Rocky Fork Enterprise

Steele: Timing isn't right for 2014 levy

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Educator Charles Steele is seeking to fill the unexpired term of Heather Bishoff on the Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education.

Steele, 59, has been a Columbus City Schools teacher for more than 20 years. He's also retired from the U.S. Air Force, where he served for 33 years.

Steele said he would not support a May 2014 ballot issue that G-J leaders are anticipating.

"The timing is not right, and I believe the residents would not support a levy at this time," he said. "Also, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled it's unconstitutional to rely on property taxes to fund schools."

He said it's difficult to answer how Gahanna-Jefferson schools could best maintain existing services with declining revenues from the state.

"Difficult decisions will have to be made," Steele said. "The first thing I would do is prioritize all expenses. I would then look at all expenditures and see what savings could be attained."

He said he's an excellent candidate for the school board because of his experience as a Columbus teacher, 33 years of military service and his knowledge of educational matters.

Steele said residents should vote for him because of his background in education and strong leadership skills that will be needed in making difficult decisions.

Dwight Harrell was appointed Jan. 10 to fill the seat that was vacated by Heather Bishoff, who resigned Dec. 30, 2012, after winning her bid to the Ohio House of Representatives' 20th District seat.

Harrell, the chief financial officer of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, was seeking a four-year term on the board instead of the unexpired term that ends Dec. 31, 2015.

His petition wasn't certified by the Franklin County Board of Elections, however, because of incomplete petitions.

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