Voters give nod to Molnar, Gadus, and Gabel
The Oregon school board will see fresh faces with the election of Carol-Ann Molnar and Diana Gadus last Tuesday.
Voters also returned incumbent Richard Gabel to another term, but voted against re-electing school board president Jeff Ziviski to a second term.
Molnar was the top vote getter, according to unofficial results from the Toledo-Lucas County Board of Elections. Molnar received 5,157 votes, or 32.04 percent of the vote. Molnar, 67, is a retired teacher.
Gabel, 66, came in second with 3,726, or 23.15 percent of the vote. Gabel is retired from the CSX coal and ore docks.
Gadus came in third, with 3,631 votes, or 22.56 percent of the vote. Gadus, 44, is a physical education and art teacher at Central Catholic Schools.
“I’m very grateful that I’m able to share my experiences and the knowledge I’ve gained in the field of education at a level that’s going to help the kids in the community,” said Gadus.
Gadus attributed her win to “voters feeling very strongly about me being focused on keeping our quality of education at a high level, and also being focused on keeping our extracurricular activities, especially if we have to make more cuts.”
“Knowing I’m going to be there to fight for those things, I think, made the difference,” she said.
Ziviski, 37, came in last at 3,581 votes, or 22.25 percent of the vote. Ziviski, chief financial officer and human resource manager at Kenakore Solutions, has been on the board since 2005.
The district in the last few years has been faced with tough financial decisions to avert a budget crisis caused by a change in the tax structure that resulted in the loss of nearly $10 million from the general fund, which translates into a net loss of over 20 percent in the annual budget.
The district faces a $1 million budget deficit by June 30, 2011.
Despite the school board’s reductions in expenditures of over $6 million in the last few years, and a 15-percent across the board cut in staff, voters in August rejected a 5.95-emergency levy by 3,605 to 1,119 that would have raised $3.5 million.
The school board decided not to put another levy on the ballot as a result of the strength of voters’ opposition to the previous levy.
Ziviski said he was stunned by his defeat.
“Over the four years on the school board, I did what I felt in my heart was right, and I did what I thought was in the best interests of the school district. I tried to watch and keep a handle on the expenditures of the district to make sure that taxpayer dollars were spent responsibly. I tried to communicate as much information about all aspects of the district to the community. I think I handed a lot of positive to the district during my four year term. One thing I’m very proud of is whenever anyone called or e-mailed me with a concern or question, I made sure I followed up with them in a very quick manner to help them to get a resolution to a situation,” said Ziviski.
He would not rule out another run for public office in the future.