Monongalia Co. Commissioner weighs in on school excess levy

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Very soon, Monongalia Co. voters will be heading to the polls and turning in ballots that will decide the fate of the proposed 2022-2027 school excess levy.

The levy, which is like a tax, brings in about $32 million a year and helps the county pay for about a quarter of its budget. County Commission Tom Bloom said he wholeheartedly supports reauthorizing the levy because it’s vital to the county.

Tom Bloom

I believe it’s really important. I personally support it 100% and I believe this community does support the levy. I think the people need to realize that it’s not any additional funds, but it keeps us maintaining a high level of educational programming for the county. And because we have that high level program, that’s the number one question when people go out and we go out to promote our community and bring in business, they ask, ‘well, what’s the school system like?’

Tom Bloom – Monongalia Co. Commissioner

Right now, Mon County’s school system ranks in the top three in West Virginia, Bloom said, and that’s, in large part, because of the levy. It has been in place since 1973 and it helps with everything from funding afterschool programs to teachers’ salaries.

It’s important for people to understand, Bloom said, that now is not the time to go backward and stop making this investment in county schools.

“And at this time with COVID and a lot of other problems, we want to show that we’re willing to continue to educate and to put the funding into education to maintain these great schools that we do have,” Bloom said.

He said making such an investment is what attracts businesses to the community and what keeps it growing economically.

To not reauthorize the levy, Bloom said, could spell economic disaster for the county. That’s why he wants people to vote to approve the proposed levy.

“It’s really important for those who really support the school system and want to maintain not only education but, for example, look at the new programs,” Bloom said. “The Ascend program that they just announced yesterday that people coming, we have a major factory coming. We have Bass Pro. We have Menards. They would not be coming here if we weren’t an educated community. And that means it brings in more business. It also brings in more companies that are wanting to do business in our area and we’re very excited. We believe that we’re, you know, I said top three, we believe we’re the best in the state.”

Bloom continued.

“Our school systems are fantastic and teachers are amazing.”

Morgantown High School, a county school

All of this feeds into the university, WVU, which is located in the county, Bloom said.

This means from pre-K all the way through secondary education, Monongalia Co. is a great place for families and businesses to move, Bloom added.

“So, if you really want to support the programs that are going on in Monongalia Co., then you need to support the school systems, and please vote yes for the levy,” Bloom said.

Important Dates

  • Deadline to register to vote (or make a change to your voter registration for the Special Election):  September 7, 2021.
  • Deadline to request an absentee ballot:  September 20, 2021.
  • Early Voting: Begins September 10, 2021 and ends on September 22, 2021. Hours are Monday thru Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (closed on Sunday)
  • Election Day: September 25, 2021, polling location open times are from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

You can find your precinct here.

Visit the County Clerk’s website to learn more about voting in this special election.

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