Edison School Levy Comes up Short

Though the final count was closer than for previous levy attempts, voters in the 208-square mile Edison Local School District once again rejected an operating levy during the Tuesday election.

According to unofficial results, voters in the district that covers almost the entire northern portion of Jefferson County turned down the 5.9-mill, 5-year levy that Superintendent Bill Beattie had estimated would have raised $1.9 million annually for the district. The final count was 2,092 tallies for the levy, with 2,121 votes against it.

The district has more than 1,900 students from areas such as Hammondsville, Richmond, Knoxville, Irondale, Pleasant Hill, Amsterdam, Bergholz, Empire and Stratton. The largely rural district has already cut school bus service for students at Edison High School, while it has enacted a pay-to-play system for athletics.

The district has lost substantial revenue, according to Beattie, including a loss of more than $2.1 million since 2011. Losses include $700,000 in property taxes garnered from FirstEnergy Corp.; a $470,000 loss due to changes in the way state tax is reimbursed to school districts; and a $949,813 loss in funds from federal stimulus funds.

Edison voters also elected Scott Lockhart to serve on the board of education by giving him 2,492 votes, compared to just 12 for Warner Sanders. John Prokopakis, who was unopposed for election to the board, tallied 2,764 votes.

Although the Buckeye Local School District did not have a levy on the ballot, a total of 12 people registered to run for three open seats on the board to represent the district that covers areas such as Yorkville, Tiltonsville, Rayland, Brilliant, Smithfield, New Alexandria, Dillonvale and Adena. James Cesario led the way with 1,349 votes, while Dirk Pielech collected 1,274 votes and Naoma Kolkedy took 936 votes.

Others collecting votes were Edmund Blazeski with 890 votes, Charles Haggerty with 751 votes, Mike Belon with 660 votes, Shawnna Merrill with 645 votes, Mike Pyciak with 587 votes, Russell Cominsky with 504 votes, Dale Dollison with 503 votes, Alice Pugh with 491 votes and Korreene Prince with 182 votes.

Voters in the Indian Creek Local School District – which covers areas such as Wintersville, Mingo Junction and Bloomingdale – chose John Figel and Daniel Bove Jr. to represent them on the board of education, as Figel led the way with 2,234 votes and Bove Jr. got 2,178. Also on the ballot were Rose Slaughter, Candy Newburn, Jacquelyn Carpenter and Robbie Frey. These candidates collected 852 votes, 684 votes, 585 votes and 487 votes, respectively.

County-wide, voters approved an additional 1-mill, seven-year levy for purchasing equipment and improving buildings at the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School by a count of 7,679 tallies in favor of the measure, compared to 7,012 votes against it.