School employees: "We were lied to"

People upset at local school board's actions following levy approval.
Aaron Krause
Jul 20, 2014


"We were lied to."

That's what school district custodian Eugene Beamer told board of education members during last Monday's school board meeting. Specifically, Beamer said local Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) members were told that if voters approved the construction of a new school building, no employees would get laid off.

Yet, Beamer said he's one of 22 employees who were part of a "Reduction In Force (RIF)." The only reason he was removed from that list and has his job back is because another employee resigned, Beamer said.

About 35 local OAPSE members and Willard Education Association (WEA) members attended Monday's board meeting to show their support for their respective unions.

Beamer didn't specify who allegedly "lied" to OAPSE members. After the meeting, superintendent Jeff Ritz said he was the high school principal when campaigning for the new building was under way. The superintendent at the time was David Danhoff. But neither Ritz nor board members, who were on the board when Danhoff led the district, could recall the former superintendent making such a promise.

"Mr. Danhoff never lied to the staff," he said.

Treasurer Cynthia Shoup said the majority of those on the RIF list have been called back. Some people who were laid off were re-offered employment, but may have taken another job or didn't want to be removed from the RIF list, Shoup said.

Rosalie Keesy, a bus driver and president of the local OAPSE, said employees received just a 1 percent raise after more than three months of negotiations with administrators. Keesy referred to that as a "slap in the face."

"We feel disrespected," she said. She added OAPSE employees used to be reimbursed under their deductible, but that's not the case anymore. OAPSE employees have had their contracts frozen and rolled over for at least the last four years, Keesy said.

OAPSE members addressed the board during the public participation portion of the meeting. WEA members also read a prepared statement during that time.

"It is the sincere desire of the Willard Education Association and its negotiating team that as we continue this time of negotiation that we would be able to reach an agreement that is fair and equitable to all parties while maintaining respect and civility. It is also our desire that this task be accomplished in a timely manner so that our focus is our students as we begin the school year."

In other business Monday, Ritz said the condition of the track has been deteriorating. He estimated it would cost $100,000 to bring it back to a suitable condition.

The superintendent said another necessary project involves the football field, since it's never been redone. Turfing the field would cost between $600,000 to $700,000, he said.

Ritz also said it's time to replace music students' uniforms, a project that would represent a "major expense," he added.

A story that included other matters discussed by the Willard school board was published recently in the Norwalk Reflector.


Whiskey Tango F...

All expenses requested are for extra curriculars. Seek donations through the athletic boosters, music boosters or hold fund raisers. Math, science, English, and history hold a much higher need than Friday night lights with honking horns.


i said the same thing (long ago, and about all schools, not just willard) and the people wanted to tar and feather me..

local man

Gee you have to pay your deductible - welcome to the real world. A deductible is meant to respect benefits -


So the school is going to ask for a levy to collect money from tax payers for a new football field. This is AFTER they turned down an offer from Charlie Frye where he offered to donate all the money for a new field and the school board turned him down. Why, because the only thing Charlie asked for was to name the field after his former coach. The school board said no. So because the school board said no on free money from the biggest sports athlete to ever come out of Willard because they have a burr up there rear on the former coach it is now ok to ask tax payers to pay for it!!!! HELL NO!!! And the school board is not replacing the performing arts center? They can keep a gym but not the PAC? That is a very very poor decision. How about the money wasted at the new sports complex? They didn't even take the lights from the old tennis courts there for the new ones. How about the condition of the fields? What a joke!, here's my point. The school board have proven now they can not make good money decisions. Any levy they ask for must be voted no on!

believe it

Frye never offered to donate money for a new field, that is false information. And the new PAC/Cafetorium in the new school is going to be so much nicer than the current PAC that they will forget what the old one eve looked like. And the condition of the fields are much better now, I was just on them recently and they are in much better condition. Lots of false info you are spewing out in your post.


