Columbus City Schools

District voters reject levy, auditor position


Columbus City Schools voters soundly rejected a 9.01-mill combination operating levy and bond issue that appeared on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Issue 50, which would have raised $76.6 million a year for the school district, was trounced by a 2-to-1 margin.

With all 465 precincts reporting Tuesday night, Nov. 5, the issue failed 44,417 votes (69 percent) to 19,548 votes (31 percent), according to final, unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections.

The tax issue represented a 23.5 percent increase for district property owners, who would have paid an extra $315 a year per $100,000 in home value.

“As for the next steps, we are going to take time to reflect and assess,” Superintendent Dan Good said in a prepared statement.

“We want and need to understand why the voters made the decision they made. We need to take time to consider the circumstances in which we find ourselves, while at the same time, focusing on our continued improvement efforts.”

Meanwhile, district voters also defeated Issue 51, which would have created an independent auditor in the district. The issue failed 38,697 votes (61 percent) to 25,187 votes (39 percent).

The defeat poses a serious setback for a district still reeling from the fallout of a data-scrubbing scandal and a dismal state report card, in which it was issued four F’s, three D’s and two C’s.


School board race

In other district-related election news, two of three incumbents were bumped off the school board in a six-person race. Hanifah Kambon and Mike Wiles were beaten by Michael D. Cole, who led with 32,026 votes (23 percent) and Dominic Paretti, who received 21,922 votes (16 percent).

Incumbent Ramona Reyes finished second with 25,435 votes (19 percent).

Beverly Corner finished fifth with 19,098 votes (14 percent), while Wiles received 20,329 votes (15 percent) and Kambon placed last with 17,580 votes (13 percent).