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Record Of Proceedings Monroe Local Board Of Eductaion February 9, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009 3:21:30 PM - Monroe Ohio


Minutes of February 9, 2009 Work Session

The Board of Education of the Monroe Local School District in the County of Butler, State of Ohio, held its work session on the 9th day of February 2009 in the Monroe Elementary Cafeteria, located in Monroe, Ohio.

Mr. Tom Leeds, President, called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.

The Treasurer, Mrs. Kelley Thorpe, recorded the minutes.

Roll Call — showed the following members present Mr. Tom Leeds, Mr. Chris Snyder, Mr. Mike Lane, and Mr. Mike Irwin. Mr. Tom Birdwell was absent. Also present were Superintendent, Dr. Elizabeth Lolli, Treasurer, Mrs. Kelley Thorpe, and guests as listed in Appendix “A”, which is attached and becomes an official part of these minutes.

A recording of this meeting on Compact Disk is available in the Treasurer’s Office for review, reference tape # 090209.

All presentations/documents presented to the Board are available in the Treasurer’s Office, as referenced in the body of these minutes.

Resolution No. 09-022 Approval of Consent Agenda
Mr. Snyder moved and Mr. Irwin seconded the motion to approve the Consent Agenda.
ROLL CALL: AYES: (4) Mr. Irwin, Mr. Lane, Mr. Leeds, Mr. Snyder
NOES: (0)
ABSENT: (1) Mr. Birdwell
The president declared the motion carried. 

Discussion – School Financial Situation

Mrs. Kelley Thorpe, Treasurer; Mrs. Brenda Wehmer, Peck Shaffer Williams; and Mr. Andrew Brossard, 5/3rd Securities; made a presentation to the board concerning the emergency operating levy that is set to expire on December 31, 2009. Failure to renew this levy would result in a loss of about $800,000 in revenue for both 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 fiscal years.

Two additional emergency operating levies will expire in 2010; however, Mrs. Thorpe recommended postponing discussions about those levies until after Governor Strickland’s changes to school funding are fully realized.

Mrs. Thorpe presented several ballot options for the board to consider for renewal of this levy. The options presented to the board were:

• Renewal of the levy in its current form. This option would collect no additional revenue for the district and would not raise taxes for the community. This levy could be renewed for a period of 5 years.
• Replace the emergency levy with a substitute levy. This option would not raise taxes for the community, but would collect additional revenue for the district with new growth. This option is Mrs. Thorpe’s recommendation. Mr. Irwin pointed out that any growth within the city that is part of the abatement agreements would not contribute to the revenue. Mrs. Wehmer explained that this levy can now be approved for either 5 years, 10 years, or on a continuing basis.
• Replace the emergency levy with an incremental levy. This option would both collect additional revenue for the district and raise taxes for the community.

Mrs. Thorpe discussed the possibility that changes in funding at the state and federal levels could have either positive or negative effects on Monroe’s financial status. She indicated that until more information is released about the details of the governor’s funding plan that it is too early to have an accurate picture of the effect. Mr. Irwin inquired about any proposed cuts that the district may be considering to help offset any negative effect on Monroe’s finances such as reevaluating contracts to capture savings. Dr. Lolli explained that all contracts have been given to the school attorney for review. She also stated that the district has until the end of March to make cut decisions and she will have a presentation for the board at that time. These cuts will only keep Monroe’s budget in balance; it will not assist fiscally if this levy is not renewed.

Mr. Irwin would like Mrs. Thorpe and Dr. Lolli to revaluate items such as extracurricular fees, student fees, and open enrollment to see if changes in these areas would assist with the current financial situation. Mrs. Thorpe stated that she and Dr. Lolli have already started these discussions for the next fiscal year.

Mr. Irwin also inquired about ways that the school can increase our revenue stream. Mrs. Thorpe discussed the incoming Rockies Express pipeline being built in Butler County and her attempts at securing a meeting with the appropriate parties. Dr. Lolli stated that she and Mrs. Thorpe had met with Tim Abbott from Duke Energy about pursuing reimbursement for the energy efficient renovations at Monroe Primary.

Mr. Leeds inquired about the possibility of including the two levies that expire next year with the renewal for this year’s levy. Mrs. Wehmer explained that this could be done if the board wanted to combine all three levies together. If this levy failed, the two expiring in 2010 would still remain, however, the levy expiring in 2009 would be gone. Dr. Lolli suggested that it is still too soon to make a decision about the levies expiring next year until more information is received regarding changes in school funding at the state level because a new funding formula has not yet been released.

Mr. Irwin suggested that the board consider putting a substitute levy on the ballot for a continuous period of time in order to prevent levy fatigue of the voters. Putting a renewal on the ballot for a set period of time puts the board in a position to take the issue to the voters when the levy is set to expire.

Mr. Irwin requested that a levy campaign committee be assembled that is more neutral than the last levy committee. He stated that in the last levy campaign, there were personality conflicts and he would like these events to not be repeated.

Mr. Snyder inquired about any negative differences between a 10-year levy and a continuing levy. Mrs. Wehmer explained that some districts prefer time limit levies so that the community has an opportunity to essentially grade the district by approving a levy. She also stated that other districts feel the community has plenty of other grading opportunities at the ballot with other levies and bond issues. Mr. Leeds, Mr. Snyder, Mr. Lane, and Mr. Irwin all expressed a desire to put a continuing levy on the ballot.

After discussion, the board advised Mrs. Thorpe to bring a levy recommendation for a substitute levy on a continuing basis to them for approval in March. A decision will be made at that time as to when the levy will be placed on the ballot; August and November are both available ballot dates for this renewal to be presented to the voters. An August ballot vote will cost more than a November election due to the reduced number of initiatives on the ballot in August. Mr. Irwin recommended that information about this levy renewal be shared with the community as soon as possible.

Mr. Irwin requested that the board consider moving inside millage later this year for inclusion on the 2010 tax duplicates. Mrs. Wehmer explained that the district would need to pass a resolution declaring its intent to discuss the moving of the millage and then have a public hearing on the matter. Following the hearing, a resolution must be passed by the board approving the move in millage and filed with the county auditor. Mrs. Thorpe will make a presentation to the board at the work session in March and will attempt to have someone from the Butler County Auditor’s office to attend.

Dr. Lolli stated that she will have information forthcoming for the board on possible cuts and changes in our expenses for presentation in March and that Mr. Bauer will be making a presentation on the finances for the Athletic programs.

Resolution No. 09-023 Adjournment
Mr. Irwin moved, and Mr. Lane seconded the motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:08 p.m.

ROLL CALL: AYES: (4) Mr. Irwin, Mr. Lane, Mr. Leeds, Mr. Snyder
NOES: (0)
ABSENT: (1) Mr. Birdwell
The president declared the motion carried.

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