Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Area voters to decide many issues May 2

Voters in the Woodmore Local School District will decide on a 6.9-mill emergency property tax levy on the May 2 primary ballot, while Sandusky County voters are being asked to renew a 0.3-mill tax levy for 911 emergency telephone service.

The 6.9-mill Woodmore levy would raise $916,100 in operating funds for four years. If a levy does not pass, school officials warn the district will face a deficit in the 2007-08 school year. The district's 1-mill permanent improvements levy will expire in 2008; its five-year, 4.9-mill operating levy will expire in 2009; and the levy that will appear in May will expire in 2010, if passed.

Two Republicans and a Democrat are lined up in a quest to replace veteran Ottawa County commissioner and former county engineer, John Papcun, who leaves office in January.

The race to succeed Mr. Papcun is the only contested election in the county's primary, which will also offer voters a chance to decide tax issues.

Republicans Steve S. Benko, 52, of Port Clinton, and Jenine M. Porter, of Catawba Island, are campaigning for the right to challenge James M. Sass in November's general election. Mr. Sass is unchallenged in the Democratic primary.

The primary is Mr. Benko's first run for public office.

He decided to run after returning to Port Clinton after living away for 15 years. His campaign is centered on "new progressive leadership" that will build on his experience gained from living in other communities.

He said Port Clinton needs an infusion of new businesses to stir its economic fortunes. "We need more economic growth and to bring or build more business in Ottawa County," he said.

Economic development is also a theme of his GOP challenger, Ms. Porter, 49. She ran unsuccessfully for commissioner two years ago, garnering 47 percent of the vote in her first try for elected office. She has lived in the area for 12 years.

"We are sorely lacking in economic growth here," she said.

Mr. Sass, 52, is a lifelong resident in his seventh year as a Portage Township trustee. He's also president of the Ottawa County Township Association and a third-generation farmer.

His campaign has set a goal on "jobs and the economic situation," but he said his goal would be to continue the work the current county commissioners are focused on, such as expanding sewers.

The auditor's race will offer a single candidate on the ballot: incumbent Jo Ellen Regal, a Democrat.

Other issues to be decided by Ottawa County voters include:

w●Allen Township, 0.6 mill additional levy, five years, maintaining cemeteries.

w●Clay Township (excluding Genoa), 1 mill additional tax, continuous, road repairs.

w●Clay Township (excluding Genoa), 1 mill additional levy, five years, road equipment.

w●Lake Local School District, 8.75-mill additional tax, just under $2 million a year (16 voters in Ottawa County).

The primary picture in Sandusky County is smaller, with no contested races.

Democrat Glenn Baker of Lindsey and Republican Brad Smith, the incumbent, are unchallenged in the county commissioner race, setting up a showdown this fall.

No Republicans filed for the auditor's race, leaving Auditor Bill Farrell of Fremont, a Democrat, unchallenged.

The only countywide issue voters will decide is the renewal of the 0.3-mill tax levy for 911 emergency telephone service, which would run five years if approved. The levy generates $283,000 a year.

Contact Jim Sielicki at:

or 419-724-6078.

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