Levy Passes by 1 Vote

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The Brookfield Local School District’s first school levy in nearly two decades passed by a single vote after provisional and absentee ballots were counted.

The Trumbull County Board of Elections said on Tuesday that after counting all ballots, the district’s 4.85-mill emergency levy passed by a total count of 930 to 929, triggering an automatic recount.

The board will officially certify the results at their 3:30 p.m. meeting. They will schedule the recount date at that meeting, officials said. Automatic recounts are triggered when an issue is decided by 0.5 percent difference.

The district, which was placed on fiscal emergency by the state two weeks ago, passed its first school levy in 18 years in the May 7 election by three votes before 17 absentee and provisional ballots were counted.

The levy will generate about $606,000, officials said.

Brookfield district officials said they have cut $500,000 in spending, including six teaching positions, and would use the money to hire new teachers.

The Brookfield school district was placed on fiscal emergency May 14 by the state auditor for failing to adopt a recovery plan to eliminate their current deficit.

A Financial Planning and Supervision Committee that assumes at least some responsibility from the district’s board of education will be created. Three commission members must be approved within 15 days, according to the auditor’s office.

The auditor’s office said the committee will then adopt a plan within 120 days to address the district’s financial state.

The district was placed on fiscal caution Dec. 22, 2005 by the Ohio Department of Education due to anticipated deficits in the 2006-2007 fiscal year. The district failed to implement plans to eliminate the deficit, causing the district to be placed on fiscal watch March 2, 2006.

The auditor placed the district on fiscal emergency after the district passed a resolution Feb. 21 that said they were unable to adopt a recovery plan that eliminated the current deficit, the auditor’s declaration says.

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