Perrysburg Schools board candidates make pitches to public at forum

Three candidates for two seats tout qualifications, call for approval of levy.

By Mike Sigov / The Blade
Wed, 09 Oct 2019 23:37:51 GMT

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Three candidates running for two seats on the Perrysburg Board of Education faced off at a public forum Wednesday.

Two incumbents, board president Jarman Davis and board member Ray Pohlman, and a challenger, Kelly Ewbank, each emphasized the importance of passing the proposed school levy. They also presented their respective qualifications and spoke about the importance of such issues as cutting the expenditures, realizing the full potential of the students, strategic planning, and preventing bullying as well as racial, cultural, and gender bias.

The candidates spoke at a forum hosted by Perrysburg Schools Foundation at Hull Prairie Intermediate School in Perrysburg.

At the end of the 60-minute meeting each gave a 60-second final presentation, focusing on his or her strengths.

“I know the numbers. I understand how things work within the district and within the state. I’ve got proven track record. ... We need people that understand what’s going on and remain serious. I serve because I care. I love the district. I love the kids. I love Perrysburg,” Mr Davis said in part.

A branch manager and financial adviser, Mr. Davis, 49, served as a school board member since 2014 and as the board president since 2015.

Said Ms. Ewbank: “Having lived here nearly my entire life, I know Perrysburg as a wonderful community with excellent schools. However we aren’t without challenges and I see a need for a fresh perspective with new ideas.

“The challenges that growth demands require the boards to tighten their belt on spending while balancing the needs of students, taxpayers, and families. ... I am fiscally conservative and that’s what we need on the Perrysburg school board,” she said.

A Perrysburg resident of the past 41 years, a Perrysburg parent, and a Perrysburg High School graduate, Ms. Ewbank is a certified nursing aide and a community volunteer.

Said Mr. Pohlman, 63, a retired mathematics educator who has served on the board for four years: “You know who I am and what I’ve done. We aren’t sitting around... We have months and months [of] debates and decisions in board meetings that are public. ... I think that the board that currently we’re serving on is a good board and I want to continue to be part of that board.”

If approved, the incremental levy — increasing over a five-year time span — would begin at 7.9 mills and end at 14.2 mills. Set to generate $7.5 million in its first year and not to increase more than $1.5 million annually, it would reach a total of $13.5 million in the tax year 2023. The owner of a $200,000 home would pay $46.08 per month,in the first year, with the payment increasing by $9.34 the second year, another $9.33 the third year; the fourth year by $9.33; and the fifth year by $8.75.

The mail-in application deadline for the Nov. 5 election is Nov. 2 at noon. The in-person voting started Tuesday and will continue until 2 p.m. Nov.4.