You better double check your info, I know this to be fact. So a PAC/cafetorium. Now that sounds so appealing. Let me guess, this is set up in the cafeteria without stadium like seating. Correct me if I am wrong. Nice no comment about the lights. You can spin it anyway you want but the decisions and the way money is spent are not very good. There is no false info, just the fact you can't handle the truth.

believe it

You might want to double check your info too. And the PAC/Cafetorium will be very appealing, just wait to see it(I've seen many others in other schools and they are extremely nice). I didn't comment on lights because I know nothing about that, so why comment on it? I'm not spinning anything but it's funny when everyone always knows better ways of doing things when they literally have nothing to do with it. People on the outside looking in always have better answers and know what to do or what not to do.


It might be nice but I bet the new Cafetorium will be acoustically dead just like the other ones!


I've been in the new school and the PAC/cafetorium does have stadium like seating.As far as the light go it was the residents of the housing development surrounding the complex that voiced strong opinions against the lights and the board approved their wishes.I think thats called being a good neighbor.

believe it

See that's a perfect example of people like Foodforthought thinking they know more without having the facts. Tried to make a big deal about the lights and here it was done that way because of the citizens voicing their opinion.

Dr. Information

I don't think Willard residents will be voting yes for any NEW levy anytime soon.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


He made a few bucks. His problem, he went to The Browns , they ruin everyone ! The coaches only last a couple years at most. Now i have a right to say this I have been a Browns Die Hard since 1957.


The comment was about Charlie as a person. He never offered to donate anything to the school...He bought a stereo system for the weight room one summer and took it with him the day he had to report to trading camp. He talks like he grew up on the East side of Cleveland. The dude was not raised that way so I'm not sure how he developed into a self centered sense of entitlement punk !


It's the old story - If you want to know if a school board or school administrator is lying it's easy - it's when their lips move!


I see allot of good comments made ! Where there is smoke there is fire. Do you really think Danhoff would lie to these employees ? No not David !

Wilber Mccoy

This whole situation is sad. First to address the lies-Dave did lie. He lied repeatedly to the people of Willard and then got out of dodge. Did he do his job? Sure, just at the expense of the tax payers and students of Willard City Schools. We get a new school based on lies and deceit. Mr. Ritz and the school board get to sit back and reap the benefits of Dave's dirty work. Well played dirty Dave, well played.

Staff for WSC were also lied to this past year as they negotiated contracts. For years the support staff at the schools have gone without raises of any kind to maintain the status quo. This year administrators axed every bit of their contract and offered an insulting 1% raise. This raise doesn't even begin to touch the increase in insurance premiums or increased deductibles. The staff at Willard City Schools just took a pay cut disguised as a raise. Administrators said this was the best they could do "because the school just doesn't have the money for anything more." That's garbage! If that was the case then tell me why Mr. Ritz and the Treasurer with an associates degree are able to get 9.8% and 16.2% raises respectively over the next 2 years?!?! Tell me why we are paying for Mr. Ritz to have a $200/month gas allowance, a cell phone allowance plus a school district provided cell phone, retirement paid for, health insurance paid for (better insurance than what is offered to employees!), his insurance deductibles paid for, a paid for life insurance policy, and a multi-thousand dollar annuity! If the district is so broke then where is all this money coming from???

Mr. Ritz and the Willard City School Board, don't ask this tax payer for another dime. The way you have mismanaged funds and driven this school into the ground is an embarrassment and you should all be ashamed.


I don't think the people in Willard will ever know the real truth about all that went down when Mr. Danhoff was here. He did throw the people "Under the bus".. ! He put a big burden on the tax payers in the Willard School District.. With enrollment going down each year. Mr. Danhoff even lied to the school board.. they finally got smart . And he left town, he knew what he did. The real truth will come out one day. Now Sandusky Schools System has him. He did not help Willard at all.

believe it

I'd love to see all you people with all the answers try to run a whole school district and do it while staying out of the red. I'm sure you think it's so easy to do and keep everyone happy. I'm glad I'm not doing it!


I believe Dave is only one vote....the majority that voted yes to the levy are the ones to blame. B!tch because the schools are outdated and b!tch when you get what you voted for ! Simpletons !