Ron Cameron, John Kukura and Debbie Brannan have agreed to serve as co-chairs of the Grandview Heights City School District's levy campaign.

Ron Cameron, John Kukura and Debbie Brannan have agreed to serve as co-chairs of the Grandview Heights City School District's levy campaign.

Dennis Gleason will serve as treasurer.

The school board voted earlier this month to place a 5.9-mill combined levy on the November ballot. The levy will include 3.9 mills to provide operating funds for the next three years and a continuing 2-mill component set aside for permanent improvement needs, including technology.

Cameron is a former Grandview school board member. Kukura serves on the Marble Cliff Village Council. Brannan is a member of the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Education Foundation's board of trustees.

Cameron said he agreed to serve on the committee because he believes the levy is needed to maintain Grandview schools' excellence.

"Having served on the school board for eight years, I got a good feel on a daily basis of just how well our school district is operating and how well it functions in terms of the results our teachers and administrators get," he said. "I grew up in this community and it has a special place in my heart, and our schools are central to that."

The financial forecast indicates the district will see a deficit in three years without a new levy, he said.

"You could say that we don't need this money for another year, and while that's true, the question is do you want to go now or wait another year and ask for a levy with a higher amount of mills," Cameron said.

He said he agrees with the board that the best option is to go this year "to keep the levy as low as you possibly can."

The permanent improvement component of the levy is needed this year, as the previous five-year PI measure expires at the end of this year, Cameron said.

"If we don't pass the permanent improvement funding, we will have to rob Peter to pay Paul," he said.

Brannan said she agreed to join the campaign committee "because I really believe this levy is the best thing for the schools right now.

"I think the board made a wise decision" to combine the operating and PI levies into one measure and to go on the ballot this year, she said.

Unfortunately, given the state's current system of funding education, school districts will continue to have to rely on local property taxes to fund their operations, Brannan said.

"No one likes having to continue to ask voters for money," she said. "But based on the budget forecast, this is a very reasonable levy.

"I trust the board that it will last at least three years," Brannan said. "I'm grateful as a taxpayer the last one has lasted five years (two years longer than projected)."

Kukura was out of town and unavailable for comment.

The co-chairs have met with Superintendent Ed O'Reilly to review district finances, Cameron said. Another meeting will be held early next month to begin mapping out a specific campaign strategy, he said.

"We will need to get going with the campaign in August," Cameron said. "It will be less than three months before election day."

Anyone interested in helping with the levy campaign should contact the district or one of the co-chairs, Brannan said.