Sunday, Dec 11, 2016
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Politics

5 levies, 6 races on Lucas County ballot

Lucas County voters, starting in two days at the onset of early voting and then at the polls on Nov. 6, will cast votes on five county-wide levies and six contested countywide races.

There are two additional levies for people voting inside the city of Toledo.

The proposals include:

● A new 1-mill, 10-year levy for the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $30.63 annually. It would generate about $7 million annually for the agency.

● A renewal of the 1-mill levy plus a new, 0.85-mill tax for Lucas County Children Services. The levies’ total cost for the owner of a $100,000 home would be $56.66, or an increase of $26.03 annually. The new portion of the levy wouldn’t be collected until 2014. It would generate about $12.9 million annually. Levies provide more than half of the agency’s revenue.

● A renewal of Imagination Station’s five-year, 0.17-mill levy. It costs the owner of a $100,000 property $5.21 yearly. This would generate about $1.5 million annually for the science center.

● A 2.9-mill levy request from the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library. Two mills of that would be a renewal of the library’s existing levy; 0.9 mills would be additional. The additional 0.9 mill would represent about $27 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home. The total 2.9 mills would cost that same homeowner about $88 annually.

● The Metroparks of the Toledo Area is asking for approval on a 0.9-mill levy. The agency has a 0.3-mill levy that expires at the end of this year, but the funds it provides can only be used for purchasing land, not for maintenance and day-to-day park operations. The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $27.56 annually. The potential new levy would raise about $7.1 million annually, according to Scott Carpenter, a spokesman for the agency. It would assist with major maintenance and improvements at several parks, such the Middlegrounds in downtown Toledo, Fallen Timbers Battlefield in Maumee, and others.

The plethora of funding requests on the ballot does have some officials concerned that voters could feel overwhelmed.

Toledo voters also will see a 4.9-mill new permanent levy for Toledo Public Schools and a 1-mill levy request for Toledo’s parks and recreation facilities.

Those taxes would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $150.06 and $30.62 more a year, respectively.

Two Lucas County commissioners are defending their seats this election.

Democratic incumbent Pete Gerken faces Republican John Marshall, an Air Force veteran and retired contractor. Mr. Marshall ran unsuccessfully for Sylvania Township trustee last November, ending with 7.5 percent of the vote in a four-way race. Mr. Gerken of South Toledo is a former Jeep factory worker who went into union leadership and co-administered a joint Chrysler and United Auto Workers training center. He also is a former Toledo city councilman. Mr. Gerken is seeking a third term.

Democratic incumbent Tina Skeldon Wozniak faces independent Kevin Haddad and Republican Brent McCormack in a three-way race for the seat.

For clerk of courts, Republican Constantine Stamos will run against Democratic incumbent Bernie Quilter.

Two Toledo councilmen are running to become the next Lucas County recorder. Republican George Sarantou, a private financial adviser, is making his third run in seven years for county office. He faces Phil Copeland, a Democratic labor union official.

Both are at-large Toledo city councilmen, and both are barred by term limits from running for council again in 2013.

Their race is one of the most locally watched this election season.

Mr. Copeland was appointed to City Council in 2005 and was elected later that year and again in 2009. Mr. Sarantou is a registered representative for New England Financial. No Republican has been elected recorder in Lucas County since 1930.

Republican Norm Witzler is running against Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz, the incumbent. In 2010, Mr. Witzler, a former Waterville councilman, started as the Republican candidate for county auditor against Democrat Anita Lopez and then withdrew to allow the party to substitute Gina Kaczala as the Republican nominee. Ms. Kaczala lost the election.

Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Myron Duhart, a Democrat, faces Republican Kenneth Phillips in the only contested county judicial race.

Uncontested races involve Democrat John Tharp for sheriff, Democrat Julia Bates for prosecutor, Democrat Keith Earley for engineer, and Democrat James Patrick for coroner.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171.

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