By John GrindrodClearly, there was a lot of disappointment after the recent defeat of Lima schools’ levy. There always is when it comes to such emotionally charged issues, especially for those who tried so hard to articulate the needs to voters, some of whom no longer have school-aged children in the system, in an effort to get them to dig a little deeper into their pockets for our city’s kids. Going back into the mid-1980s, there’s been talk of some sort of reform as far as how we fund schools, yet nothing has changed. Schools continue to come, hat in hand, and beg for the money needed to operate. Those who work so hard to convince the voting public gather on election night and look at the results coming in with pursed lips. We usually see the picture in the next-day paper. Sometimes, there’s jubilation late on a Tuesday evening, and sometimes, as was the case last week here in Lima, dejection.When there is a failure, especially when it’s as close as the recent loss (a scant 100 votes), there will always be the think tankers who will try to put their fingers on exactly what went wrong.Some believe that low voter turnout, where just 30.67 percent of registered voters exercised their rights, played a role in the disappointing outcome.Others felt what happened last week was a result of a near-perfect storm of negative publicity for Lima schools right before and on Election Day itself. There were two bomb threats at Lima Senior within a week’s time, the second of which on Tuesday actually forced the rapid moving of the voting precinct that was to be in the school itself. In a situation rife with potential tragic irony, it was probably a wise idea to move the voting precinct to a nearby church. Had the threat been real, imagine those going to the school to vote for the school and ... well, you get the idea.At any rate, besides the two bomb threats, there was also the breaking news on the morning the polls opened that one of the system’s former teachers accepted a courtroom bargain by pleading guilty to smoking marijuana and having sex with a 15-year-old student.Certainly, such stories can’t help a school district put its best foot forward when it comes to asking voters to pony up for the kids, but I’m wondering if there’s another reason why the levy went down, one I haven’t really heard, and one, I offer, merely as speculation. After all, who knows what was on the minds of those who voted?But, consider this as a possibility. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the top-10 lists of what school districts pay out in salary for those who run the education show are published in the paper. From what I’ve been told, it’s one of the most widely read issues of the entire year. Let’s face it, folks. We’re all human and just love to know who makes what, so we can then cuss and discuss the information.The last edition featuring school salaries ran back in mid-September of ’11.Well, I got another look at that issue thanks to some kind folks who work at The Lima News who did some digging, and it really seems to me there are a lot of folks, administrative types, who are doing very well, far, far better than the average voter who is being asked to dig deeper.Let’s see now. We’ve got a superintendent who’s knocking down almost 123 grand; an assistant-and-super-in-waiting, almost 108 grand; and a treasurer over 107 grand, followed by folks with titles like Small School Leader, Middle School Principal and Director of Technology, all who live in the upper 80K neighborhood when it comes to compensation. What teachers I saw listed in the top-10 earners were all retiring front-liners who only made the list because their severance was rolled into their salaries for their final year.Had the list been extended 11 to 20, I’m pretty sure there’d have been more administrators still north of the 80K line. After all, certainly administrators are needed for each of the three schools under one roof in the new Lima Senior on Lima’s east end, before we even move on to other buildings and more administrators.Now, to be fair, during last year’s somewhat contentious contract negotiations with Lima teachers, I do seem to remember a show-of-support to teachers forced to make wage concessions as administrators accepted a 2 percent pay cut. However, it really didn’t move the needle much in reducing what was then a $3.8 million dollar deficit or, I’m guessing, move the public-sentiment needle much to get some voters to believe there is prudent allocation of education dollars. I just think that when it comes to voting time, some folks tend to remember those salary lists, lists they perceive as administratively top-heavy, as in too much money paid to too many individuals who aren’t even standing before a class every school day.So, Lima school officials now face tough decisions, as to when to try again and, in the meantime, how to address a projected $3 million deficit by fiscal 2014.Of course, they’re also left to ponder just what went wrong. And, there will still be talk of low voter turnout and the impact of the horrific judgment of those who incited panic by using a phone and a former teacher’s scandalous and salacious indiscretion.But, perhaps, just perhaps, there’s another reason.