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School BD Discusses Safety-Security Levy

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    Posted: Jun 27 2018 at 10:22am

Metal Detectors are being considered for Monroe Schools

Safety and Security Levy: Dr. Phil Cagwin said that security and safety remain in the minds of school personnel
throughout our country. He reported the following: I want to stress that Chief Buchanan and our SRO have 
helped us evaluate our facility plans for safety. He said we have also been working with the County. Mr.
Catanzaro, Mr. Ward, Mr. Moon and other administrators have attended meetings with the County. We have
talked about shatterproof windows, metal detectors, door barricades and all of that. We talked about risk
assessment teams who come into your building and point out ways to make it more secure. We talked about
counselors, mental health personnel, psychologists and others to address behavior problems. We have
involved administrators, teachers, parents and guardians. Obviously, any additional surface will incur more
expenditures. On March 21, the Governor signed into law an emergency law SB 227 authorizing a county wide
educational service center to place a county wide levy on the ballot for safety and security.
Dr. Cagwin said then on May 9, members of our Board and administration attended a county wide Board
meeting with other School Boards, to place a safety and security property tax levy on the ballot in November.
Fairfield, Miami, and Middletown said they would like to be included. The ESC has asked all schools to
determine if they want to be a part of this county wide endeavor.

Mrs. Cahall shared that the levy would go into effect for all Districts that chose to be a part of the County
School Financing District. It would not be a Monroe tax or a Middletown tax, but a tax by the CSFD which is a
separate legal entity. She said some of the positives are that it would not affect the 20 mill floor which meant
that the millage would stay the same throughout the term of the levy. It would not be counted as part of our
millage. It would be separate from our operating budget and only used for security. Once capital items have
been purchased, that would not be an ongoing expense so some of the funds could be used for what we pay
for now such as counselors and psychologists.

The negatives are that the majority rules so if the majority of voters agreed to the tax, and Monroe voters did
not agree, they would be taxed anyway. Also, the way funds are allocated has not been determined. It would
be fair and equitable if it was based on property values, but this has not been decided.
Mr. Leeds said he is concerned that the amount of money is not guaranteed since the sharing arrangement has
not been finalized. He was also concerned that we would be required to spend the funds the same as another
school. Mr. Guido said it is his understanding that it will be up to each District how they can spend the funds.
Mr. Guido said as a local school district we are automatically in the CSFD, and if we do not want to participate,
we have to pass a resolution to withdraw. He said his biggest concern is we received an email that says we
need to make a decision right away and there is much we don’t know such as how it will be allocated. There
was discussion about allocating it based on the number of buildings you have. He said it could be argued that
our main campus is three schools. He supports any ability we have to improve the safety and security of our
school. But we don’t know the specifics. Some schools have many campuses. To me, there are a lot of logistics
that need to be worked out.

Mr. Carpenter said Districts with low property values have a lot to gain and less to lose, and there is the
potential that they will be served by our tax money. If we opted in and then disliked the rules, how easy is it to
opt out? Mr. Guido said you are locked in to the full term of the levy. Mr. Leeds said school safety would be
nightmare if we have metal detectors. What is the State and Federal legislators going to demand on the
schools? You could have a tax and then the State demand you spend it for certain things.
Mrs. Stone questioned was it true that if a community did not pass it, but the majority did, would those who
disagree still have to pay the tax? Mr. Guido said that yes, it would work that way. Mrs. Stone said our local 
teachers know the students well, and our community members know the school, and that very few things have
gone well when we have collaborated with other Districts. She said it makes her nervous when it’s majority
rules and the majority is not the Monroe community. Mr. Carpenter said there is a lot of data about it that is
missing. He agreed with the idea, but is concerned about execution.

Dr. Cagwin then asked if the Board would feel more comfortable if we could find out the millage, specifically
how it is going to be allocated, and the length of the levy. Mr. Guido said he understood that they would be
getting Board members, Superintendents, and Treasurer’s together to iron out the specifics of this levy. Mr.
Guido said he appreciated how the ESC has stepped up to organize this and he thinks it could be a way to
garner much needed funds to step up the safety and security for our schools.

Dr. Cagwin said all the schools are having these discussions and have not decided. Talawanda has decided to
use their own funds to put an SRO in all of their six schools as well as a social worker. They have enough money
in their general fund. Mrs. Stone asked if it would be more cost effective to cover that ourselves. Dr. Cagwin
said a school district could do this on their own. This allows ESCs to get the whole county involved. Some
Districts would have difficulty passing something like this.

Mr. Guido said it is the ESC’s levy and doesn’t count against us on the 20 mill floor. Mr. Grant said he
understands the fear of Monroe taxpayers funding services in other schools. Dr. Cagwin said he thinks it is a
deal breaker that the money should be allocated based on property values. Mr. Guido said we could consider
a 1 mill levy on our own. Mr. Carpenter was concerned about putting a levy on the ballot now with the potential
for a Bond levy to follow shortly after. He said taxes are going up anyway because property values are going

Mr. Guido said we could use more social workers and mental health personnel so that would be a benefit. Mr.
Carpenter asked where we would put more social workers in this building. He said he loved the idea, but
logistics are difficult. Mr. Guido said this is an important topic so if we need a special meeting, we can do that.

MAY 21, 2018

Monroe, Ohio Breaking News
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JUNE 11, 2018

The Monroe Local School Board of Education met for a Regular Meeting on June 11, 2018, at the 
Monroe Elementary Cafeteria located at 220 Yankee Rd., Monroe, OH 45050.   The meeting was called 
to order at 6:00 PM by Mr. Guido, President. 

