PDT Staff Writer
After a surprising upset in the November 2008 election, voters on Tuesday were again asked to support the renewal of a 1-mill Scioto County Career Technical Center tax levy — and they did.
One mill is equal to 10 cents on every $100 of property valuation.
Many believe voters narrowly refused to support the 1-mill renewal levy in November (14,282 in favor, 15,046 against) because they simply did not recognize the new name of the facility — formerly known best as Scioto County Joint Vocational School.
“People say we’re the best kept secret in the county. We don’t want to be the best kept secret. We want people to understand who we are,” Superintendent Stan Jennings said.
With this year’s election, the school participated in a much more aggressive campaign, using signs, advertising, print and radio spots, and phone-banking to inform voters who they were.
The 1-mill tax levy would be used for various school projects, including black-topping the parking lot and driveway, meeting Ohio School Facilities Commission required maintenance, lab and classroom equipment, and to continue upgrades and expand services. Jennings stressed that the levy cannot be used to pay salaries.
The issue opened the night with a strong lead, as Jennings paced the Scioto County Courthouse in quiet anticipation. About three hours after the polls closed, he was all smiles at the numbers shown on the projector board. The levy passed with 4,342 votes in favor and 2,929 against in unofficial results.
“I want to thank everybody for their support. All the guys that came out and helped us. We hope that we can always do the best thing for the community, and we feel strongly about their support at this point,” Jennings said.
He said this year the school did a better job identifying the school for voters.
“I think it was the key factor,” he said. “The fact that they knew the Scioto County Career Technical Center was the old Vo-tech school, and the Vo-tech school is dear to everyone’s heart within this Scioto County issue. I think that’s the biggest piece that’s made the difference.”
He said he looked forward to concentrating his efforts on educating students, from eighth-graders to 55-year-old displaced workers. Since established in 1971, SCCTC has trained almost 30,000 skilled tradespeople through its high school and adult education classes.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.