Next month's general election ballots in greater Toledo's eastern communities will carry a host of issues, from city charter amendments in Oregon and Rossford to tax requests in Lake Township, Millbury, Oak Harbor, Elmore, Genoa, Benton Township, Marblehead, and the Woodmore and Port Clinton school districts.
The proposed charter amendment in Oregon will be familiar to voters, given that they rejected it in 1990 and 2002. The measure would double the term lengths of council members to four years and stagger them so the entire council is not up for re-election in the same year, as is currently the case.
The council is up for re-election next year. If voters approve the charter change, the three highest vote-getters in 2013 would be elected to four-year terms, and the remaining members would serve two terms before becoming eligible to run for four-year terms in 2015.
In Rossford, the charter revision would give City Council the option of removing the requirement of a bond for city officials and employees.
The Rossford charter currently requires personnel who handle money to be covered by a bond paid for by the city. But this coverage removes them from the city's general liability coverage. The charter change would give council the flexibility not to require a bond and allow the city's liability insurance to provide the needed coverage, according city finance director Karen Freeman.
Voters in Lake Township and Millbury will decide on tax increases for law enforcement.
The Lake Township request is for a 1.4-mill replacement levy that would be used to hire two more full-time officers, bringing the department's strength to 15 full-timers and seven part-timers. The continuing levy would generate about $200,000 annually, about $100,000 more than the current tax yields.
A replacement would allow the township to collect taxes calculated on current property valuations. The current levy dates to 1980, and because of rollbacks now collects less than a third of its authorized millage. The replacement would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $43 a year, or about $30 more than the current levy.
A mill equals $1 per $1,000 of a property's valuation.
The Millbury request is for an additional 1-mill continuing levy. The village pays Lake Township $62,000 annually for full-time police protection. The new millage, if adopted, would generate almost $20,000 and pay for part of that, along with an existing police levy. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $30.63 annually.
The Oak Harbor request is for renewal of a five-year, 5-mill levy for repair of streets, roads, and bridges. The annual cost to a homeowner would be $62.
In Elmore, village officials are asking for two renewals: a five-year, 3-mill operating levy and a three-year 2.5-mill levy for streets. Each would cost a homeowner about $76 a year, according to Jo Ellen Regal, the Ottawa County Auditor.
The Genoa request is for renewal of 1.3 mills for five years for Veterans Memorial Park operations. The cost to a homeowner is $39.50.
Benton Township officials seek renewal of a five-year, 0.5-mill levy for maintaining and operating cemeteries. Its cost to a homeowner is $14.50.
The Marblehead request is for replacement of a five-year, 2-mill operating levy. It would cost a homeowner $61.25, an increase of about $20.
The Port Clinton City School District seeks the renewal of a five-year, 2.84 mills that, according to the ballot language, is for "providing for emergency requirements." In fact, said district treasurer Jeffrey Dornbusch, the millage is for operations. The tax costs a homeowner $87 per year, he added.
In the Woodmore Local Schools, officials seek renewal of part of a five-year, 3.5-mill levy for permanent improvements. The district will collect only three mills.The millage is being reduced by 0.5 mills because millage voters approved in June for a new elementary school included that amount for maintenance, treasurer Kevin Slates explained. The cost of the renewed millage would be $91, compared to $107 now.
Ottawa County's Mid County Joint Ambulance District has a five-year, 1-mill renewal on the ballot for emergency medical services. It's cost is $25.