League of Women Voters urges passage of Westlake levy

The Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland endorses Issue 5, a 1-mill levy for the Westlake City Schools. We urge Westlake voters to vote “YES” on May 5 (or by absentee ballot before that date) to protect their already-substantial investment in the schools and to assure that technology needs and building repairs are adequately funded. The issue should bring in about $1.3 million per year, with an annual cost to homeowners of $35 per $100,000 of valuation.

This levy will provide Westlake schools with a dedicated funding stream to maintain buildings and equipment while continuing the high-quality academic programs the community expects. Its proceeds will be used for “permanent” expenditures – those with an expected useful life of five years or more. The school district’s operating funds from the state have been reduced $14.9 million over the past 10 years. Although the district has worked hard to overcome this loss, the juggling act should not be expected go on forever. 

The City of Westlake now has the seventh-lowest residential and the fifth-lowest commercial property tax rate among 80 taxing districts within Cuyahoga County, according to Mayor Dennis Clough. Superintendent Geoff Palmer has noted that Westlake’s school taxes are the third lowest in Cuyahoga County and can be expected to remain so upon passage of this levy. 

Westlake is considered one of the most stable housing markets in the U.S. We believe Westlake’s citizens should declare solid support for its educational enterprise by approving Issue 5 on May 5.

– Jean Seasholtz and Carole Koscielny,
Co-Chairs, Westlake/North Olmsted Chapter,
League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:37 AM, 04.21.2015