DELPHOS — The decision to close Tuesday’s primary election may be an inconvenience to some, but to Delphos schools, the decision could have an impact on its future.
The district has been placed under fiscal caution by the Ohio Department of Education and has until May 4 to submit a plan of action to get the district out of its current financial situation. Officials hoped Tuesday’s vote would give them some guidance on how the district would proceed with that report.
The school district is asking voters to approve at 0.5% traditional income tax. Voting on that will continue through the primary election day, whenever that might be.
“At this point, we just want to encourage our people to exercise their right to use their absentee voting privileges. I think that that’s probably the best bet at this point,” said Doug Westrick, superintendent of Delphos schools. “We’ll continue to evaluate the situation, but there’s not a lot we can do about it,”
School officials have been dealing with teaching the children for the next three weeks with remote learning, and the change in voting proved problematic.
“Right now we’ve been so dialed into this coronavirus and how to how to prepare to educate kids that it’s tough to stay up on all of it right now,” Westrick said. “We need to spend some time reevaluating that today and have conversations, but things seem to be changing every day. We’re doing our best to stay on top of one situation at a time right now.”
Because of a ban on large gatherings, any attempts to hold community meetings on the tax levy are on hold.
“We won’t be doing those things anytime soon. We will have to lean on our social media campaigns and continue to get the message out,” Westrick said. “That’s been a strong piece of our campaign throughout the process, and we’ll continue to deliver information that way.”
Board president Andy North understands why the election was moved.
“Public health is No. 1,” he said. “They sent a lot of mixed messages yesterday. I’m not sure that was good at getting people to the polls, but I understand the situation that the state has. Even my own employer, Edward Jones, has a health warning, and we’re not allowing clients to come into our offices for meetings.”
He praised the work of those who continue to work on getting the levy passed.
“There’s been so many people work so hard. We, as a district, really needed to have a decision (Tuesday). Obviously, that’ll be postponed, but I know the residents of Delphos want this to happen, and it will. We’ll just have to wait a little longer,” North added.
The school board is expected to hold a special meeting in the coming days to discuss how the movement of the election will affect the school district.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.