed, operations may have been taken over by the state. That extremely large levy was stressful for many people. If we didn’t pass the levy, it was very possible that the district would not have been able to meet payroll in January 2020.

I have reviewed the five-year financial forecast presented this spring and am troubled. Based on the forecasted financial performance, I am very concerned that by 2025 we may be looking at another significant levy. The financial trends do not look promising. We must act now.

Sue Larimer and Eric Bennington have been on the board for years. These two are running for re-election, but based on the past district financial performance they are not good stewards of taxpayer money. They let the district run deficits and waited till the last minute to put a levy on the ballot. This begs the question: Should we vote for the individuals that were on the board and let the financial distress happen or should we vote for change?”

I think it is time for a change. I support Laura Meinke and David Desser for school board. Meinke has been a school board member for 11 years in the Genoa district. She brings a wealth of experience that the district could benefit from. Although Genoa is much smaller than Perrysburg, they have similar challenges and have less money to work with. I believe she will be fiscally responsible with the district and taxpayer funds. Desser also has experience with two school boards and has the added experience of being a small business owner for over 30 years. Desser also feels that short and long-term planning is very important to prevent a fiscal crisis like we experienced in 2019.

Vote Meinke and Desser for Perrysburg school board on Nov. 2. It will be a win for all.

Larry Leyland