Friday, April 12

May 3 Primary Election results mixed for local ballot issues — West Side Leader – Akron.com


Norton police, Medina County health levies fail, but Richfield Township road, Valley Fire District levies pass

By Maria Lindsay
SUMMIT COUNTY — Voters were asked to weigh in on a number of state and local candidates and issues on the May 3 Primary Election ballot.
According to the unofficial results from the Summit and Medina counties’ board of elections, voter turnout was low. In Summit County, 20.6 percent of the voters turned up at the polls, while in Medina County just over 25 percent came out to cast a ballot. Winners from each party will face each other, as well as any Independent or write-in candidates who file to run, for seats in the Nov. 8 General Election.
The following are the unofficial results from the two board of elections, with more details available at www.summitcountyboe.gov; www.boe.ohio.gov/medina; or www.ohiosos.gov. This information will be updated at akron.com as more details become available.

STATE RACES

Candidates facing off for U.S senator included Republicans Matt Dolan, Mike Gibbons, Josh Mandel, Neil Patel, Mark Pukita, Jane Timken and JD Vance, with Vance winning 31.24 percent of the votes for the Republican nomination. Democratic candidates included Morgan Harper, Traci Johnson and Tim Ryan, with Ryan taking 79.35 percent of the votes for the Democratic nomination.
For governor, Republicans Joe Blystone, incumbent Mike DeWine, Ron Hood and Jim Renacci vied for the seat, with DeWine winning 49.29 percent of the votes. Democrats John Cranley and Nan Whaley faced off, with Whaley taking 66.62 percent of votes.
For secretary of state, Republican John Adams challenged incumbent Frank LaRose, with LaRose taking almost 72 percent of the votes for the Republican nomination.

COUNTY RACES

For Summit County Council, three at-large seats were on the ballot.
Republicans Devin Allman, Shane Barker, Margaret Briem, current Ward 8 representative Anthony DeVitis and Maria Williams vied for the seats, while Democrats Erin Dickinson, incumbent John Donofrio, Dakota James Rose and incumbent Elizabeth Walters went head-to-head.
On the Republican side, DeVitis was the top vote-getter with 37 percent of the votes, followed by Barker with 23 percent and Williams with just over 14 percent. For the Democrats, Walters took 31 percent of the votes, Donofrio 28.6 percent and Dickinson 28 percent.
In Medina County, Republicans Patricia Geissman and incumbent Colleen Swedyk faced off for a Medina County Board of Commissioners seat, for a term from Jan. 1, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2026, with Swedyk winning 65 percent of the votes. Geissman is a former longtime Medina County commissioner.

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LOCAL ISSUES
City of Norton

Norton residents were asked to approve Issue 13, a new 1-mill levy for the acquisition, construction, improvement or maintenance of buildings, equipment and supplies for the Norton Police Department. The issue failed, with almost 63.5 percent (1,386) voting against it and 36.5 percent (799) voting for it.
Norton Finance Director Pamela Keener said the 10-year, 1-mill levy would have cost the owner of a $100,000 property $36 per year, with collection to start in 2023. Revenue from the levy would have raised approximately $307,128 annually to be used for the construction of a new building and improvements to the existing one and to pay for equipment and supplies for the police department.
Police Chief John Dalessandro said the current building was built around 1975 and is plagued by a number of structural issues, including roof leaks, an unusable holding cell and water infiltration around an electrical box. The funds would have been used to build an 8,000-square-foot addition to include expanded areas for staff and make the department more accessible to the public. Also, administrative offices would have moved to the second floor of the expansion to enable the addition of handicapped parking spaces and increase the ease of access for the public coming into the department.

Richfield Township

Issue 18 was a renewal of part of an existing road levy, with a reduction of 0.3 mill, to 3 mills for the construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of streets, roads and bridges in Richfield Township. Voters overwhelmingly supported the issue, with 69 percent (413) saying yes and 31 percent (185) voting no.
The levy will cost owners of a $100,000 home almost $78 per year and generate $453,932 annually while maintaining the homestead qualification on the 2.3 mills that is part of the current levy. Those funds will be used for the construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of streets, roads and bridges.
The funds will support the service department budget, which includes road resurfacing, snowplowing and maintenance, equipment, fuel, road salt and materials, as well as staffing expenses. The majority of funds from the levy is used to pay salaries for 24 hour-a-day staffing and access to a 911 system, insurance, supplies, fuel, uniforms, training and utilities.
Township officials said they were able to reduce the levy due to additional funding received from development in the Joint Economic Development District.
“We are grateful to the Richfield Township residents for passing this important road and bridge levy,” said Richfield Township Board of Trustees member Don Laubacher. “Servicing and paving our roads, and being good stewards of our funds, are high priorities, and the levy’s passage will ensure that money will be available.”

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Valley Fire District

Voters in Peninsula Village and Boston Township were asked to approve Issue 5, a renewal of the Valley Fire District’s (VFD) 6.3-mill levy for five years, with 78 percent (219 votes) voting yes and 22 percent (61) voting against it.
Revenue for this levy is used for operating expenses, with collections to begin in 2023.
VFD Clerk Catherine Anson said the levy will cost owners of a $100,000 home $147.14 annually and generate $283,576 annually. The current levy is expected to bring in $261,370 this year.
“The voters have expressed their trust in the Valley Fire District, its management and personnel in approving the operating levy,” said Anson. “The vote of confidence is much appreciated.”

Medina County Health Department

In Medina County, the Medina County Health Department (MCHD) asked voters for the second time to approve a 10-year renewal of the district’s current .70-mill operating levy, along with a 0.15-mill increase. Issue 3 would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $14.70 annually, with $5.24 of that coming from the increase, and collection to begin in 2023.
Voters defeated the levy, with almost 52 percent against it (16,630 votes) and 48 percent (15,532) for it.
According to MCHD Director of Community Health Kristen Hildreth, this request failed in the 2021 November General Election by seven votes.
Hildreth noted before the election that the renewal of the .70-mill levy would keep the state’s contribution of a portion of the millage. If the levy were to be replaced, millage would remain the same, but the cost sharing with the state would be eliminated due to changes in state law and would place the full cost of that change on taxpayers. MCHD officials stated that costs for a replacement .70-mill levy would be based on current property values, not from the 1992 levy, and with higher property values a .70-mill replacement levy would bring in more money than the district needs.
“To have the modest levy fail, after two years of a global pandemic, is disheartening,” said Medina County Health Commissioner Krista Wasowski. “Having a local health department is important to the well-being of the community and the work done by this agency affects all citizens. It will be a decision of the Board of Health, but the final request for renewal would be November 2022.”
Brian Lisik, Chris Partis and Patrick Shade contributed to this report.



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