December 18, 2014

Elyria
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School, library issues make up bulk of primary campaign spending

Campaign finance reports filed by Thursday’s deadline for candidate and issue races for the May 6 primary revealed no surprises, but did show that the most funds were amassed by groups working to pass area school and library issues.

The Elyria Citizens Committee for Quality Education, which is working in support of the combined 15.57-mill property tax renewal, reported the highest amount of campaign funds totaling $39,290.13.

Of that sum, the committee spent $15,330 as of Thursday, leaving a campaign balance of $23,960.13.

While the 10-year renewal initially is an eyebrow-raising figure, the 15.57 mills represent the combined millage of two previously separate levies.

The issue would generate $12 million annually for operating expenses including materials, building maintenance, teacher salaries and academic programs.

Meanwhile, backers of the 1.9-mill levy to fund operations for the Elyria Public Library System reported $36,792.14 in total campaign funds.

Citizens for the Elyria Public Library, as supporters are formally known, has spent $21,371.89 as of Thursday’s filing deadline, leaving a campaign fund balance of $15,420.25.

To fund the library system on a continuous basis, the 1.9-mill issue will generate a slightly more than $2 million a year, or half of the library’s total budget.

The levy also funds library operations in LaGrange and LaGrange Township, which are part of the Elyria library district.

In North Ridgeville, the committee promoting a 1.91-mill, five-year renewal for the North Ridgeville Branch Library recorded $20,297.84 in its primary election war chest. Of that sum, The North Ridgeville Library levy committee reported spending $2,546.75.

The levy would produce $1.2 million yearly for personnel, materials and programming.

For candidates, state Rep. Matt Lundy, D-Elyria, reported a far larger campaign fund than incumbent Republican Lorain County Commissioner Tom Williams, whom Lundy is challenging in the November election.

Both men are unopposed in their primary races.

Lundy’s campaign reported $33,472.91 in funds while Williams’ forces reported $15,540.20. Both men spent nearly the same amount of money for their primary runs.

Lundy’s expenditures totaled $12,105.16, while Williams reported spending $11,827.25.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.