Smooth sailing for Albion, Medina budgets

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 May 2013 at 12:00 am

Virginia Nicholson, long-time Medina BOE member, not re-elected

Photo by Tom Rivers – David Bertsch of Carlton casts a ballot in the new optical scan voting machines, which were used for the first time today by the school district. Shawn Liddle, the district’s assistant superintendent of business, was on hand to help people use the machine.

ALBION – School district residents gave strong support for Medina and Albion school budgets today.

Albion’s $33.3 million budget today passed 294-79. The budget includes a 1.5 percent tax increase and will cut five positions.

Residents also supported a school bus reserve proposition that would create a reserve for buses not to exceed $4,821,000. That passed 305-69. The district plans to take $440,000 from the reserve to go towards new buses.

A proposition to collect $654,000 for Hoag Library was approved, 264-109.

Residents also returned Margy Brown, the BOE president, to a second five-year term. She received 338 votes. Resident Linda Weller also was elected to her first five-year on the BOE with 257 votes.

“I have really enjoyed the opportunity,” Brown said about serving on the BOE. “I enjoy keeping it about the kids and not agendas.”

The district will need to adjust to new teacher and principal evaluations, increased “Common Core” standards, and new nutritional requirements in school lunches. And Albion will need to do so without straining local taxpayers, Brown said.

“There will be the challenge of keeping the district financially stable while still providing opportunities,” she said.

Medina’s $33.8 million budget also gained strong support with 577 in favor and 148 opposed. The budget won’t raise school taxes and will restore some staff and modified sports.

Residents also approved, 552-170, a proposition to spend $200,000 to purchase one 66-passenger bus and two 30-passenger buses. Another proposition to establish a capital reserve account for up to $2.5 million was approved, 572-137.

There was a five-way race for four seats on the BOE. Long-time incumbent Virginia Nicholson was not re-elected. Residents re-elected Wendi Pencille and John McCarthy to three-year terms, while newcomer Lori Draper also was elected to a three-year term.

David Sevinski was the fourth-leading candidate and will receive a one-year term.

Albion and Medina both ended voting at 8 p.m. I’ll check back on the other districts after polls close at 9 p.m.