School district rejects March override

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At a special Governing Board meeting Dec. 9, the Tempe Union High School District Governing Board unanimously voted against going to the voters for an override in March 2010. 

The vote followed a presentation by Superintendent Steve Adolph outlining the pros and cons if the district were to proceed with such an election.

Adolph’s presentation was based on the district’s determination that it cannot balance this year’s budget until the state budget is passed.

Unlike the November 2008 override, which was a continuation of the previous override, voters would be asked this time to approve a property tax increase. 

The district also would face an extremely quick turnaround time to prepare for a March election, Adolph said, and the ballot might additionally include a state sales tax initiative.  

“We have a tremendously supportive community, and we appreciate that support,” said Board President Mary Lou Taylor.

“The voters approved last year’s override election, but now, at a time when people are trying to make ends meet, I can’t support asking them to agree to a tax increase.” 

Board Vice President Robin Arredondo-Savage added:

“I know that we need the money, and I know that we could certainly benefit from it. However, I think we need more information about any potential budget cuts that may be necessary, and we need to give the community more information about our needs.

“The community has always been there for Tempe Union High Schools and I don’t think this is the right time to ask them for more money.”

Before voting, board members asked for Adolph’s recommendation.  He responded that the district could use the additional $3.1 million that a successful election would provide; however, after weighing all unknowns and not wishing to lose voters’ trust, he said he could not recommend that the board vote in favor of the override.

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