The petition mentions the cap on the levy and how it could hurt Kanawha County's chances of receiving funds from the state School Building Authority.
In a meeting earlier in the year, several authority members questioned the county's excess levy cap. The authority ultimately approved additional funding for the new elementary school in the Edgewood area, but several members said it was irresponsible for Kanawha County to cap its levy.
When asked about the authority's opinion of the cap, Thaw said, "That's too bad."
He thinks the petition is about more than fixing schools in South Hills or anywhere else. He said Silkwood probably was "shilling" for somebody. He thought it might be the teachers unions, in a move to get a raise for teachers.
Silkwood or any other community member would be better served working with the board directly, Thaw said. He also asked everyone to be patient with the board's handling of the overcrowding in the South Hills area.
At past school board meetings, community members have suggested raising private funds for an addition at John Adams. Thaw said he was confident local developers would find a way to get the money, and fellow board member Jim Crawford said the board has backed off the idea of redistricting in the area to give fundraising some time.
While Crawford did not want to comment as to whether he would support any changes, he said he didn't want to do anything that would jeopardize the money the school system receives from the levy.
Reustle and Superintendent Ron Duerring have repeatedly said a cap on the levy could present funding challenges for the county.
On Tuesday, Reustle outlined three of those challenges. The excess levy provides flexibility when it comes to paying for operational expenses, like utility bills. Those bills have increased by a couple million dollars in the past few years, and Reustle said it could be difficult to find the money to cover future increases.
Federal funding is also a question mark. The county expects less Medicaid revenue, and less excess levy money will leave a tight budget, Reustle said.
Third, excess levy funds help offset construction and facility improvement costs. Reustle said increasing the energy efficiency of buildings will help, but it's becoming more and more difficult to find ways to reduce costs.
The online petition had 24 unique signatures as of Tuesday afternoon, but Silkwood said several hard copies are circulating.
An election is required to make any changes to an excess levy. Generally, the school system tries to align such elections with other local elections to save money, Crawford said. A special election to change the levy rate would cost the school system more than $300,000, he said.
Contact writer Dave Boucher at 304-348-4843 or david.boucher
@dailymail.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/Dave_Boucher1.