Candidate budgets for school board races generally are modest. Two-term Orange Board of Education member Melanie Weltman of Pepper Pike spent between $3,000 and $4,000 in her first campaign mostly for mailings, yard signs and a newspaper ad. She pretty much has self-funded her campaigns and has met with residents for coffee at a local home to talk about the issues.
Board member Beth Wilson-Fish of Moreland Hills spent $160.92 during her self-funded 2015 run. In anticipation of the Nov. 5 election this year, she hopes to keep campaign spending to $5,000. All residents were invited to her “meet the candidate” night that was not a fundraiser. She is spending money on post cards, yard signs and newspaper ads.
Now comes first-time Orange BOE candidate Meredith Bond of Hunting Valley who sent out invitations to a select group of people for a country club fundraiser this week with specific contribution levels of $500, $1,000 and $2,500. The contributors-only event was closed to the general public, as was her event speech.
Hosts named on the invite included a list of Hunting Valley politicians including Mayor Richard Hollington and prominent businessmen like healthcare executive Brian Colleran.
Ms. Bond has every right to hold a fundraiser, but we wonder, why is she building a political war chest for this nonpartisan seat?
It’s no secret that Hunting Valley elected officials have bitterly complained about the amount of taxes their residents pay to the Orange City School District that serves Hunting Valley, Pepper Pike, Orange Village, Moreland Hills, Woodmere and slivers of other communities. Residents in all the Orange school district communities pay the same tax rate. The reality of taxes is that the higher the value of a house, the higher the tax bill.
Hunting Valley officials made a failed attempt to get school taxes slashed just for their village residents during the summer state budget process. But we digress.
There are three candidates for two Orange BOE seats. We’ll watch with interest as the three campaigns unfold between now and Nov. 5.