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Mentor School Officials Hope Levy Confusion Ends Today

The district hoped to have a renewal levy on the May 7 ballot, but the election said it may not be able to

Editor's note: This story was updated at 10:40 a.m.

Officials at Mentor Schools hope to receive clarity on his district's upcoming renewal levy.

The Lake County Board of Elections approved the placement of a renewal for an 8.84-mill operating levy on the May 7 special election ballot months ago. However, The Lake County Prosecutor’s Office advised the elections board that the district would need to wait for the current levy to expire before approaching voters with a renewal, The News-Herald reported.

Voters first approved a five-year emergency levy in 2004, then renewed it in 2009. It brings in about $15 million per year. The district also hopes to renew a 1-mill permanent improvement levy that brings in about $1 million per year.

District CFO Daniel L. Wilson seemed surprised about the correspondence and said the district is essentially doing the same thing it did in years past prior to a renewal.

"Using the same set of laws and advice from our attorneys, our board of education voted to put it on the May ballot for a no-tax increase once again," Wilson said.

He said the district's attorneys from Cleveland-based Squire Sanders believe the district should be allowed to put the renewals on the May ballot and that a mistake has been made.

Wilson said he spoke to Prosecutor Charles Coulson this morning in an attempt to settle the matter. Coulson and the elections board are both reviewing the situation today.

"We're still hopeful that after this additional review we'll be allowed to proceed," Wilson said. "Our goal and our hope is that we can get clarification and move forward some time today."

Wilson previously said the district would need a new levy by the 2015-2016 school year or it would face a $30 million deficit. 

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