"We're grateful for the opportunity to pursue this with you," Mike Albert, Kanawha County Library board president, told the school board Thursday. "We plan to work very hard on this with you."
School board President Pete Thaw was the only board member to vote no to the proposed levy - he's stood in opposition to the proposed tax since it was proposed, and says he plans to campaign against it.
"I believe the people of Kanawha County are up to their necks in taxes, and I don't believe we can place this on them," he said. "The only solution is for us to cut our sails to match our cloth. . . . I'm voting no on the assumption that we'll have to make cuts to meet our obligations."
The remainder of the board, however, is resoundingly in favor of the plan, saying it's necessary to advance education in Kanawha County.
"This is for items that will allow us to have growth in some areas and items that will allow us not to fall further behind in some areas," board member Robin Rector said. "I think with this people will have a chance to offer up dollars in an organized fashion, or there will be things we can't do without reaching out to get in people's pockets for anyway."
Board member Bill Raglin said voters ought to have the chance to vote on a referendum on funding for the school system and library.
"When the public makes its decision, puts its mark on the wall, whatever it is, we as public servants need to respect that," he said. "We have an obligation to fully inform and educate the public who are at stake here, and the public needs to make a choice."
The school system plans to mount a campaign in coming months to let the public know exactly what their tax money would be spent on if the additional excess levy is approved.
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.