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Police and library levies approved in north Summit

By admin Published: May 4, 2011
Hudson Library staffers (from left) Mary Rhodes, circulation clerk, Gwen Mayer, archivist, Marylyn Stanko, IT manager and Margie Smith, assistant director of the library, chat and eat as the wait for the returns at the library for Hudson Issue 17 a 2.3 mil operating levy for the Hudson Library and Historical Society on Tuesday. The absentee ballot results are shown on the screen in the background. (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal)

By Paula Schleis
Beacon Journal staff writer


Northern Summit County voters were feeling generous Tuesday.

In a primary election dominated by school levies, there were four nonschool tax questions on Summit County ballots, and all four passed.

Voters in Cuyahoga Falls and Hudson approved new funding for their libraries, while residents of Twinsburg Township and Boston Township gave thumbs up to a pair of police levies.

There was also a smattering of candidates on Tuesday's ballot, although most races were unopposed.

Among the exceptions was a Barberton Municipal Court judge's seat. Former state Rep. Stephen Dyer garnered about 70 percent of the vote, winning the Democratic primary against Rhonda Kotnik.

In November's general election, Dyer will face current Barberton Clerk of Courts Christine Croce, the only Republican to file for the seat.

Judge Greg Macko is not
seeking re-election.

In Portage County, a nonpartisan mayoral primary in Streetsboro got attention because a teenager who lost the same race by one vote in 2007 was back on the ballot.

Brett McClafferty, now 23, won 613 votes this time — enough to send him on to November's runoff.

He will face Glenn M. Broska, 52, a captain with the Twinsburg Fire Department who collected 679 votes Tuesday.

The losing candidate in the three-man race was the current mayor. Arthur Scott, 57, was elected in 2009 to finish the term of Tom Wagner, who stepped down amid allegations of misconduct in office.

In Stark County, challenger Kathy Catazaro-Perry was leading longtime Massillon Mayor Francis Cicchinelli in the Democratic primary.

Libraries get boost

In Cuyahoga Falls and Hudson, library officials made a convincing argument for more money.

In Hudson, voters replaced an expiring 1.6-mill levy, which brings in $1.4 million a year, with a 2.3-mill levy that will generate about $2 million a year.

Library Director Leslie Polott said state funding for her library has fallen from nearly $1.1 million in 2007 to about $891,000 last year, with possibly another 5 percent cut this year.

However, library visits have grown steadily to a record 70,000 trips a month, Polott said.

It was the same story in Cuyahoga Falls, where library officials asked to replace a 1.3-mill levy with a levy of 1.9 mills.

Director Kevin Rosswurm said state funding for his facility has been cut from $2.1 million to $1.2 million in a decade.

In the meantime, library usage grew to a record of 985,000 items circulated last year, with the 1 million milestone expected to be breached for the first time this year.

Police funding approved

A pair of Summit County townships won approval for new police funding.

In a squeaker, Twinsburg Township residents voted 112-104 in favor of a new 1.75-mill tax to help pay the $746,000 bill from the Summit County Sheriff's Office, which provides police protection for the township.

Boston Township voters said yes to a 7-mill replacement tax to pay for police protection through the Peninsula Police Department.

Unlike most replacement levies, the average township homeowner won't see any tax increase because the new levy will replace one that already had an effective millage rate of 7 mills for residential property.

However, calling it a replacement levy will bring back up to 7 mills a commercial and industrial effective tax rate that has fallen to about 5.9 mills.

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