Edison to place levy before voters

HAMMONDSVILLE – An operating levy for the Edison Local School District to be placed before distinct voters during a special election on Feb. 5 was discussed during the school board’s regular meeting on Tuesday.

The board also held its reorganizational meeting.

Board members decided to go ahead and place the 9.45-mill operating levy on the ballot to help generate enough revenue to avoid possible drastic cuts in educational services, according to Superintendent Bill Beattie.

“We wanted to try again because of the (district’s) financial state, obviously,” said Beattie, adding the proposal is the same as the one placed before and turned down by district voters in November. “If we can’t pass it then we are looking at cuts for next (school) year.”

The school district currently charges students to participate in extracurricular activities.

The levy proposal would fund basic operating expenses for the district, which includes 1,965 students and pupils from Hammondsville, Richmond, Knoxville, Irondale, Pleasant Hill, Amsterdam, Bergholz, Empire, Stratton and other areas in the northern edge of Jefferson County. The levy would fund district operations, including buses, building maintenance, food services, salaries, wages, benefits of employees and utilities, Beattie had previously said.

District officials notified the Jefferson County Board of Elections in November about the special election, and Beattie said he believes the levy proposal would be the only item on the ballot.

“We had to have the (levy) resolution passed by Nov. 2 and submitted to (the board of elections) even before the Nov. 6 election,” he said.

In other business:

“The board president and vice president (from last year) changed positions,” said Beattie, adding the board elected Scott Lockhart as president, Larry Crow as vice president and Dennis Menoski as treasurer.

The board approved the re-hiring of former Edison Local football coach Derrick Stickles.

“(Stickles) is going to be starting (as football coach and educator) with us Jan. 22,” said Beattie, adding Stickles previously served as an Edison teacher and head football coach before leaving the district to assume duties at Oak Glen High School.

Board committee members for 2013 also were established during the re-organizational meeting.

The board recognized teachers Cynthia Bodash, Debbie Hendricks and Betsy Jones for receiving $400 B.E.S.T. Practice Grants from the Jefferson County Educational Service Center, Beattie said.

“All three of them are science teachers who had interesting (grant) proposals for projects in their classrooms,” said Beattie. “We’re glad they are able to secure these grants.”

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 12 at Edison High School.