I have had the honor and the privilege to serve on the Athens City School Board for the past 20 years. This is truly an exceptional school district, thanks to the tireless efforts of our staff and administration, and the active and generous support of our parents, community, and taxpayers. The quality and success of our schools is best measured by the extraordinary accomplishments or our graduates.

I have had the honor and the privilege to serve on the Athens City School Board for the past 20 years. This is truly an exceptional school district, thanks to the tireless efforts of our staff and administration, and the active and generous support of our parents, community, and taxpayers. The quality and success of our schools is best measured by the extraordinary accomplishments or our graduates.

In next Tuesday’s election, I will be voting for Bruce Nottke, Chris Gerig, and Kim Goldsberry. I encourage you to do the same. I have had the good fortune to serve with Bruce for 10 years, and with Chris for four years. Both are tireless, courageous, and dedicated advocates for our students, and careful stewards of the taxpayer’s money. Kim has been active in the school district, serving as East PTO president and vice president, and has done the necessary work to prepare for board membership.

I attended Tuesday’s candidate forum, and saw four candidates who care deeply about students, and who would be passionate advocates for the high quality educational programs that our children deserve. I heard many good answers from all candidates on a wide array of questions. There is one moment, however, that stands out. When asked about the financial status of the district, one candidate stated that the district does not have a financial problem.

I can assure you that the fiscal cliff we are facing is very real. I have been staring at it for the past 20 years. It is built into the complex funding formula forced on us by state law. It is faced by most districts in Ohio, with only the wealthiest districts able to escape. Our current fiscal cliff, thankfully, is four years out for two reasons: the foresight, planning and cost-cutting measures taken by school administration; and the generosity and support of local taxpayers. Next year, the fiscal cliff will be three years out. I have seen it as close as one year out. When I joined the board in 1993, two-thirds of our funding came from Columbus. Now we get only one-third from Columbus, with local taxpayers generously making up the difference.

Our kids, and the taxpayers, deserve school board members who will put in the effort to study the issues, ask the questions, and base their decisions on thorough analysis of all the facts, rather than jumping to unsupported conclusions.

Once again, I encourage you to vote for Bruce Nottke, Chris Gerig, and Kim Goldsberry.

Jeff Dill

Athens