By LCCC Journalism Students
Special to The Chronicle-Telegram
The economy was on people’s mind as they went to the polls Tuesday to decide the fate of Issue 1, a countywide half-percent sales tax increase; and Issue-2, a 10-year 2.1-mill levy renewal by Lorain County Community College’s University Partnership.
Issue 2, which is projected to generate $12 million per year for LCCC’s University Partnership program, received reluctant support from a cross section of voters in the county over Issue 1. Issue 2 will cost $66 per year on a $100,000 home.
“I voted against both issues,” said Alexa Tucker, a retired Elyria resident. “I don’t want any more taxes. Enough is enough.”
But, Elyria residents Christopher Field and his wife, Sally Field, voted for Issue 2.
“My grandson goes to LCCC,” Sally Field said. “He wants to major in Biotechnology and this University Partnership is very important to him."
Christopher Field interjected: “But we voted ‘no’ for other issues. They are just an excuse to raise taxes. We don't believe in that.”
However, June Stephens of Elyria voted for both Issue 1 and Issue 2.
“I believe in education. It’s the only way we can turn our country around,” Stephens said.
Similar views were expressed by Lorain City resident Wilfred Castro.
Castro said he supported Issue 2 because he and his wife graduated from LCCC. Four of his five children graduated from LCCC with associate degrees. Two of them earned bachelor’s degrees, while the other two have earned double master’s degrees.
North Ridgeville resident Brenda Syppko echoed a similar opinion.
“I’m all for education,” Syppko said, adding that her granddaughter graduated from LCCC.
David Karp of Grafton questioned the need for Issue 2.
“I feel as though the campaign that the college ran fixated on what good the increase would do for the college itself and not enough on the community and students’ lives after graduation,” Karp said.
Another Grafton resident Bob Flickinger agreed. Flickinger said he usually supported levies for education. However, the present increase was unnecessary and that taxes are already high enough. Being a LCCC alumnus, he plans to vote yes on any renewal levies in the future but not now.
Avon resident Jake Saladonis didn’t support Issue 2. He argued that, “even if I went to that school I would still vote ‘no’ because it does not benefit everyone, but it takes everyone’s money.”
Brian Hoyle, of Wellington, was skeptical about both levies.
“I voted ‘no’ on both issues,” Hoyle said. “I think we are being charged too much already on sales tax and I am not affiliated with LCCC at all.”
Mason Cogar, also of Wellington, expressed different views.
“I did vote for Issue 2 because my daughter goes to LCCC and I want her to have the best opportunity to have a good future,” Cogar said.
Sheffield Lake resident Diane Hamlik has a different take on the issue.
“I voted ‘yes’ because education is important. If the administration is just spending the money on useless buildings, then I have done wrong.”
LCCC journalism students Sonal Dhiman, Katilyn Glover, Rachel Jindra, Torie Kozyk, Jackie Sartschev, Karl Schneider, Paige Selzer, Brenna Shippy and Kimberly Teodecki contributed to this report.