Summit County voters Tuesday agreed to financing Children Services for another six years.
The Children Services Board asked voters to renew its 2.25-mill, six-year levy that raises about $26.2 million per year, or about 60 percent of the agency’s operating budget. The cost to homeowners would remain unchanged at about $5.75 per month for each $100,000 of home valuation.
The issue, according to incomplete, unofficial results, had a comfortable lead.
The current levy will expire at the end of next year. The renewal will provide funding for 2014 through 2019.
Among other services, CSB investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect, places children in foster homes and handles adoptions.
Also Tuesday, Akron voters approved a charter amendment to increase terms for the 10 ward council members from two to four years.
With 90 percent of the city’s vote in, the measure held a comfortable lead.
The amendment includes two money-saving changes.
The amendment eventually will put all of Akron’s elected officials on the ballot in the same year, which would eliminate the need for off-year elections.
Mayor Don Plusquellic and Council President Marco Sommerville said that would save $150,000 to $200,000 for elections that no longer would be needed.
The amendment also limits the amount of raises council members and the mayor receive to the average amount awarded that year in the private sector, as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics.
Other issues included:
• Green voters turned down a proposal to allow the mayor to run for a third four-year term instead of only two.
The city’s current mayor, Dick Norton, began his second term in January and said he has not begun to think about a third term.
Green voters also agreed to an issue put on the ballot by a group calling itself Concerned Citizens Against Casinos. It is designed to prohibit “casino gaming, horse racing, scheme of chance, game of chance or gambling device” from locating in the city, except for nonprofit charitable purposes as authorized by Ohio law or Green City Council.
The issue stems from Rock Ohio Caesars expressing an interest in relocating its Thistledown thoroughbred track and a new slots-like video lottery terminal facility to property the Akron-Canton Airport owns.
The company recently announced it is investing $88 million into Thistledown in North Randall.
Rock Ohio Caesars has an option, as part of a special deal with the state, to relocate within a 12-mile radius of the airport if it chooses.
• Norton voters were asked to consider a 4.6-mill, four-year levy for fire and emergency medical services on the ballot this fall.
With about 88 percent of the precincts reporting as of press time, the issue was passing. Fire Chief Mike Schultz said the levy would help pay for the daily operation of the station, including salaries and utility expenses.
The levy would generate about $1.13 million annually for the fire department. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $140.88 a year.
Voters turned down similar requests in March and in November 2011.
• In Portage County, voters again were close to defeating a replacement of a 0.4-mill levy for the health district that has been turned down in 35 previous elections.
The levy would provide an $800,000 bump in the agency’s $2 million annual budget.
A homeowner currently contributes about $2.21 a year for every $100,000 in market valuation, according to the county auditor. The replacement levy would increase that tax to $12.60 a year.
• In Wadsworth, voters appeared to approve a new 1-mill, five-year levy for the library.
The measure would add $607,500 to the agency’s $2.2 million budget.
The library is trying to make up for some of a 28 percent loss in state support, which it dealt with by cutting library hours, selling two bookmobiles, reducing staff by 33 percent, freezing salaries and reducing material purchases.
The levy would cost about $31.50 a year per $100,000 of a home’s appraised value.
• In Stark County, voters were set to approve the renewal of the library district’s 1-mill levy and to approve a 0.7-mill new levy to generate an additional $3.3 million a year.
Dave Scott can be reached at 330-996-3577 or email@example.com.