CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County voters spoke loud and clear during Saturday’s school and library system excess levy vote—‘no new taxes.’

Unofficial results Saturday night showed 17,590 (76 percent) voting against the levy and only 5,501 (24 percent) voting in favor.

Approval would have essentially uncapped the current 65 percent excess levy which finances many items in the school system. The levy would also have provided $3 million a year for the county library system, which represents 40 percent of the system’s budget, money it lost because the Kanawha County BOE no longer is mandated to fund it.

Kanawha County School Board President Pete Thaw, the only board member against the levy, said voters avoided a big financial bomb with Saturday’s vote. Thaw said despite the “dire predictions” of what might happen in the school system without the additional funding “the sun will come out tomorrow.”

The 65 percent excess levy is separate and remains in place.

Charleston attorney Tom Heywood, who headed up the pro-levy committee, told MetroNews it was clear residents don’t want to pay more taxes. He said the levy committee tried to highlight the importance of the vote but the effort failed.

Heywood also serves on the Kanawha County libraries foundation board said he would expect significant cuts to the library system. He said that could include the closing of branch libraries and discontinuing the Bookmobile.

In much less controversial votes Saturday, Hancock and Brooke county voters approved their school systems’ excess levies



bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • james

    For all the people out there lamenting the failure of the levy and the doom of the pork barrel county education system, there is nothing keeping you from pulling out your check books a donating those needed funds from your wallets. It just means you have to take your hands of everybody else's pockets to pay for your unnecessary programs.

  • Wixcheew

    Hey Joeseph Goebbels if this is
    your real name too bad for you.
    Do you know who this was? This was one of the most notorious
    murderers in the history of mankind. He was responsible for
    the deaths of millions of innocent
    people inWWII Why would you pick
    such a name for yourself? Unless it
    were your real name andif it were I
    would change it . This slime was hanged at the end or he took
    cyanide after poisoning his wife and children in Hitler's bunker. What a guy!! So he has no heirs which means you chose that name.
    Not good!!

  • Wixcheew

    Hey cb please check your grammar
    and your spelling so that your statement will have more impact.
    You made several errors. It makes
    one think that the school system
    failed you.

  • Gary Karstens

    The same people that voted this down will be complaining once they are required to pay for Junior's little sports teams. Then there will be a ruckus from these same scoundrels. Sports, IMO, should have been thrown out of schools a long time ago.

  • Mr. Chubbs

    Christmas comes early this year for those of us that live on the surface unlike those whose nose is stuck up so high in the sky it stays snowcapped. To all the cry babbies on here preaching doom since it lost you guys just love to spend other peoples money. Can you say welfare, wic, ebt and so on? Asking you folks to live within your means is like showing dracula the cross. Here's your sign.

  • Jake

    One factor that was left out was many Kanawha residents were recently re-assessed and saw huge increases in property taxes. I myself saw my vehicle tax increase 33% while my vehicle decreased in value by aging a year and added mileage. Many people suffered these increases and they saw the levy as a way to say no more. 5501 people voted for this levy. If you are so adamant about library funding, get out your checkbook and start writing. If each person that voted in favor of the levy wrote a check for $545.36 then the library would have the $3M they want. I was told numerous times by supporters I should cut my expenses to pay for this levy. Why should I have to cut my expenses to pay more taxes? When will receivers of subsidies cut their expenses in order to receive less subsidy? I won't get an answer to this other than I must be short sighted and hate children.

  • Ross Ballard

    No support for education in CAN'-ah-wha county again. Let them read comic books right folks? You go, Tea Party! Geez, no wonder we anchor the bottom of so many studies. If you're worried about your children not getting what they need my suggestion is to move to the Eastern Panhandle where the schools are doing great (not just in sports) and there are jobs that aren't coal jobs that tend to be unstable over time. The equation is simple: Zero (as a mind set) times Coal equals no dependency on one industry forging diversification of wealth building career opportunities squared, or Z x C(0)=$$$.

  • Docbegone

    The people have spoken. Now, if we could only vote on Obamacare.

  • Benthere

    This the very reason Kanawha County can not create job growth. Funded school systems are a huge positive when national companies look to relocate jobs. Has anyone every looked at a business survey for the metro Charleston area? Low in every ranking and this is one of the important catogories. Strong vibrant communities with the same type of economies embrace education and are willing to pay. Dying economic areas more often than not lost the vision and the will to be better. Detroit the sequel will be at the front door of Charleston and the state of WV.

