Voter Guide

 

General Election Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

 

2013 GENERAL ELECTION
LOCAL CANDIDATES

         Oberlin City Council
         Oberlin School Board
         Oberlin Municipal Court


CITY ISSUES

         Issue# 15 PROPOSED MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX RENEWAL
         Issue #16 PROPOSED ORDINANCE (By Petition)
         Issue #17: WARD #5 only. By petition
         Issue #34: OBERLIN PUBLIC LIBRARY - PROPOSED TAX
                LEVY (RENEWAL)


LORAIN COUNTY ISSUES

         Issue #1: SALES AND USE TAX INCREASE FOR LORAIN                  COUNTY
         Issue #2: PROPOSED TAX LEVY (RENEWAL AND                  INCREASE) LORAIN COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE



OBERLIN CITY COUNCIL
Elect 7 to a 2-year term (2014 - 2015)


QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES - 100 word limit per answer
ALL ANSWERS ARE EXACTLY AS WRITTEN AND NOT EDITED IN ANY WAY

1. What suggestions do you have to increase the tax base and job opportunities in Oberlin?  How would they be funded?  How can the City use its connection with the Clinton Climate Initiative to further those goals?

2. In light of the decision by the County Commissioners not to seek funding for public transportation, do you perceive a need for such transport options for Oberlin?  If so, what priority would you give to public transportation in our community and what solutions can you offer to meet and fund transportation needs?


David R. Ashenhurst

Age: 59
Main P.O. Box 381
260 Sumner Street, Oberlin
EMAIL: drappm@yahoo.com

Occupation: sometime consultant and scholar, community activist, civic monitor
Education: Kenwood High School, Chicago, 1971; BA in English and philosophy,cum laude, University of Pennsylvania, 1975
Qualifications for Office: 18 years of alert citizenship in Oberlin; good listener, careful reader, and creative thinker; highly analytical, and a little obsessive .

Answers to questions:

1. Frankly, I don’t have many suggestions in this area, and I don’t believe it’s something Council can do much about. I think Council can request, and require, the City Manager and his staff (notably those responsible for economic development, for business attraction and retention) to do their jobs to the utmost in keeping our Industrial Park and commercial districts full, and to the extent this can be implemented through or because of the Clinton Climate Initiative, so much the better. The “tax base” will only grow if sustainable commercial and residential development continues, and this will mostly be privately financed.

2. Transportation remains an acute concern. While Oberlin can’t declare its own “public” transportation, we can perhaps develop “community” transportation alternatives to supplement what’s still available from the County. We can investigate pedi-cabs. We can coordinate use of church vans. We can see whether Oberlin Seniors can provide services (like they did a generation ago), or Oberlin Community Services and Zion Community Development Corporation can team up on something. There’s NOACA money for nonprofits to supply community transportation; if the County can’t, we may end up working with the College and local groups to do as much as we can ourselves.


H. Scott Broadwell

Age: 57
39 King Street, Oberlin
EMAIL: hsbroadwe@oberlin.net

Occupation: Painting contractor – Broadwell Painting
Education: Oberlin Public Schools, OHS 1974; BGSU 1982
Qualifications for office: Oberlin City Council (2008 to present); Board of Trustees, Oberlin Heritage Center; Secretary, Lorain County Community Action Agency Board; Vice-Chair, Oberlin Community Improvement Corp.; member, League of Women Voters of the Oberlin Area

Answers to questions:

1. The best way to increase the tax base is by drawing new businesses while not forgetting our current employers and the need for job retention. The Oberlin Industrial Park, because of its location and available space is an excellent spot for attracting new jobs. Working with Oberlin’s Economic Development and Planning Departments and the Oberlin Community Improvement Corporation, we need to continue to pursue high tech businesses that will add tax revenue to the General Fund. With the State’s elimination of the Estate Tax and drastic reduction in the Local Government Fund, next year’s General Fund will be severely impacted.

