Writer opposes Cedar Cliff levy renewal

I would like to tell you why I oppose Issue 8, a renewal tax levy for Cedar Cliff Local Schools. The school district had another renewal on the ballot a little over one year ago. I asked a potential school board member, who was running for a vacancy at the time, why they needed the renewal levy. The answer was, that they needed a new bus and few other capital items. Not knowing more than that, I could not refute this need. However, it was only a few months later, I found out that the Board made a decision, without informing the local population, to pursue the purchase of 21 acres adjacent to the football and baseball fields. They paid $380,000 for the 21 acres which was valued at $131,000 on September 16, 2019. I believe most constituents are unaware of this purchase. Because they had the funds available there really was no need for the renewal of this levy. If there was a long-term requirement for the additional property, the Board should have felt good about informing the people of the need and plans for the property. As of today, no plans for the property has been given to the public. I would argue, that this lack of transparency makes it very difficult to believe there is a need for Issue 8 on March 17.

James Gillespie