Officials of Toledo Public Schools and the city of Toledo are hoping voters will help them balance their budgets at the polls Tuesday, even as voters struggle with a tough economy and stubbornly high unemployment.
Toledo School leaders are hoping voters will approve Issue 3, a first-of-a-kind revenue source in a 0.75 income tax on earned income that would exempt pension, investment, and unemployment income. Passage of the tax would help the district deal with cuts in state subsidies. Failure would imperil a host of programs, many sports, and see class sizes rise.
City officials are also banking on voter approval of Issue 5, which would allow millions earmarked for capital improvement projects such as road repair to be used for general fund spend-ing such as salaries for the police and fire departments.
City officials have offered to lower a recently increased monthly garbage fee and restore a tax credit for Toledoans who work and pay taxes to suburban communities if Issue 5 passes. If approved by voters, city firefighters, who voted earlier this year to make benefit concessions, would be reimbursed for the concessions they have already made.
Voters in Ohio will decide candidates and issues in statewide and local contests at tomorrow's Primary Election, while voters in Michigan will elect school boards.
Ohio voting starts at
6:30 a.m. and continues until 7:30 p.m.
Michigan polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher compete to be the Democratic nominee in November for the Ohio U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Sen. George Voinovich, who is retiring.
The winner tomorrow will face Republican Rob Portman, as well as Constitution Party candidate Eric Deaton and Socialist Daniel La Botz, who are unopposed.
There are also Republican primaries for the statewide offices of secretary of state and state auditor.
Two statewide questions are on the ballot:
•Issue 1 would authorize the state to borrow $700 million to invest in new high-tech and biomedical research and development.
•Issue 2 would allow construction of a Columbus casino in a different location than that approved in a constitutional amendment last year.
Locally, Republicans in the 9th Congressional District will select a nominee between Rich Iott of Monclova Township, former supermarket chain owner, and Jack Smith of Springfield Township, former Toledo police chief.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) faces primary opponent Dale Terry of Huron, Ohio.
Competing for the Libertarian nomination are Joseph Jaffe of Sylvania and Jeremy Swartz of Oregon. The 9th district includes most of Lucas, all of Ottawa and Erie counties, and part of Lorain County.
U.S. Rep. Robert Latta (R., Bowling Green) faces a primary opponent, Robert Wallis of Convoy, Ohio, in the 5th Congressional District that covers all or part of 16 counties, including Wood. Democrat Caleb Finkenbiner of Defiance and Libertarian Brian Smith of Bowling Green are unopposed.
Democratic voters in the 11th state Senate district will decide on a nominee for the November election between Toledo Councilman Joe McNamara and Toledo state Rep. Edna Brown. The winner takes on Toledo Councilman Tom Waniewski, who is unopposed for the GOP nomination. The district takes in Toledo, Oregon, and Jerusalem and Washington townships.
Republican primaries are also on tap for four area House seats:
•Incumbent Rep. Barbara Sears and Jeffrey Jones in the 46th, in western Lucas County. Democrat Harry Barlos is unopposed.
•Rick Bush and Phillip Barbosa in the 47th, in south and east Toledo. Democrat Teresa Fedor, currently the term-limited senator from District 11, is unopposed. Joseph Pfeiffer is unopposed for the Libertarian nomination.
•Jim Volkert and incumbent Rep. Bruce Goodwin in the 74th, in Williams, Fulton, and part of Defiance counties. Democrat David Pilliod is unopposed.
•Rex Damschroder and Holly Stacy in the 81st, in Sandusky County and parts of Ottawa and Seneca counties.
Democrats also have a contested primary in the 81st House district: Ben Nutter and William Young.
In the Lucas County Board of Commissioners race, both parties have primary contests to determine their nominees. The Democrats are Carol Contrada, Art Jones, Ben Krompak, Earl Murry, Tim Porter, and Michael Zychowicz. The Republicans are Andy Glenn, George Sarantou, and Dan Steingraber. Incumbent Democrat Ben Konop is not seeking re-election.
Three Republicans are competing for the nomination to run for a seat on the eight-county Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals - Robert Christiansen, Fritz Hany, and Stephen Yarbrough. Democratic incumbent Keila Cosme is unopposed.
Voters of both parties will elect central committee members, who will choose the county party chairmen for the next two years. The Democrat contest is not controversial, but Republicans are choosing between rival factions associated with incumbent chairman Jon Stainbrook and challenger Jeff Simpson.
Also to be decided is a new 3.9-mill tax levy in Springfield school district; a 1 percent income tax in the Genoa Area Local School District for five years; a 2.99-mill levy for operations for five years at Woodmore Schools; renewal of a 4.2-mill, five-year operating levy at Bowling Green City Schools; renewal for five years of a 4.3-mill levy in Eastwood Schools; a renewal of a 3.36-mill levy for five years for McComb Schools, and a replacement of an 8.9-mill operating levy in North Baltimore Schools.
For the first time in Ohio, voters can choose in addition to the usual Democrat, Republican, and "issues-only" ballots, those of the Libertarian, Constitution, Green, and Socialist parties.
Also this year, voters who want to switch political parties must sign a form saying they support the party's principles, according to a directive from Secretary of State Brunner.
In Michigan, residents of nearly all counties, including most of Monroe, Lenawee, and Hillsdale, will elect school boards. Bedford Public Schools has two candidates on the ballot, school board members Shawna Smith and Tim Brakel, and two write-in candidates, Joe Lambert and Richard Nearhood.
Early voting continues today, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Early Voting Center, 1302 Washington St., downtown. Mailed absentee ballots must be postmarked by today or returned to the Board of Elections office in Government Center by 7:30 p.m., tomorrow.
Those who wish to obtain absentee ballots in Michigan can do so in person through 4 p.m. today at county clerk's offices. Emergency absentee ballots are available in some cases through 4 p.m. on Election Day.
Contact Tom Troy at: