Residents Have Mixed Views on Levy

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MEDINA, OH -- It has been a difficult year for Medina City Schools and come Tuesday, people will decide whether or not to approve a 5.9-mil emergency levy.

The levy would keep the district from going millions of dollars in the red.

However, some are worried that recent drama in the district will sway the vote. Voters told FOX 8 on Sunday they are concerned about the levy, but also for the future of the district.

On October 28, the board of education voted to suspend Superintendent Randy Stepp without pay. After a state auditor investigation, it was discovered he spent nearly $4,000 of public money illegally.

"I think I would pass on voting for anything that would, I mean wouldn't know what my money was going into," said Julian Adams, who lives in Medina.

Without the passage of the levy, the district faces a projected spending deficit of $11.2 million dollars by 2017.

"We are not discussing it because we don't have time," said Christine Berthold, a teacher in the district. "Everyone I know is working for what's best for the students and I think we should focus on that and not on the drama."

The levy would bring security and busing to the district. Also, counselors, teachers and reading intervention educators would be added.

"I think it probably has a lesser chance due to the trust issue that the people feel," said Jackie Charles, a Medina mother.

Still, it's up to the voters and on Tuesday, they will decide.

"The students that are in school now, they need the money just as much as before," Berthold said.

"The way the school board handled themselves was probably not the best and I know that's probably weighing heavily on everybody's mind," Charles told FOX 8 News.

Dr. Stepp's suspension without pay is the first step in the termination process. Stepp is suing for defamation and for breech of contract.

As for the board, most members have resigned as a result of the controversy.

Click here for continuing coverage on this story.

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