August 27, 2014

Elyria
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Township police district backers eye 2014 for another try

Supporters of a police district to bolster sheriff’s protection in rural parts of Lorain County haven’t given up on seeking funding from voters, despite the failure of a 1.25-mill levy Nov. 6.

But they plan to wait until the primary election in 2014 to do it.

Brownhelm Township’s fiscal officer, Marsha Funk, who chaired the levy effort, said about two-thirds of police district representatives who attended a board meeting Wednesday night supported another levy try.

About a third did not want to try again, arguing that “The voters spoke — they don’t want it,” Funk said.

Funk said there were several reasons for looking toward 2014 for the next ballot issue.

The levy failed 11,367 to 9,198 or 55 to 45 percent, but did better in communities where supporters focused their efforts, Funk said.

She said there will be elections next year for two of three trustees in any township, and trustees will need time to work on their own campaigns.

For example, she said Amherst Township Trustee Neil Lynch devoted many hours to the police district campaign and is up for re-election next year.

The levy passed 53 percent to 47 percent in Amherst Township, the only township where a majority of voters supported it.

But in order to pass, the levy needed to pass by a majority of voters in the district, which is comprised of 16 of the county’s 18 townships. Columbia Township and LaGrange Township decided not to join the district.

The levy would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $38 a year.

It would have raised $1.3 million a year, and the funds would have been entirely controlled by the district.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.