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Published: Thursday, 8/28/2003

Swanton ballot loaded with levies

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Voters with strong feelings on tax requests in Swanton school district will have plenty of reasons to go to the polls Nov. 4.

The district, which has soundly defeated two school operating levy requests this year, has more tax requests on the ballot than any other in Fulton County.

Those on the Fulton County side of the district will have four levies:

w A new 5-year, 1 percent income tax for Swanton school operating funds.

w A 3.3-mill, 5-year permanent improvement renewal for Swanton schools.

w A 0.4-mill, 5-year renewal for the Swanton Parks and Recreation Department.

w A new 1-mill, permanent levy for Penta County Joint Vocational School to construct a new building.

Those on the Lucas County side of the school district will have a fifth levy as well: a new 1-mill, 4-year operating levy for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library system

The number of levies on the ballot concerned Swanton school board member Michael Remer, who last week urged the board to consider pulling its permanent improvement from the ballot.

But this week Mr. Remer said voters would be confused if the board pulled the levy, because the board still feels the levy is necessary. The filing deadline for the Nov. 4 ballot was last week, but levies can be pulled from the ballot for weeks.

The race for Swanton school board seats is among the most competitive on the ballot as well with five candidates running for two seats. They are President Bill Green, Dennis Heban, Catherine Kline, Lennox Mitchell, and Karen Wehman. Incumbent Barb Schmidt who had wavered about running did not file.

Fulton County's ballot has more candidates than usual for several school boards.

Lisa Bumb, an incumbent on the Wauseon school board whose four fellow board members called for her resignation this summer, is among six candidates for two seats. She said she has public support and feels called to work for the best interest of children.

Pike-Delta-York school board has nine candidates running for three seats: Sandra Arredondo, Gary Brehm, Susan Davis, Jim Friess, Matthew Mattin, incumbent Donna Puehler, Robin Rayfield, incumbent Alice Simon, and Cheryl Swisher.

New filings last week for contested races include:

w Delta mayor: Dan Miller running against incumbent Donald Gerdes and Helen Jones.

w Lyons council: Norman Torbet running against incumbents John Good and Joan Klier.

w Swanton mayor: Scott Simon and incumbent Tandy Grubbs.

w Swancreek township trustee: Randal Ruge, a leader of an opposition group to public water lines, running against James Foster and incumbent Phil Wiland.

w Gorham Township trustee: Leslie Schaffner running against Michael Anderson, Matthew Lumbrezer, and incumbent Randy Merillat.

Two races, however, do not have enough candidates to fill the seats. No one filed for the two seats up for election on the Metamora Board of Public Affairs and in Fayette incumbent Ruth Marlatt is the only one on the ballot for village council, which has two seats up for election.

The write-in candidate deadline is Sept. 15. But write-in candidates are rare in Fulton County and if no one files, village officials will make appointments to fill the seats.



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