Bexley News

Bexley Board of Education

Fey, Snowdon to be on ballot without Brown

Board member is considering service as a guest teacher, conflicting with an elected role

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Three Bexley Board of Education members have expressed their campaign intentions, including two who shared their plans during the panel's monthly meeting June 10.

Both the board's president, Carol Fey, and its vice president, Marlee Snowdon, have announced they will seek re-election come November.

Board member Anne Brown, who is filling the remaining two years of a four-year unexpired term left vacant when Diane Peterson resigned in 2011, said she will not be seeking election this fall.

"It was a very difficult decision," Brown told fellow board members earlier this month. She said her time on the board has proved to be a "wonderful experience."

"I've been very grateful to everyone in the community. I have the utmost respect for my colleagues sitting up here," she said.

Brown said one of the reasons she is not running is because she is considering becoming a guest teacher in the district, which would pose a conflict of interest.

Fey piggybacked the announcement with her own, saying she intends to run in November.

Both Fey and Snowdon were elected to the school board in 2009.

Snowdon announced her intentions to seek re-election in May.

"I am proud of what we have done, but feel that there is still a lot more we can do," Snowdon said in a press release announcing her bid for a second term.

"I am energized by the talented individuals who work for our district," she said. "We have leaders in our field and I enjoy working with them to continue to challenge and nurture our students."

Snowdon has advocated for a review of several board policies and said she would like to serve another term to see those reviews completed. She also has been a strong advocate for a number of health and wellness initiatives.

"I feel like this job is a good fit for my strengths and talents and hope to be able to serve this amazing community as a board member again," Snowdon said.

Candidates face an Aug. 7 filing deadline for the three seats up this November.

In other business, board members unanimously agreed to place a 2.8-mill operating levy on the Nov. 5 ballot to fund the Bexley Public Library.

The measure was placed before the board for a vote because the school board acts as the library system's taxing authority.

According to Rachael Rubin, director of the Bexley Public Library, a five-year, 1.5-mill levy approved by voters in 2009 will be replaced by the 2.8-mill operating levy, should community members approve it in November.

For each $100,000 of property valuation, the difference between the 2.8-mill levy and the current 1.5-mill levy is $3.42 per month or $41.04 per year, according to library officials.

Library officials said this is the same millage amount contributed by the communities served by the Columbus Metropolitan Library system, including Whitehall, Gahanna, Dublin, Hilliard, Reynoldsburg and New Albany.

"There are some things we started not knowing how successful they'd be -- and they just took off," Rubin told school board members.

The funding would be used to not only maintain current services, she said, but to expand those new services which patrons have responded to overwhelmingly -- including the Homework Help Center, services to seniors and web access.

The library, founded in 1925 and housed at 2411 E. Main St. since 1929, had operated on money from the Ohio Public Library Fund until 2009, when it was reduced by almost 31 percent, according to Rubin. At the time, funding was cut by $575,000, one-third of the library's annual budget.

The 2009 levy, the first in the library's 84-year history, was overwhelmingly approved by voters, by 77 percent, and helped make up for that shortfall.

Also at the June school board meeting, members of the district's special education department made a presentation that highlighted the services of Jane "Sam" McMillan, the district's official parent mentor, who has served in that position for the past 13 years.

McMillan, who acts as an advocate for special needs students, is available as a resource to the families of children with learning challenges and is knowledgeable regarding special education law.

The position is funded by a state grant with additional support through the Adam Stuart Linhart Foundation.

The next regular monthly board meeting is set for Monday, July 15.

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