The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

May 9, 2013

Recount of close levy vote is a given

By Sandy Scarmack
Herald Staff Writer

BROOKFIELD — Brookfield school officials and levy supporters can’t count their chickens just yet, despite what appeared to be a win Tuesday night for a $606,000 annual operational levy.

The difference between pass and fail came down to three votes, a close enough margin to qualify for an automatic recount, said school Superintendent Tim Saxton. Additionally, there could be absentee or provisional ballots still outstanding that could affect the final tally, he said.

“We’re happy. But cautiously,” he said.

The Trumbull County Bureau of Elections won’t certify the results until May 28 and any recount will be done after that.

Because of the district’s bleak financial situation, Saxton said it is still likely the district will be placed in fiscal emergency by the state. If that happens, he said, it will allow the district to borrow from a state solvency fund and use that money to bring back furloughed teachers and stave off additional cuts, allowing the district to operate at state-set minimum staffing levels.

Passage of the levy will certainly improve things at the school, he said, but the gap between the current deficit and the time the money would start coming in still leaves the district open to a fiscal emergency designation.

A special meeting of the school board is set for 7:30 p.m. tonight to discuss the district’s finances and debt with a state auditor.