2. In the last few years County voters have twice defeated levies to support public transportation. With the lack of funding coming from the County, Oberlin has had to turn to private donors to support public transportation for two days a week. This support, along with rider fees, provides about $25,000.00 of the $29,000.00 needed, with the City picking up the remaining $4,000.00. Lorain County is the only county in the state that does not have a dedicated funding source for public transportation. Until the county voters agree to provide the necessary funds, public transportation options in Oberlin will remain limited.

Bryan L Burgess

Age: 34
560 E. College St., Oberlin, OH 44074
EMAIL: bburgess@oberlin.net

Occupation: Self Employed Education: BA Business, New Mexico State Univ., 2001 Qualifications for Office: Member, Oberlin City Council 2010 – Present, Climate Action Committee 2012, Central Lorain County Ambulance District 2011, Resource Conservation and Recovery Commission 2005-2010 including one year as Chair, Public Utilities Commission 2007-2010 including one years as Chair

Answers to questions:

1. Oberlin's transition away from coal and towards carbon-neutral sources of electricity will be largely complete by the end of this next Council term. And while the opportunity for attracting “green” businesses to Oberlin certainly exists, the reality is that more than two-thirds of our tax base is comprised of the FAA and Oberlin College. By focusing on quality of life issues, I hope we can successfully attract people to live, as well as work, here. The best way to experience Oberlin is to buy a home and live here.

2. Transportation is a difficult issue both in terms of funding and utilization. So long as gasoline is inexpensive, public transportation will be largely inadequate to serve the needs of a sprawling semi-rural place like Lorain County. On a list of the County's funding priorities, public transportation is near the bottom of the list. That's a shame but really does reflect the dire straits of the budget resulting from the ongoing recession. Oberlin's provision of public transportation two days a week is less than ideal but will need to suffice until funding priorities and availability changes at the County level.


Elizabeth J. Meadows

343 South Pleasant St, Oberlin

NO RESPONSE


Anthony J. Mealy

Age: 69
328 South Professor Street, Oberlin
Email: mealy@oberlin.net
WebSite: http://www.loraincounty.com/government/candidates/?id=223
YouTube: http://youtu.be/BTa7J_5ufM4

Bio Info: Anthony J. Mealy is a retired Immigration Inspector with the U.S. Department of Justice and Corrections Counselor/Supervisor with State of Ohio. Mr. Mealy came to Oberlin 48 years ago as an Air Traffic Controller after 4 years duty in U.S. Air Force. Mr. Mealy served on City Council 1986-1987, 2006-2007.

Answers to questions:

1. Anthony J. (Tony) Mealy would like to grow our local economy to create jobs by supporting existing businesses with lower taxes, which should increase our overall tax base in time. Mr. Mealy supports additional BioMedical and Clean Green Energy job creation in our Industrial Park and feels that the City must continue an aggressive push for energy efficiency as we shift to more carbon neutral power sources to abate global warming. Tony Mealy feels that we can promote these developments by maintaining a highly educated workforce, ensuring reliable utilities, reducing energy cost and encouraging more incubator businesses into the city.

  2. Mr. Mealy places a high priority on maintaining transportation services within the Oberlin community. Lorain County Transit (LCT) in cooperation with the City has continued to provide demand-response transit service through the Oberlin Connector which is sponsored by the City of Oberlin, Oberlin College, NACS, Drug Mart, LNB, Ben Franklin, LMHA, Welcome Nursing, Oberlin Community Services, Mercy Allen Hospital, Kendal and the Kendal Residents Association. If LCT were to cancel services entirely, Mr. Mealy would support the reestablishment of the Oberlin Shuttle service that was in place for many years prior to the creation of LCT in the late 1970’s.


Sharon Pearson

Age: 45
35 Willard Court #1, Oberlin
E-MAIL: ElectSharonPearson@gmail.com
Website: www.ElectSharonPearson.com (also on Facebook and Twitter too!)

QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE: I was employed by the City of Oberlin for 25 years. During that time, I served as Acting City Clerk on occasion. I served on the Board of Directors for various Oberlin community organizations and on the Visit Lorain County Board.

Answers to questions;

1. The City and non-profit organizations should partner with LCCC and LCJVS to develop a model that supports and attracts new businesses. The City should consider SILOTs (services in lieu of taxes) as a method to increase the City’s tax base Individual institutions should provide basic training related to jobs within their organizations and for their construction projects to local under-served residents, in lieu of paying taxes. The City’s 2012 Climate Action Plan is the connection with the Clinton Climate Initiative. The strategies in that document should be carefully reviewed to determine other methods to increase our tax base.

2. The poverty level in Oberlin is 28% and the community is striving to reduce carbon emissions below zero. These issues indicate that transportation is a priority. The City should adopt a Complete and Green Streets Resolution to promote biking and walking. The City should research the use of local buses and vans to develop a community transportation system, supported by the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program. The City should continue to advocate for public transportation supported by a dedicated portion of the sales tax because this is a county-wide issue and not just an Oberlin issue.


Kristin L. Peterson

Age: 62
65 Glenhurst Drive, Oberlin
EMAIL: petetree@oberlin.net

OCCUPATION: Retired teacher (LCJVS, 35 years) Owner, The UPS Store
EDUCATION: BA, Oberlin College, MSSA, CWRU
QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE: Forty year resident, actively involved on local, county, state and national commissions/boards/committees as member/chair/delegate, including: Oberlin City, Oberlin College, Democrat Party, several county agencies, NASW, ACTE legislative, hospital foundation, People to People

Answers to questions:

1. Business friendly policies and codes could support City administration and staff in attracting and maintaining businesses. Filling Artino Street to capacity would be helpful. Connections with the Clinton Climate Initiative should be pursued by City officials, in conjunction not only with the College but also along with the support of elected officials at the local, state and national levels.

2. There is most definitely a need for public transportation for Oberlinians, both in and around town and around the county. There are currently limited options, funded by several local groups collaboratively with the City. I support a more comprehensive system of public transportation, and would continue my active involvement with county, state and federal offices and agencies, to research and secure available funding options. The loss of the formerly available LCT routes impacts many people on many levels, and is a significant priority to have such service reinstated.


Ronnie J. Rimbert 

Age:  59
331 S. Pleasant St., Oberlin
EMAIL: ronrim@oberlin.net

EDUCATION:   Graduate of Oberlin City Schools
QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE:  Presently on:  Board of Charter Review, President of Oberlin City Council, Underground Railroad Committee, Recreation Committee and Vice President of Cable Co-op.  Past Achievements:  Vice Chair of Levy 17 (Splash Zone), Instrumental in the saving of Allen Hospital.

Answers to questions:

1. I believe bringing in new businesses to Oberlin.  In order to bring new businesses to Oberlin we must have a sound Technological Infrastructure.  Also, we need to work harder on retaining the businesses that Oberlin has, this is just as important if not more.  We need to attract businesses that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

2. The Commissioners did put a levy on the ballot for public transportation and it was defeated by the citizens of Lorain County.  For the last 3-4 years the City of Oberlin, with the assistance of local Merchants has been able to fund a “Dial-a-Ride” that operates twice a week for a cost of $29,000/year.  With public transportation you have to have numbers (people) using it in order for it to be successful.  We also have to have the entire County to take an interest in our transportation needs in order to have a strong public transportation system.


Sharon Fairchild-Soucy

Age: 70
143 East College Street, Apartment #402, Oberlin
EMAIL: sharonsoucy@oberlin.net

OCCUPATION: Worked in Adult Literacy Education at Lorain County JVS for 25+ years
EDUCATION: Attended all Oberlin public schools. Graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University. Graduate work at Ohio State, Kent State and Indiana University.
QUALIFICATIONS: Lifetime resident of Oberlin. Running for fourth consecutive Council term. Currently Vice-President of Council. Experienced, thoughtful and fair.

