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Supporters, Opponents Debate City Schools Levy Proposal

Supporters and opponents of the proposed tax levy for Columbus city schools met for a Columbus Metropolitan Club debate Tuesday. Speakers in favor of the tax issue said the need was immediate while opponents suggested passage meant throwing money away. Sam Gresham and Terry Boyd were opposed to the $76 million levy’s passage. Boyd, an educator, said he’d fail a student who brought him such a proposal for its lack of specifics. Gresham added that the school system must first regain the public’s trust. “There are lots of questions in the barber shops and the beauty shops and in the churches and people on the corner. They see a different world. They see what the polls reflect. Trust is the most essential issue in a levy,â€? Gresham said. Gresham said the plan was full of nothing but platitudes and generalities. Speaking in favor of the levy were Stephanie Hightower and Eric Fingerhut. Fingerhut was adamant that the levy must be passed but admitted the reform plan had shortcomings. “Mayor Coleman has said ‘We cannot wait, and we will not wait.’ Do we know every answer to every question? Perhaps not. Can you poke holes in a 100-page comprehensive plan and document? Sure.â€? Passage of the levy would mean an increase of $315 in property taxes for every $100,000 dollars’ valuation.