Prepared Text for Board Meeting – May 19,  2008  (TAC)

Marc A. Schare  614 791-0646 Home

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The treasurer’s advisory committee met last week. We reviewed a possible refinancing of existing debt, the forecast and has a somewhat spirited discussion of a possible community engagement discussion regarding levy planning. In my opinion, we need to get to heart of the question of whether Worthington’s taxpayers are ready, willing and able to pay additional millage over and above the millage required by existing labor agreements for programmatic enhancements. We need to figure out what detail and in what format the community wishes to receive financial information and we need to get to the root cause of why the district usually scores low on financial questions in community surveys. That’s a tall order for a 2 hour community engagement but we’ll give it a go as the information is required for levy planning.

 

The finance committee met earlier today. I think it is safe to say that Jennifer and I both have concerns regarding the lack of detail in the forecast. We will work with the treasurer to identify the appropriate level of detail acknowledging that different audiences might want different levels of detail. We had a bit of Q&A with the forecast and identified places in the notes where additional documentation might be helpful. We also discussed the bond millage amount that we will be approving tonight in item C-1-E and I’ll discuss that when we get to the part of the agenda. One issue of significant concern to me is that dependence that we have on the state’s transitional aid guarantee. I’ve mentioned this before but I had not realized the scope of the problem. As Governor Strickland “fixes” school funding next year, I’ve heard from members of education groups and even the legislature that the guarantee is.. well.. not guaranteed. If this should come to pass, Worthington will lose more than just the amount identified in the SF-3.  We need to calculate these loses and be prepared to make a heck of an argument in the next legislative session or we may find ourselves having to cut anywhere from 5 to 7 million dollars out of the budget. Finally, just as a point of interest, the appraised value of commercial property actually went down in the district last year but, thanks to the frequently criticized HB920, the millage rate was adjusted upward and the amount collected was the same.