Salem School officials present to Paddock Lake Village Board on upcoming referendum

Salem School District board member Shane Gerber and district administrator David Milz appeared before the Paddock Lake Village Board to present information regarding the upcoming school district referendum.

The referendum will ask voters to approve the district exceeding the state imposed revenue limit for three years on a non reoccurring basis for a total of $3 million. District officials explain that as far as tax impact, their projections show the district’s tax rate should not increase and might decrease some in the last year if the referendum is approved. Milz explained the situation as the district looking to shift money now used to pay debt to instead be used for operations and to build reserves back up.

Milz explained that state law says he cannot advocate for a postion, but only present information Here are his comments:

Board members are freer to advocate for a position on the referendum in comments to the public. Here are Gerber’s comments:

There was not a lot of discussion by Village Board members.

Trustee Gloria Walter asked if the failure of the referendum would mean teacher layoffs and more students per classroom. Milz answered likely yes on both counts.

Village President Terry Burns was critical of the idea that the district says it has paid off debt early in order to be able to pass the referendum and keep the tax rate the same. Burns┬ásaid he sees it as perhaps the district has cut itself short in operational funds in order to pay off the debt early. Milz defended the district’s plan saying it has saved district taxpayers $60,000 in interest cost and explaining that debt spending and operations spending are separate in school finance. The district would like to use the debt spending for operations in the future, but it must get voter permission to do so. Hence the referendum.



  1. Separate Funding says:

    State law requires separate funding accounts for different aspects of the school budgets. You can’t just take money from one fixed expense account and use it to pay for other expenses.
    One example might be thinking about taking money from the IT budget and putting it into the lunch program budget. This is something that cannot be done.

    The lunch program runs at a deficit due to parents not paying for their child’s food. This is a long-term ongoing issue that is difficult to solve. But taking money from one account and putting it in another is not a solution

    So while it’s not hard to explain to the taxpayers why their taxes are not going to go down upon paying off debt but instead stay the same to finance the new debt justifying that new debt is hard to explain.

    And that is the one and only question that needs to be answered.

  2. Separate Funding gets a BINGO! says:

    As has been most excellently written by Separate Funding, there is one question that needs to be answered and to avert the answer they go the route of a Ref. The reason for the ref is because of this very fund transfer you introduced is in their face. It needs to be approved by the electors; Fund transfers are above the School Board pay grade.


    Vote no to the ref. Decrease the taxes for the tax payers. They earned it. The school can find something else to run leaner and meaner. Bid out more; reject bids not in keeping with the budget. Tighten controls. Start with office supplies.

    VOTE NO.
    A 73% grade for this school is pathetic. Not even a C grade! When Salem reaches (or nears) 100%, an excellent grade, then the taxpayers might be willing to tender up more cash. When the number of students leaving the school for another diminishes, then the taxpayers might be willing to tender up more cash. When more students come begging to open enroll at the school because of excellence, then the taxpayers might be willing to tender up more cash.

  3. Does Darren have kids at this school says:

    Kids…. as student or teacher?

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