Centerville school officials have voted to appoint an interim treasurer, Laura Sauber.

Centerville appoints interim school treasurer

Centerville school officials voted to appoint an interim treasurer to fill the position after the death of Mitch Biederman in a bicycle accident.

Biederman died in September after suffering serious injuries in a bicycle accident earlier in the month.

Laura Sauber has 19 years of experience as a public school treasurer.

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“She served seven of those years as the Chief Financial Officer of Sylvania City Schools, a suburban district in Northwest Ohio, and is similar in size to Centerville,” according to Sarah Swan, district spokeswoman.

She said Sauber will provide treasurer services through the Shared Resource Center, which is also handling the same fiscal duties for the Oakwood district.

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Sauber is taking the helm as Centerville voters will decide Nov. 5 whether to approve the first school tax increase since 2013.

Nearly 88 percent of the district’s revenue continues to come from local sources and 12 percent of the general fund revenue comes from the state. Most of the district’s expenses are in the salary and benefits categories.

School Board President David Roer said the district is being hurt financially because of a lack of support from the state.

“When we talk about funding of our school district, only 12.1 percent is coming from the state. We have to make that up obviously through levies,” he said.

The 6.9-mill levy is mostly for day-to-day school operating costs (5.9 mills), while the last 1 mill would be permanent improvement funding for building renovations and long-term assets such as buses and technology.

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The levy if passed, would cost a homeowner $241.50 annually per $100,000 of appraised property value. It would be a permanent levy, rather than a five-year tax that comes up for renewal. According to the Montgomery County Auditor, it would raise another $12.3 million per year for the schools, which have an annual general fund budget of about $100 million.

Centerville Superintendent Tom Henderson said, “We believe the way we operate, and the decisions we make to provide a top-notch excellent educational program for our students, is what our community expects. Our survey and our focus groups speak to that.”

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Opponents of the levy say it is fiscally unsound for many in the community and started a “Vote No,” Facebook page hoping to send the ballot measure to defeat.

The group says that most homeowners would pay considerably more than the $241.50 per year in taxes since many homes have a value of at least $400,000, which would translate to approximately $960 per year.

Besides the fiscal opposition, the group states that it is not in favor of moving forward with spending that is not already in the budget.

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