School districts prep for May balloting
Voters in the Evart and Reed City area school districts will be heading for the polls Tuesday, May 3, to select a number of Board of Education representatives and, in the case of the Evart area voters, to determine the financial future of the district.
In Evart Public Schools district balloting Alan Salinas is running unopposed for the seat to which he was appointed following the resignation of former Board trustee Gary Cole Jr. This term of office will end June 30, 2013.
Also on the ballot, two Board postings are being contested. The seats presently held by Kelly Millen and Larry Barden are both up for grabs. Barden is not running for re-election.
On the ballot for either one of the two seats are three potentials — incumbent Kelly Millen, Rose McKinstry, and Charles Walter. These terms of office will end in 2015.
Of vital interest to the school district is the renewal of the operating millage allowing it continue collecting tax revenues from non-homestead properties to the tune of 18 mills.
Voters are being asked to determine whether “... the currently authorized rate limitation of 22.1148 mills ... be renewed for the year 2012, to provide funds for operating purposes.”
The estimated amount that could be raised with this tax levy is $1,839,416.
As noted, this is a renewal millage, not a new millage proposal.
While the district is asking to continue collecting 18 mills on non-homestead tax properties, the language on the ballot reads 22.1148 mills.
This simply provides a cushion so that despite rollbacks or other fiscal foibles, the district will never find itself in a position in which it is collecting less than the state permitted 18 mills. (State of Michigan law allows only an 18 mill collection at any given time.)
While Evart district superintendent Howard Hyde is confident voters will allow the school system to carry on as it has already for years, he is still concerned over the potential for failure of the millage renewal bid.
“If this doesn’t pass we (the school district) would be in a world of hurt,” said Hyde.
“We’ve been renewing this 18 mill levy for years. All we can collect is the 18 mills and we need to do that. This is a big portion of our operating budget.”
Hyde reported that if the millage renewal were not to pass, and if that funding loss were added to the potential loss of funds suggested by Governor Rick Snyder’s state budget, the effect would be crushing.
“The cut in state funding as proposed is going to be devastating. If we were also to lose funding raised by this millage renewal, it would be catastrophic.
“I don’t know that we would have the money to open our doors.”
In Reed City, there are no financial issues to be decided, but voters are being asked to select new Board members.
Incumbent Dan Boyer is running for a four-year term of office, as is incumbent Kathy Yost.
Incumbent Ed Raby is running two-year term.
The three are running unopposed.