    • Tom

      West Virginia is ranked 19th nationally for per pupil spending on education, but ranked near the last in educating our children, where is all of the money going that they still need more and more.

    • wvguy

      This couldn't be because of all the years of liberal democrats running the state. If you want a change in the direction we are going, try electing new people for a change and get rid of the life long politicians. They have ruined this state and they keep getting back in office year after year. If you keep on doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting.

    • GW

      I would love to see all the naysayers run a school system the "right" way. They have no idea. It is not as black and white as they believe.

  • BAC

    A salute to Nelson Robinson, who put his own money into a last minute campaign to defeat the Kan. Co. tax grab!

  • Jim N Charleston


    I'm Jim N Charleston & I approve this message cause I won't be a rubber stamp for radical tax & spend wing of B.O.E & librarians every where

    • wvtd

      hoppy made it sound like only bad people are against the levy in his interview with mr thaw Friday. I guess he is afraid of not getting a interview if he steps out of line. Mr Thaw, thank you for standing up for the working men and women of Kanawha county!

  • Joseph Goebbels

    All I needed to hear was Danny Jones and Kent Carper were in support of it and that was was enough for me to vote against it.
    I'm tired of the City of Charleston using all the county tax resource to bolster that city..

    The west side of Charleston is a tax deficent for the whole county yet likely 60% of Kan. Education funding is poured into that area... The state of the art schools they have compared to the rest of the county schools is unbelievable..
    Danny Jones and Kent Carper need to let Charleston take of itself and quit taking from the rest of the county...

    • wvtd

      kent is no friend to blue color workers unless you are in a union. remember the fund raiser for harry reid? a great friend of coal, he is on board with the former mayor of new York city, Bloomberg and is pushing his radical & extremist gun control plan. why do the rich fear the middle class so much? we stand in their way of taking total control over every aspect of our lives.

  • Dale

    It's time to shake up Kan. Co. Comm. & Kan. Co. Courthouse public office holders too. Clean the slate!!

    • wvtd

      big time! lets start in 2014 and get rid of these professional politicians who seem to know what is better for us than we do.

      • wvguy

        I'm in. Let's do it.

  • Joe

    The teacher unions are freaking out now. The dirty little secret will now be exposed. The annual salary step increases that are never mentioned during the teacher whining about pay comes from county level levies.

    Only when it is to their advantage to access state level taxpayer funds do they become state employees.

    • cb

      I agree with most things posted here, but really lets discuss teacher pay.

      Do teachers in this state make more money than average citizens? Yes of course they do.

      However, this is the only state I have lived in where people would consider teacher pay a good paying job. In my opinion that creates a couple of problems. One is that people who do not really wish to be teachers, choose this career path to find a decent paying job close to home. What other degree can you get in this state that would guarantee you a job in your community, whether it is rural or urban? The answer is there are not many. The second thing is that the good teachers are not nearly compensated enough. The work these people put in is insane, most of the time these arent the people complaining the loudest for raises. They are to busy working to generate these raises.

      It is time to start judging teachers on merit, not on test scores but on the actual job they do testing.

      • Joe


        Great comment and I absolutely agree. We have many high performing teachers in WV that should receive merit and performance-based pay increases. WV just named its teacher of the year. She, along with the four other nominees should automatically receive a significant raise for their performance. Unfortunately, no teacher gets a raise unless they all do.
        Seniority dictates everything.

        Apparently, we can identify and nominate the best countywide and statewide performing teachers for annual recognition, but can't implement a performance-based assessment process.

        • GW

          County and state teachers of the year can be self-nominated. This is truth. Seniority does not dictate much at all. Just because you went to school does not qualify you to run one. If you could see the future of education you would cringe. Very few qualified teachers are out there. Most treat it a a babysitting gig. This used to be the minority of teachers, but it is the majority now. But lets go ahead and cut teacher pay since it is such a popular career choice.

          • Joe

            Uh....then why would we increase salaries if, per your words, ''there are few qualified teachers and the majority treat it as a babysitting gig''?!

          • Wirerowe

            Constantly on this site and in the media" advocates"for the teachers say that seniority doesn't matter .Then it would seem that there would be no problem codifying that seniority doesn't matter. When that come up the advocates run around with their hairs on fire saying that will lead to the end of civilization. Methinks they protest too much and indeed seniority does matter.

  • Chuck

    And people wonder why WV is always portrayed as an ignorant state..........

    • wirerowe

      Because we have West Virginians that continue to use non sequiturs???