(my June 2014 ToledoTalk.com comment in this thread )
"What they can not do is use any assets owned by the schools in a levy campaign like their web site, email to communicate with employees, school sign boards, newsletters, phone system, etc."
For an example, Chris Myers at Swamp Bubbles is gnawing on the Sylvania school district for its apparent illegal campaigning prior to the school district's May 2014 levy vote.
The Sylvania Schools district would like the residents of Sylvania to pass the 3.8 mil operating levy on May 6. So much so that employees of the district are using district resources to promote their new levy. This can be proven by a set of emails from one school and resources from another.
May 22, 2014 - SB - Sylvania school employees won’t be disciplined for violating OH law that pointed to a Watchdog.org post.
The Sylvania School Board will not take disciplinary action against their superintendent and other staff who violated Ohio law during a recent property tax levy campaign.
The board placed a 3.8 mill continuous levy on the May 6 primary ballot, but it failed. During the campaign, employees of the district used school resources to promote the levy, illegal in Ohio.
Superintendent Brad Rieger, who said he was “responsible for everything,” won’t face any discipline according to board president Jim Nusbaum.
Violation of the law is a first-degree misdemeanor — the same as a DUI.
When asked specifically if any employees would face reprimand or other discipline for violating the law and the board’s own internal policies, he wrote:
“I have discussed these issues and my desire for training with Dr. Rieger and expect he will address these matters appropriately.”
The school district won't discipline itself. I'm stunned.
Break the law, and the "penalty" is more training.
The "training" would be what, how to break the law without getting caught?
Attention to details. If a school district fails to understand a basic law, then it's reasonable for some voters to question how the school system could be trusted to manage its complex responsibilities.
Jun 3, 2014 - SB - Sylvania schools public information request - Our Town Sylvania/Blade story that pointed to a Blade story.
Sylvania Schools may have acted improperly in the way it used staff and resources in its recent unsuccessful tax levy campaign.
Chris Myers has filed a complaint last month with the Ohio Auditor's office, but the state office this week declined to indicate whether it is investigating the matter.
Sylvania Superintendent Brad Rieger could not be reached for comment.
The district's spokesman Nancy Crandell didn‘t answer questions about the accusations but did issue a statement, which said, "“We realize that errors were made during the recent levy campaign. We are taking steps, including training, to ensure it will not happen again.”
Ohio law prohibits a government entity from using its own resources in support of its own levy. but it does permit government or school officials to work on a campaign during their own time.
[Chris] has requested, under the state Open Records law, for all school employee emails, from Feb. 10 to May 6 in which Issue 3 was discussed and a copy of purchase receipts for Web site domains and documents related to who and when the campaign site voteforsylvaniaschools.com was purchased.
Jun 12, 2014 - SB - Latest on Sylvania schools levy public information request
The Sylvania Schools has provided some of my information request and we have been going back-and-forth on the scope of the e-mail request. They also went out of their way to prove who bought and paid for the domain name and the levy web site hosting - I will give them kudos on that. I will produce a more detailed report once I get more information.
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