The following members were present and answering roll call:
Members Present:        
Mr. Guido - President
Mrs. Stone - Vice-President 
Mr. Carpenter - Member
Mr. Leeds - Member 
Mr. David Grant - Member
Dr.   Cagwin - Superintendent   
Mrs.   Holly   Cahall - Treasurer.   
Mrs.   Kathy   Demers
Mr.   Jesse Catanzaro - Director of Operations 


Motion  by  Leeds,  seconded  by  Carpenter  to  approve  the agenda as revised. Voting aye on the 
roll call: Leeds, Carpenter, Stone, Grant, and Guido. Nays: None. Motion carried.


Dr.  Cagwin said we are at the point that we need to make a decision whether or not to participate 
in the County School Financing District. He said that the CSFD will pass a resolution to place a 
1.5 mill levy on the ballot in November. The tax revenue will be distributed to schools based on 
their property valuation. Each participating  school  will  be  able  to  use  the  funds  for  
personnel  and  capital  improvements,  as  long  as  it serves  the  purpose  of  safety and 
security for students. He said that each school has their own needs and they are not all the same 
and the funds will be able to be used for a wide range of services.

Dr. Cagwin said it is a county wide initiative. The mills are not the school’s mills but the 
CSFD’s. He said the dollars are flexible.

Mr.  Guido  asked  how  they  arrived  at  1.5  mills.  Dr.  Cagwin  said  there  was  no  
consensus  on  mills.  Some schools  favored  2  mills  and  others  1  mill,  and  so  they  
decided  to  meet  in  the  middle.  Dr.  Cagwin  said Districts pay 100% for SRO’s and some 
Districts, the SRO is provided in full by their police departments.

Mr.  Guido  asked  what  is  the  chance  the  levy  will  be  more  restrictive  than we think. 
Dr. Cagwin said the attorney  is  including  a  broad range of services in the resolution. Mr. 
Guido said what if the levy changes- would  we  have  the ability to withdraw. Dr. Cagwin said we 
would have total flexibility and can withdraw, but he said that it is recognized that not all 
Districts need the same thing.

Mr. Leeds said if we support the levy, and our voters go to the polls and Monroe passes, but others 
don’t, would we be forced to pass it ourselves? Dr. Cagwin said no, that if the majority passes it, 
no matter how
Monroe votes, all Districts participating in the CSFD will be taxed.

Dr. Cagwin said all our schools are different, and the big ticket item for some may be mental 
health. If the
whole levy fails, we have the ability to put it on ourselves. Mr. Grant asked what other needs we 
have. Dr. Cagwin outlined the additional kinds of equipment we could purchase to make our schools 

There  was  discussion  about  the  current  sharing of the SRO with the City of Monroe, and the 
need for an additional SRO.

Mr. Guido said it is our responsibility to keep our school safe and through conversations with our 
staff and community, including the Monroe Police Department, we know what we need. Mrs. Stone said 
that we are all about the kids, and Sheriff Jones has other interests.  All the Districts may be 
different. The most helpful conversation we had was with the Monroe Police Chief and SRO.  If the 
levy passes, we will consult with the Monroe Police to better secure our facility.

Mr. Carpenter said he wished it were three or five years instead of ten years. He said then we 
could see if we needed it to be longer, and access our current funding at that time.

Mr. Guido said we should let the ESC take ownership, but support them in the endeavor.  Mr. Leeds 
said we will  support  it  as  a  county  wide  initiative  –  as  it  will  be  branded  as  
multi-district,  county  wide  levy. Mr. Guido said that is the strength of it.

There was discussion about how it might pass and questions were asked such as will passage depend 
on the District  or the number of people voting for it. Dr. Cagwin answered that if the majority of 
voters agree to the levy, then it will pass. Mr. Guido said it will be talked about because of the 
current national attention. Mrs.  Stone  said  we  really  don’t  know  who  will  be  leading  the 
 charge.  Dr. Cagwin said it is a levy for the students in Butler County, not by individual 
schools.  Dr. Cagwin said there are PR people in other Districts who will work together and provide 
a consistent message.

Dr. Cagwin said part of the attraction of Monroe is that it is small and safe.


Motion by Grant, seconded by Carpenter to move into Executive Session at 6:46 PM to discuss items 
that are required by law to be kept confidential. Voting aye on the roll call: Grant, Carpenter, 
Stone, Leeds, and Guido. Nays: Motion carried.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Houndog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 31 2018 at 11:26pm
No matter how you slice it. 
Another tax. 
Spec build an 800 thousand square foot warehouse. Get a tax abatement. 
Live in an individual home. Get more taxes levied on you. 
Child security tax. Check. 
ANOTHER school building. Check. 

Three more years and my daughter is 18 and I'm gone. 
The taxing is never ending. Individuals have no choice but to get out of dodge. Otherwise you spend hundreds of dollars a month just to cover your tax bill in this town. 
No wonder I couldn't make it on council in this town. If you don't fall in the status quo you are not welcome. Thanks to Dan Clark and Todd Hickman for questioning why we continue to give abatements to each and every warehouse built. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zapp2525 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 01 2018 at 10:25am
Guess I would rather support the community I live in...............we have no kids going to Monroe Schools.........would rather pay taxes than live in a sh*thole community 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 01 2018 at 11:02am
The cost is in the neighborhood of $54/yr for a $100,000 home
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
-Joseph Campbell
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zapp2525 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 01 2018 at 11:15am
Well worth it
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