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Sharon residents assigned new polling place

10/4/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

Several residents, along with the Sharon Township Board of Trustees, expressed frustration at being assigned a new polling place to vote in the Nov. 6 General Election.

At the board’s Sept. 25 meeting, Trustee Brian Guccion said trustees were not informed ahead of time of the change, which will affect voters in precincts A and D.

While precincts B and C will continue to mark their ballots at the township’s Maintenance Building, other voters will need to go to Northside Christian Church, located at 7615 Ridge Road.

Guccion said he was told by Carol Lawler, director of the Medina County Board of Elections (BOE), that it will be a permanent move for the two precincts, which make up roughly the southern half of the township.

Guccion said the change was described to him as “more convenient and more economical.”

Several other precincts in the city of Wadsworth also will vote at Northside Christian Church, according to trustees.

To reduce confusion over who is affected by the move, Trustee Kim Bolas Miller clarified that residents who used to vote in the basement of the Town Hall will now need to go to the church.

Affected residents also should have already received blue postcards in the mail, added Guccion. The township is not allowed to post signs, however, to help route residents who may have missed the postcard, said Bolas Miller.

“It’s going to be a mess,” she said.

“I think we all need to make a face-to-face contact” with BOE officials about the 11th-hour change, said Bolas Miller.

For questions regarding polling locations, the Medina County Board of Elections can be reached at 330-722-9278.

Also at the meeting, trustees asked for an update on the restoration project for Sharon’s first fire truck.

Old 132-1, as it is known, was purchased by the township June 2, 1950, for $10,000 and was reacquired by the township’s firefighters’ association at the end of 2010, to be restored to give public safety officers their “last alarm” ride.

The main priority in doing restoration work is to include custom adjustments that will allow the truck to accommodate the caskets of public safety officers without having to tilt them, according to the firefighters’ association.

Fire Capt. Dennis Miller said a member of the restoration committee would be taking a trip this week at his own cost to meet with specialists at West Coast Customs, a luxury automotive restyling center in Corona, Calif., who has agreed to take on the project.

After the trip, they will know better how they plan to move forward with the project, said Miller.

“We think West Coast has put us on the back burner,” he added, noting that it would be OK with him if things fall through with the California company, since that would provide a new opportunity for a local person to be hired to do the project.

Initially, several local businesses approached about the project turned it down, according to Miller.

Now, however, the owner of a new automotive business in Middleburg Heights has recently expressed interest in doing the restoration work, he added.

“Hopefully we can get someone local to do it. … That’s what we wanted to do originally,” said Miller.

The cost to complete the project through West Coast Customs or by a local person will be roughly the same, he said.

Funds for the restoration work are housed in an account earmarked solely to be used on the truck and will not include any additional dollars from the association, taxpayers or Sharon Fire Department, according to Miller.

The next fundraiser for the project will be held March 16, 2013, with more details to be released at a later time.

In other business, trustees:

• approved moving $20,000 designated for improvement of sites within the General Fund to insurance and bonding within the General Fund;

• updated those in attendance regarding Medina County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Thorne’s progress on a report about limited home rule. Bolas Miller said Thorne has talked to officials from seven home-ruled townships in Ohio and is looking to talk to three more. He will issue his report on the subject once he is done with those conversations, she said;

• decided to table again a request from the Fire Department to hire a fire prevention specialist to work at Sharon Elementary School. Trustees said they have additional questions for Fire Chief Rob Haas, who was not present, about the program. Also, trustees want more communication with the school administration before moving forward, they said.

“We don’t want to commit until we know they’re on board,” said Guccion;

• noted the Heritage Society is accepting nominations for its annual community service award for someone who has helped to enrich and preserve the Sharon community. Nominations can be mailed to the Sharon Township Heritage Society, P.O. Box 154, Sharon Center, OH 44274;

• said that following a public hearing held Sept. 18, trustees approved changing the zoning of 18.7 acres on Ridge Road owned by the Ruhlin Co. from R-1 (Residential) to I-1 (Industrial). The change was previously approved by the Zoning Commission, according to township officials;

• noted the Medina County Auditor’s Office will hold informal hearings until Oct. 12 for homeowners who wish to dispute their home valuations for the 2013 calendar year. To appeal, homeowners must provide evidence, such as comparable sales, an appraisal or a sales contract, according to Auditor’s Office officials. Appeal requests may be submitted via email to auditor@medinacountyaudi tor.org, in person or mailed to the attention of Joan Heller, chief deputy auditor, 144 N. Broadway St., Medina, OH 44256;

• heard another request from resident Bill Bramley to lift the township’s moratorium on fracking on township property; and

• said the Sharon’s Women’s Club will hold its annual Fall Fest Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Town Hall, to feature artist and craft booths, as well as food items, including chili and homemade pies. Raffles and silent auction baskets also will be offered. Admission and parking are free.

“Our goal is to raise at least $2,000 for high school student scholarships for next year,” said club member Eleanor Hammond.

Trustees next plan to meet Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building on Sharon Circle.

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