Swanton BOE Holds Officer Elections for 2022, Hears COVID Updates
To open the new year, three individuals, John Schaller, Steve Brehmer and Kristina Oberheim were sworn in to begin another four-year term on the Swanton Board of Education (BOE). Mr. Schaller was elected to the BOE in November to his first full term after previously serving twice by appointment to fill vacated seats. Mr. Brehmer was re-elected to serve his third term and Ms. Oberheim will be serving her fourth consecutive term.
Following the “new” members taking their Oath of Office, nominations for BOE President and Vice-President were accepted. Ms. Oberheim was nominated for President and was voted to the position unanimously. Ben Remer was nominated for Vice-President and was also voted to the position unanimously. Both Ms. Oberheim and Mr. Remer occupied the same seats in 2021.
The Board members proceeded to set dates and times for the calendar year of 2022. All BOE meetings will take place on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. with the following exceptions: The February meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. and the June meeting will take place on June 29, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. There will be no meeting held in July and special meetings will be scheduled as needed.
District Superintendent Chris Lake provided the Board with an update for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For the second year in a row the district has remained open for in person instruction every day for our students. Due to the widespread availability of testing and vaccines for ages 5 and up the district has maintained a mask optional approach this year. Additionally, the changes to the state quarantine protocol have allowed for more students to remain in school after a potential exposure by simply wearing a mask. Based on our internal data the greatest risk of exposure to COVID comes from outside of the school building and in particular family spread has led to the greatest number of cases.
1. Positive cases = 34
2. Quarantines = 106
1. Positive Cases = 49
2. Quarantines = 51
The highest number of positive cases in the district happened in the week of 10/11 – 10/15 when we had 17 (1.3%) positive cases and 36 quarantines. Since that time the positive cases have ebbed and flowed but remained below the high of 17 with an average of 6.8 cases per week. This represents a positivity rate of roughly .5% for the district population each week.
Regarding school taxes, Mr. Lake recommended the BOE pass the following resolution: A RESOLUTION DETERMINING TO PROCEED TO SUBMIT TO THE ELECTORS OF THE SWANTON LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT THE QUESTION
OF THE RENEWAL OF AN EXISTING TAX LEVY, PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 5705.194 THROUGH 5705.197 OF THE REVISED CODE.
The Emergency Levy is a fixed sum levy that will collect $825,000 each year for five years. As property value in the school district changes, the millage amount will be adjusted so the levy will collect $825,000 each year. Homeowners will continue to receive discounts for owner occupied residences – Rollback & Homestead amounts.
For tax year 2021, payable in 2022, the $825,000 Emergency Levy is being collected at 3.2 mills. The cost to the owner of a $100,000 home is $8.17 per month. The millage amount that will be listed on the ballot will be 3.2 mills.
The valuation of the district has increased over the years, so the millage to raise $825,000 has dropped from 4.45 mills to 3.2 mills. With the 2022 Minimum Wage increase in Ohio from $8.80 to $9.30, Mr. Lake recommended that the substitute rates for a few classifications be increased to $9.50.
The next BOE meeting will be held on February 15, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. in the BOE Offices on Main Street.
Pictured: Re-Elected Board members John Schaller, Steve Brehmer and Kristina Oberheim