Answers to quesetions:

1. Oberlin hired an Economic Development officer to search for new businesses for our Industrial Park as well as to focus on retaining those businesses already located in Oberlin. This year the City received an award for business retention based on the Synapse Corporation’s decision to remain in Oberlin. That business hopes to expand local employment opportunities. The Economic Development officer is funded within the City budget, and that work is ongoing.
The City, with the Clinton Climate Initiative in mind, developed an aggressive Climate Action Plan. We hope to attract businesses which share our goals of reducing our carbon emissions by 50% by 2015.

2.The Oberlin Connector currently serves Oberlin’s public transportation needs. It functions mostly as a Dial a Ride. The cost is approximately $29000 a year of which the City funds $4000. Ridership is 190 a month, and the City recoups $150 or so a month. The Connector is supported by a range of businesses and organizations including Ben Franklin, NACS, Kendal, Oberlin Community Services, Oberlin College and others. Currently the service operates on a limited schedule, for example only on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm. ID cards allow some residents to ride at a reduced rate. Maintaining this service is a high priority. Until the City receives additional support from the county, service will remain limited.



 

OBERLIN SCHOOL BOARD - Elect 3 to a 4-year term


QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES - 100 word limit per answer

1. Some people advocate school policies not only to punish bullying where it is determined to have occurred, but also to prevent bullying from occurring in the first place. Do you agree? And if so, what measures in that proactive direction would you see as possible and desirable to implement within the Oberlin public school system?

2. The present School Board seems committed to a single campus on property near the High School for all grades. What is your opinion on this proposal? What would you advocate? How will the school district pay for this or any other reconfiguration and/or upgrade of school facilities?

Albert Borroni

Age: 50
134 Sycamore, Oberlin
EMAIL: aborroni@gmail.com

Occupation: Director of Educational Technology at Oberlin College
Education: BA Oberlin Colllege, Ph.D. Kent State
Qualifications for office: Years of work with elementary, high school and college students as a coach and teacher. Community member with a wife who teaches in the schools and a daughter that attends the local schools.

Answers to questions:

1. Bullying can be proactively prevented in many cases. However, in order to do so one must understand the extent to which bullying occurs, where it occurs and why? Therefore, the first step is to assess the community: students, staff, parents. Have they observed bullying? Was it between 2 similarly aged students or other combinations? Where did it occur? Was it repeated or a single incidence? The answers to these questions can inform how you set up spaces and even scheduling. They can also assist in establishing whether what you are doing is helping by providing a baseline.

2. If we explore all the options in front of us, it is very clear that a single new campus is the most financially and pedagogically viable. This option gives teachers the capability to coordinate curriculum across grade levels. Older students can assist in teaching and motivating younger children. A new building provides a better learning environment through better lighting, heating and potentially a cooling system! The financial benefits of not having 4 cafeterias, kitchens and boilers will be substantial. Furthermore, we will be able to draw upon state support and we will pay the least amount in taxes. 


Rosa Gadsden

Age: 40
40 Edison St, Oberlin
EMAIL: rgadsden@oberlin.net

Occupation: Home Daycare Provider contracted through ODJFS
Education: Graduated from OHS, Attended 4 years at UT-Knoxville majoring in AnimalScience/Pre-Vet
Qualifications for Office: Longtime Oberlin resident. Children Tony and Kymaia, attend OHS Consistent involvement with Oberlin Schools PTO. Trip chaperone for OMUN. Drama Club helper. Choir Helper.MAD Factory board of directors

Answers to questions:

1. Bullying is a serious issue nationwide.  Thousands of students commit suicide every year, perhaps half of these can be attributed to bullying.  Hundreds of thousands avoid school as a result of bullying. Bullying must have consequences.  However, it is far better to prevent bullying in the first place.  The root causes of bullying must be addressed in our schools.  Our schools must continue their bullying prevention programs.  They must also continue to evaluate the success of these programs and adjust them as appropriate.

