Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, February 14 2012 at 7:02 PM, Updated: Tue, February 14 2012 at 7:11 PM
Voters in Klamath Falls will be facing a levy this may aimed at boosting the number of teachers in city schools.
Klamath Falls City Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Hillyer says the owner of a 100 thousand dollar home would pay about 50 dollars more a year in taxes. The three year levy would generate about 890 thousand dollars a year... "And then we would also get an extra 140 thousand dollar from the state in matching funds."
The district needs to fix aging buildings, but the school board says a levy to hire teachers and reduce class sizes is a bigger priority.
Dr. Hillyer says "It would allow us to hire about six to seven elementary teachers, and then would also allow us to add two teachers to the junior high, and two to the senior high."
The board knows it won't be easy to pass a levy in tough economic times. But Hillyer believes a healthy school system will help attract new businesses, and boost the economy... "And so, these dollars are very critical not only for the health of our schools, but really for the health of our community."
Paperwork to put the measure on the May ballot was filed with the county clerk Tuesday afternoon. Klamath County Clerk Linda Smith will now review the ballot measure, publish it to see if there are any public challenges, and then assign it a number before placing it on the ballot.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.