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Toledo moving forward with levy, superintendent

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The Toledo School Board has approved a resolution proposing a replacement levy to voters this February, while they continue to move forward with the search process for a new superintendent.

Approved unanimously during their regular meeting on Thursday, the resolution will place a measure on the Feb. 10 ballot asking for a four-year extension of an existing levy, while the levy amount would increase from $955,000 per year to $1.1 million per year, and would impose a property tax rate of approximately $2.38 per $1,000 of assessed value within the district.

"There's some maintenance things that have to be addressed," stated Superintendent Sharon Bower of the intent of the levy, which would be imposed from 2016 to 2019, if approved.

Bower said such maintenance projects would include the more serious concerns the district hoped to address through a $23.5 million bond measure proposed during last month's General Election, intended largely to remodel and upgrade the high school.

However, the bond ended up being rejected by close to two thirds of voters and district officials have expressed a desire to propose a similar measure again sometime in the near future, but stated Thursday the soon-expiring levy was a more immediate concern.

"The priorities right now are to pass a levy and find a superintendent," stated Board Chair Heidi Buswell, who was elected that night by the board to the position of chair for a two-year term after having previously served as vice chair.

The board had begun looking for a new superintendent after Bower submitted her letter of resignation last month with an effective end date of June 30, 2015, and the board hired Northwest Leadership Associates (NWLA) to lead the search process during a special meeting on Dec. 10.

Members of NWLA are expected to be at a community forum scheduled for Jan. 7 at Toledo Elementary School, during which the public will be allowed to state what they feel should be the qualities sought after in a new superintendent. More information, as well to participate in an online survey to gather additional input for NWLA, visit the school's website at www.toledo.k12.wa.us.

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