2. The schools must take advantage of the cost savings that come with having a single, modern school building.  We must design the new school to reduce energy costs and be conducive to educating the entire student body while maintaining some separation of age levels. The administration has identified a million dollars in annual cost savings that will come from having a single campus.  We must hold them to this commitment.  Saving a million dollars a year will go a long way toward the cost of financing a new building


Heather Hougland

Age: 36
14846 Hallauer Rd, Oberlin
Email: heather.1hougland@gmail.com

Occupation: After school Program Aide, Massage therapist
Education: Graduated from Heritage Institute in Florida to be a Massage Therapist
Qualifications for office: I have worked with children & families for a long time. I have seen and learned a lot about the people from Oberlin.

Answers to questions;

1. I agree that there should be policies on bullying. Bullying usually occurs in lunch and recess. It think when it is determined that someone is bullying they should have both taken away immediately. They should eat lunch alone and watch a video or take a class on the effects of it. And they should miss recess to understand the seriousness.

2. I think it would cost too much money and the buildings that we currently have would be wasted. We should spend the money to improve what we have. I also believe kids should stay with their own age groups.


Anne Schaum

Age: 42
309 Edgemeer Place, Oberlin, OH 44074
Email: apschaum@gmail.com

Occupation: Nonprofit manager
Education: BA Psychology, Allegheny College, 1993
Qualifications for office: graduate of the Oberlin school district; 34 years as resident; open-minded, considerate professional

Answers to questions:

1. Bullying has no place in the schools. It is clearly a priority for school leadership because of their ongoing attempts to curb bullying in all schools. I was personally involved in one session several years ago when the district purchased a widely hyped program called Challenge Day. Though I understand it had limited impact, it did provide me with the assurance that our district is taking the problem seriously. Action is necessary, especially with the addition of cyber-bullying that is not as visible. A proactive, anti-bullying campaign is necessary.

2. Though I am still open to ideas, the PK-12 school makes sense to me for the long-term health of the district. With fewer than 1200 students enrolled, maintaining 4 aging schools plus the Pleasant Street school is counterintuitive. I understand that this is the recommendation of the facility committee and has been widely discussed in the community. We will find out in the spring if we qualify for OSFC funding, but we will need to come to the community for tax support.


Kenneth Yancey

Age: No response
47703 W. Hamilton, Oberlin, Ohio
EMAIL: gokenny@frontier.com  

OCCUPATION: Retired Union Electrician
Education: Attended Central State University, four year apprenticeship I.B.E.W. local  #129, Lorain , continuing education courses at LCCC
QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE: 35 years working, supervising, and serving on many boards and committees in the union

Answers to questions:

1. I do not agree. Installing some sort of pre-emptive punishment for perceived future misdeeds evokes images of big brother, and of Tom Cruze as a pre-crime detective in Minority Report.

2. I am vehemently opposed to any such project. I am not at all convinced of the need for the demolishing and rebuilding of existing buildings. As for what I would advocate, it would be to first examine the buildings for myself. So far the ones beating the drums for this loudest are the ones who stand to gain from it.
As for paying for this foolishness, There is no way to pay for it without crippling the school district, and impoverishing the property tax payers for the next fourty years.



OBERLIN MUNICIPAL COURT - Elect one. Unopposed


Thomas A. Januzzi

Age 57
766 Brennan Drive, Amherst
Email: tomargie725@hotmail.com

Occupation: Judge
Education: B.S. in Business Administration, Ashland College 1979, J.D. Cleveland State Univ 1982
Qualifications for Office: Practicing Attorney 1982-2001. Judge Oberlin Municipal Court 2002-present. Past Mediator, Arbitrator, Receiver, Administrator Common Pleas Court

Answer to Question:
What is the function of the Oberlin Municipal Court?

