- Lawrence Budd Staff Writer
School district voters approved a substitute levy on the first try on Tuesday and elected three board members expected to carry forward with business as usual in the district.
The continuing substitute 7.4-mill levy is projected to raise more than $7.9 million for school district expenses. It will replace an emergency levy expiring next year.
After running behind all night, the final election night totals showed 51.7 percent of voters supporting the new levy. The margin of victory on election night was just 263 votes.
The overall election-night count was 3,897 to 3,634 in Warren County and the portion of the district in Montgomery County.
The levy win was a big victory for the Keep Springboro Strong Committee and its supporters, including Friends of Springboro Schools, the levy committee leading recent past campaigns.
“Thank you to all those who worked so hard to ensure that we #keepspringborostrong,” the committee tweeted Wednesday morning.
In the school board race, incumbents Dave Stuckey, Charles Anderson and appointee Dan Gudz defeated challenger Theresa Schneider.
The final numbers for both counties showed Anderson, winning his third term, with 4,399, and Stuckey, winning a second term, with 4,398. In a close run for the third seat, Gudz, appointed earlier this year, edged Schneider 3,486 to 3,138.
And in the lone ward race on the ballot for Springboro City council, Janie Ridd defeated Gary Hruska in Ward 1, winning 501 to 331.
RELATED: Council to appoint Ward 1 member
In Clearcreek Twp., voters in the unincorporated township and Springboro reelected Trustees Ed Wade and Steve Muterspaw. Both got about 35 percent of the vote in turning back a challenge from Linda Oda, the township’s fiscal officer and Warren County Recorder. Final unofficial totals showed Muterspaw with 4,053 votes, Wade 4,043 and Oda 3,359.
In the school district, voters have rejected five consecutive levies for new money, but approved a renewal with a reduced levy in 2013.
Superintendent Dan Schroer and Treasurer Terrah Floyd attended over 40 events to explain the issue to voters.
“We wanted people to understand all the facts of the levy,” Debbie Sweitzer, the committee’s social media coordinator, said in a phone interview. “They were willing to meet with everyone and answer any question.”
People already paying property taxes on emergency levies like the one that would be replaced by the substitute levy shouldn’t see their bills go up after passage of the substitute measure.
Unlike other levies, substitutes enable districts to collect full taxes on residential and commercial properties improved after passage, unless they are exempted through tax abatements or other incentives.
Schroer can also chalk up a win in his first levy since joining the district.
Ridd, a former planning commission member for 30 years, was appointed about three years ago to replace Lisa Kerschner who resigned.