By Melanie Speicher mspeicher@civitasmedia.com

May 6, 2014

A collective sigh of relief could be heard Tuesday night when the final tally of votes was given for the Sidney City Schools 9.9-mill emergency levy renewal.

The district voters approved the levy with an unofficial count of 3,299 (63 percent) for the levy and 1,940 (37 percent) against the levy.

“I am humbled by the magnitiude of the votes,” said Superintendent John Scheu Tuesday night after all 19 precincts in the district had been counted. “There were some precincts that we had not done well in before that we actually won tonight.”

Scheu said this is the biggest victory the district has ever had with any levy.

“The levy committee worked tirelessly on the campaign,” said Scheu. “They presented a very factual and positive campaign. Sometimes when you put your whole heart in a campaign and lose, it’s hard to remain positive. That didn’t happen, and I feel that is significant.

“This speaks very highly of our levy co-chairs and everyone associated with the levy — from the person who passed out signs, to those who walked the neighborhoods to those who passed out fliers. This was a total team effort.”

Scheu said the passage of the levy shows the voters are regaining confidence in the district and board of education.

“This is a vote of confidence about the changes the school district has made,” said Scheu. “We will continue with the things we’ve done and continue to live within our means.”

The levy co-chairmen Lisa Brady, Renee Davis and Bill Warner expressed their appreciation to the voters of the school district.

“We are elated by the passage of the 9.9-mill emergency property tax levy which continues funding at present levels to support the valuable programs of Sidney City Schools,” said the levy co-chairs in a prepared statement.

“At the same time we are humbled by the challenges that remain before us,” they continued. “We appreciate the continued involvement of all citizens and invite the bringing forth of ideas, questions, concerns and solutions regarding the mission and finances of the school system, so that together we can make our public schools and our community better than any single one of us can imagine.”

The five-year levy will generate more than $4,417,000 per year for the school district. This is the first levy the voters have approved since 2008 when the 9.9-mill emergency levy was passed by the voters.

Results of other area school levy votes, all of which passed, are as follows:

Botkins Local Schools: In Shelby County, 256 votes in favor of the 2-mill renewal for five years, 164 against. In Auglaize County, 29 votes for and 46 against.

Russia Local Schools: 244 votes in favor of the 8-mill renewal for five years, 92 against.

Fort Loramie Local Schools: 529 votes in favor of the 1 1/2 percent income tax for five years, 183 against.

There are 37 absentee ballots countywide that still need to be voted. There are also 75 provisional ballots countywide to be counted. They will be counted at the May 19 certification meeting.

New Bremen Local Schools: In Shelby County, 15 votes in favor of the 1 percent income tax renewal, eight votes against; in Auglaize County, 533 votes for and 302 votes against; in Mercer County, 10 votes for and 18 votes against.

For more information, visit www.sidneydailynews.com. Complete reports will be published in the Thursday edition of the Daily News.