Local issues filed for November ballot
MEDINA/SUMMIT COUNTIES — Voters living in the West Side Leader’s coverage area will see a ballot full of issues in the Nov. 6 General Election.
The 90-day filing deadline for the Board of Elections in Summit and Medina counties was Aug. 8. The following includes a rundown of the issues that were filed for the ballot. As of presstime, issue numbers had not been assigned.
Akron Public Schools levy
Voters living in the Akron Public Schools (APS) District will see a 7.9-mill levy on the ballot.
According to Treasurer Jack Pierson, the 7.9-mill levy would generate $19.28 million per year, leaving the district needing to make around another $9 million in cuts next year to balance the budget. It would cost the owner of a $75,000 home (the average home value in Akron, according to Pierson) an additional $15 per month, according to district officials.
The district has made more than $22 million in cuts this school year, including closing three elementary schools. In July, the board also eliminated 84 teaching positions.
Voters narrowly defeated a 5.5-mill levy this past November.
Copley voters will see a 2-mill replacement police levy on the ballot.
According to Fiscal Officer Janice Marshall, the levy would generate $934,935 per year. The three-year levy would provide funding for Copley Police Department operations, including salaries and equipment such as vehicles, radios and dispatch technology.
According to Marshall, per the county’s calculation of revenue estimate, a homeowner with a home with an appraised value of $100,000 and a taxable value of $35,000 would pay an estimated $61.25 per year for the levy.
The levy before Norton voters will be a four-year, 4.6-mill levy for the purpose of funding the fire department and its vehicles, equipment and supplies.
The city tried unsuccessfully to pass a similar levy in March. According to Council Clerk Karla Richards, the levy would cost residents the same amount as with the March levy — about $141 a year for the owner of property worth $100,000.
Voters also did not pass a fire levy in November 2011. When that happened, Council voted to reduce the manned hours at the city’s fire station effective Jan. 1 and lay off nine firefighters. The cuts meant the station would have no personnel for fire and EMS calls from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. However, Norton firefighters continued to cover the station until the March election. When the March levy was defeated, the firefighters ceased the evening coverage, according to city officials.
Norton voters also will see a request for approval of a 1.9-mill continuing levy for the Norton City Schools District.
According to district officials, the levy would generate $532,903 annually. Superintendent David Dunn said the additional funds would go toward operating expenses — mostly personnel-related items such as salaries and insurance.
According to Treasurer Stephanie Hagenbush, the levy, if passed, would cost about $58 per year for the owner of property valued at $100,000.
Peninsula Village voters will be asked to approve a 1 percent income tax increase.
According to Peninsula officials, the village currently has a 1 percent income tax. If approved by voters, the village income tax would increase to 2 percent, but most people subject to the tax would notice no change in their paychecks, according to village officials. Village officials estimate only 23 percent of village residents — those who both live and work in the village — would see an increase in the tax they pay.
If voters approve Peninsula’s 1 percent increase, the village would collect the entire amount already being paid by residents who work in municipalities that collect a 2 percent income tax, according to Peninsula officials.
Voters in Richfield Township will see the same road and bridge levy that was defeated in the Aug. 7 Special Election on the November ballot.
Voters defeated the 2.3-mill, five-year levy for roads and bridges by 52 percent of the vote.
The road and bridge levy — which would fund the general construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of roads and bridges — is a replacement of a 1.3-mill existing levy and an increase of 1 mill. The five-year levy would cost about $70 a year for the owner of a home valued at $100,000, according to township officials.
In the most recent collection year, the levy brought in $186,984. With the increase, it would generate $322,042, according to township officials.
Since voters approved the fire levy that was on the August ballot, trustees plan to rescind that levy that was slated for the November election, as soon as the August election results are certified, according to township officials.
Richfield Village residents will be able to vote on an opt-out natural gas aggregation program in November.
According to village officials, an aggregation program allows residents to band together to get a lower natural-gas rate than they could get on their own. The opt-out provision means participation is not mandatory.
Summit County Children Services Board levy
Voters in Summit County will see a request to renew Summit County Children Services’ 2.25-mill levy.
The six-year renewal would fund the protection and placement of abused and neglected children in Summit County.
Woodridge Local Schools levy
Voters living in the Woodridge Local Schools District again will see a levy on the November ballot.
Voters defeated the district’s 6.83-mill emergency levy by 51 percent of the vote during the Aug. 7 Special Election. That same five-year levy will be on the November ballot.
This was the third time in a year the district asked voters to provide additional operating dollars for the district. In the November 2011 General Election, 52 percent of voters were against a 10-year, 5.88-mill levy request that would have brought in $2.85 million a year.
The district again went on the ballot in the March Primary Election with a five-year, 6.83-mill levy that would have collected $3 million per year. In that election, 53 percent of voters were against the levy.
The 6.83-mill levy voters will see in November would cost $209 for every $100,000 of home value, according to district officials.
Following the November and March levy defeats, Woodridge has made major budget reductions and has tried to keep the cuts away from the classroom, according to district officials. The district reduced its budget by about $1.8 million in the 2011-12 school year, eliminating 27 staff positions and cutting programs and supplies. Administrative salaries have been frozen, and the staff health care contribution has been increased, according to district officials.
Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities levy
Voters in Medina will see a 1.9-mill replacement levy to fund the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities (DD) on the November ballot.
According to the Friends of the Medina County Board of DD website, www.friendsof themedinacountyboardofdd.com/index.html, the levy is not a new tax. It is a 17-year-old levy, and when it was originally approved, the Medina County Board of DD served 469 people each month. According to the website, more than 1,100 people now are served each month.
If approved, the levy would cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $30 per year, according to the website.
If the levy fails, all areas of service would be negatively impacted, including job training and education programs, along with residential funding and transportation, according to the website.
Voters living in Sharon will see a five-year, 2-mill replacement levy for roads and bridges.
According to Fiscal Officer Anita Haas, if approved, the levy would generate $431,400 a year and cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $200 annually.
Voters living in Sharon within the Wadsworth City Schools District also will see a 1-mill levy for the Wadsworth Public Library on the ballot.
The five-year levy would cost the owner of a home with an appraised value of $100,000 approximately $31.50 per year, according to the library’s website, www.wadsworthlibrary.com. The library had previously requested a 1.25-mill continuing levy in March, but the issue was defeated. Prior to March, the last time the library asked voters for operating funds was in 2002, according to the website.
Since 2001, the library has lost $401,362 in state funding; $275,735 of that loss occurred after 2007, according to the website. In response to that loss, the library made more than $500,000 worth of cuts, which included a reduction in hours of operation, discontinuation of bookmobile service and staff layoffs. In addition, the library created self-serve checkout stations and hired a collection agency to assist in the recovery of lost materials and fines, according to the website.
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