Central levy passes annual meeting by narrow margin

Last year’s Central High School annual meeting lasted about 7 minutes, according to the minutes of the meeting.

This year a modest crowd of residents who showed up to ask the board to do a better job in controlling spending pushed this year’s meeting on Tuesday night to well over an hour.

chs-logoWhen electors voted on the tax levy, which showed a 19 percent increase over last year, it passed by a narrow 17 to 13 vote.

Several speakers asked questions of the board aimed at seeing why the budget was not cut further. Others made the case that deeper cuts were needed to provided desperately needed tax relief to local property owners.

“The increase on the local populace is becoming almost untenable,” said Brad Smith, who identified himself as a Central graduate. “I see the real economy … It’s not improving; it’s getting worse.”

When the board voted on the levy during its regular monthly meeting held right after the annual meeting the levy passed unanimously.

The district’s total tax levy for this year is $8,171,612. Last year’s total levy was $6,864,857.

Early in the meeting, a resolution passed by a single vote to eliminate pay for school board members. After the meeting, board President Mary Ellen Pearsall said the board is not sure whether such a vote at an annual meeting is considered advisory or binding.

The following annual salaries were set for board members at last year’s annual meeting:

  • President, $2,400.
  • Vice president, $2,400.
  • Treasurer, $2,400.
  • Clerk, $2,400.
  • Members, $2,180.

Members who served on the negotiating team received an additional $680.


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