Summit County school board endorses ballot measure 1A | SummitDaily.com

Summit County school board endorses ballot measure 1A

Alli Langley
alangley@summitdaily.com

Author Carol Buckley, second from left, poses with Upper Blue Elementary students Olivia, Stephanie and Zachary. Buckley founded Elephant Aid International and spoke at the school on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014.

The Board of Education for the Summit School District unanimously voted in support of ballot measure 1A, which seeks to raise property taxes in Summit County to fund emergency services and environmental protection efforts.

A team of supporters of the measure — County Commissioners Karn Stiegelmeier and Thomas Davidson and three emergency services providers — presented to the board at a regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 14, and said the $3.73 million in temporary annual funding over eight years would help protect students.

Davidson said the measure asks for less annual funding than was lost in property taxes after the recession, and the money would support an upgrade that would allow people to send texts and picture messages to 911 dispatchers.

Cell phone coverage is spotty in the county and texts often work when calls don't. Educators also can probably imagine scenarios where students would want to silently contact 911 rather than having to audibly place a call, he said.

If the measure passes, Davidson said, county residents and property owners who receive ambulance services would be eligible for a fee discount to recognize their tax contributions.

Plus ambulance response times should be faster, he said, and the tax funding would help shorten them.

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School board member J Kent McHose asked about the extent of environmental threats in the county, and Stiegelmeier talked about the ongoing costs of treating toxic waste from old abandoned mines. She added that the county's open space department has declined purchasing prime parcels of land because of prohibitive clean-up costs.

Board vice president Erin Young asked what would happening if the measure didn't pass, and Stiegelmeier said the county would prioritize emergency services by making cuts in road maintenance and other departments.

THIS WEEK IN SUMMIT SCHOOLS

Tuesday, Oct. 28

Central Administration Office, School Board Meeting, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 29

Summit Middle School, Basketball vs. GCMS, 5 p.m.

Upper Blue Elementary, Community Strategic Planning Meeting, 6 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 31

Summit Cove Elementary, PTSA, 8:45 a.m.

Please send education news to reporter Alli Langley at alangley@summitdaily.com.