AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

June 4, 2013

GC school directors OK proposed budget, tax increase

Public invited to study plan now

By Felicia A. Petro/Senior Reporter
Allied News

GROVE CITY — Grove City school directors on Monday passed the proposed $35,169,474 budget with 1-mill tax increase - with five voting for it, two voting against it and one abstaining.

Scott Somora and Faye Bailey voted against the budget and Adam Renick abstained; Sue Herman, William Reznor, William Norris, Roberta Hensel and Len Clarke voted in favor of the budget and Vern Saylor was absent.

Bailey and Somora said they were primarily against a 1-mill increase in taxes this year, which is part of the district's "pay forward" strategy for future expenses that it has implemented for years. One mill equals about $165,000, at an average cost of $25 per home in the district.

For some families, Bailey believed it was too much. She also didn't agree with the quick manner the budget was discussed at last week's work session before going to a vote on Monday.

"It's out of sequence," she said.

Bailey did not like that 3-percent raises for administrators were put into the budget and voted on without first being discussed, as well as a potential expense of $140,000 to add an administrative position that was talked about last week, she said.

The board discussed the possibility of George Junior Republic Principal Jim Anderson being an assistant to Superintendent Dr. Richard Mextorf. Anderson was acting superintendent for months while Mextorf underwent colon cancer surgeries.

Although Renick leaned toward the tax increase, he abstained because he didn't like the how the spending plan was quickly discussed last week. "For a $35 million budget, for a 25- to 45-minute discussion, I don't feel comfortable," he said.

"My issue is it's a brief snapshot for $35 million," Somora said. As part of the board of the Mercer County Career Center, Somora is part of hours-long talks for the center's budget that is a fraction of Grove City's.

Also, "I always have concerns about raising taxes," Somora said. "I don't mind asking the taxpayers for $25 if we need it. I don't believe we do."

Board President Sue Herman was satisfied with the budget presentation last week.

"We have numbers we have never seen before ... We are doing our due diligence," Herman said. "As a board member of 12 years, I never had more information."

District residents can look at the budget in detail by visiting Business Manager Kim Buchanan at the district office at 511 Highland Ave., located in the wing behind the high school.

A final vote will be made on the budget at next month's meeting, which is held at 7 p.m. the second Monday of the month.

A work session is held at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of the month. Board members will likely talk more about the budget in June.

Published May 15, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.