April 19, 2014

Elyria
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Tax levies, board candidates and mayors on the ballot across county

Marty Grasso, a Lorain County Board of Election vote center technician, assembles voting machines Monday at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1516 E. 30th St., Lorain. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Marty Grasso, a Lorain County Board of Election vote center technician, assembles voting machines Monday at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1516 E. 30th St., Lorain. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Check out The Chronicle’s website tonight for results directly from the Lorain County Board of Elections and read complete results and stories on the winners and losers in Wednesday’s Chronicle.

SHEFFIELD TWP. — Today’s elections are as local as they can get with voters picking new mayors in Avon and Vermilion, as well as deciding the outcomes of crowded races for city councils, township boards of trustees and school boards.

And while there are issues on the ballot ranging from school levies to local liquor options, there are only two issues that voters across Lorain County will decide.

The county commissioners have asked voters to approve a 0.5 percent sales tax increase that is coupled with rolling back 1.4 mills worth of property taxes. If approved, the increase, which would be in place for three years, would bring in roughly $8.3 million per year for county government operations and capital improvements.

The other big issue is a 1.5-mill renewal levy with a 0.6-mill increase that will go toward funding Lorain County Community College’s University Partnership with new faculty, programs and technology. That levy will generate about $12 million annually for the 10 years it would be in effect.

Despite the length of the ballot, county Board of Elections officials are not expecting a high turnout because of the off-year nature of today’s election.

Elections board Director Paul Adams predicted a turnout of 37 percent, while Deputy Director Jim Kramer said he thinks it will come in lower at about 35 percent.

Kramer said two years ago during the last off-year election, turnout was 47 percent, but that was higher because of mayoral races in Elyria and Lorain. In 2009, turnout was 43 percent, but that was driven higher by state issues, including gambling, that were on the ballot, he said.

Adams said he thinks the turnout will be highest in Avon where four candidates, Bryan Jensen, Rich Summers, Kevin Ward and Dan Zegarac, are vying to replace retiring Mayor Jim Smith.

As of Monday, 10,942 of the county’s roughly 213,000 registered voters had cast ballots early, either through the mail or at the election board’s offices.

Adams also said that this election will see the elections board implement a new way for managing the flow of voters at polling places around the county.

Rather than seek out their individual precincts when they arrive, Adams said voters will get in line alphabetically and be directed to the proper table where their electronic voting card will be encoded. He said the changes were tested during the primary election and worked well.

“The new system has been done to streamline the process,” Adams said.

County voters also may see federal observers at the polls today as part of an agreement reached with the U.S. Department of Justice that centered on the county’s efforts to ensure access for Spanish-speaking voters.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chronicet.com.

  • Mark B

    VOTE NO ON 31
    VOTE NO on any Taxes new or Renewal !

  • Tom

    Yea! To hell with LCCC’s University PartnerShip that helps people get a 4 year degree without having to leave LC’s campus…

    • Mark B

      If it is such a convience to them , let them flip the bill. My tax dollars are already spread too thin.

      • Tom

        It’s not a convenience to them, it’s a convenience to students and everyone around it.

    • Joe Smith

      Donate your money to it then, I am sick of taxes and besides, I have to save all my money for Obamacare to pay for the increases in the costs

  • Mark B

    I cant believe that LCCC is not making a profit , and if it is making a profit then it does not need the support of tax dollars.

    • Bob Haas

      Lccc is making a profit! It is a business owned by the county and it makes money. the problem with them is they get government money and grants to expand then they want more money to fund he expansion. And why should just property owners have to pay for it? I don’t attend Lccc. Why should I pay for it.

      • Tom

        You might not attend it but your kids might, your grand kids might. It’s a great option for kids who want to be able to actually pay off their tuition and not get student loans. Where else can you get an education for the price of LC tuition?

  • Tim

    Voted Yes on Issue 2. LCCC is good for the economy.
    .