The function of the court is to provide access to the justice system for persons civilly or criminally aggrieved and persons accused of a civil wrong or of criminal wrongdoing. The court has jurisdiction of civil cases that do not exceed claims in excess of $15,000.00. Small Claim jurisdiction is cases that do not exceed claims in excess of $3,000.00. The court has jurisdiction over misdemeanor cases from filing to conclusion. The court has jurisdiction over felony cases for purposes of affording an accused a hearing to determine if probable cause exists that a felony was committed by the person accused.

 

 



 

 

OBERLIN CITY # 15 PROPOSED MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX RENEWAL

Shall Ordinance No. 13-31 AC CMS, providing for the continuation of a 1/5 of 1% levy on income for the purpose of providing funds for operating and capital improvement expenses for the City of Oberlin for 5 years, effective January 1, 2015, be passed?

Explanation of Issue:

1/5% or .20% is significant portion of the City’s total 1.9% income tax
It will generate $572,000 per year to support the City’s General Fund
The General Fund Supports:
     Police and Fire Departments
     Parks and Recreation
     Planning and Zoning
     City Prosecutor/Law Department
     Public Works (Streets, Storm Sewers, Sidewalks, etc.)
     Cemetery and Facility Maintenance
     Building and Code Enforcement
     General Municipal Administration Functions

Proponents Argue:

Over the past few years, the City has experienced reductions in revenue from a 50% cut in the State of Ohio Local Government Fund, which resulted in an annual loss of over $300,000, lower property tax collections, continued low interest rates, and from the elimination of the Estate Tax, which is projected to now cost the City an average of $500,000 annually.


However, the City has been working to address the situation through cost-reducing measures for several years now. In 2011, 10% budget cuts were made by many departments on the heels of earlier “belt-tightening” and cost reductions. The majority of City employees received no pay increases in 2012 or 2013, and wage freezes will still be in effect for 2014 as well. Effective July 1, 2013, health benefits for full-time employees were altered to reduce the cost to the City, and additionally, there are positions in several divisions that remain vacant to further reduce costs.

By implementing these cost-saving measures, the City has been able to manage the loss of revenue and operate efficiently without layoffs or the elimination of significant City services so far. However, without the renewal of this vital levy, the City would be forced to eliminate services that our residents, visitors, and businesses benefit from. Even with voter approval of this levy, the City will need to continue to look at all options in order to make up the significant loss of revenue as a result of cuts made by the State legislature. However, passage of Issue 15 is a vital key to maintaining an effective City workforce as well as ensuring the quality of life Oberlin residents currently enjoy.

No public arguments against the levy were readily available to the LWVOA before this Voter Guide was produced.


OBERLIN CITY # 16 PROPOSED ORDINANCE (By Petition)

An ordinance establishing a Community Bill of Rights for the people and natural communities of the City of Oberlin, prohibiting most corporate oil and gas extraction as well as the storage, transportation and depositing of oil and gas drilling waste product within the City of Oberlin, prohibiting the use of the corporate form to engage in such prohibited activities and providing for the enforcement of the ordinance.

Shall the proposed ordinance establishing a Community Bill of Rights for the people and natural communities of the City of Oberlin be adopted?

Explanation of Issue 16:

To secure these rights the proposed ordinance contains specific prohibitions and addresses corporate legal privileges. It establishes that it shall be unlawful for corporations to engage in the extraction of gas or oil within the City of Oberlin, with the exception of gas and oil wells installed and operating at the time of its enactment provided that oil and gas is not extracted from those wells by any means or methods not previously employed at the time of the enactment of the Ordinance. Passage of the ordinance would prohibit injection wells or any other deposit of extraction wastes or byproducts within the City, or transportation of such products through the City. The ordinance would also prohibit the siting of extraction, production, and delivery infrastructure within the City. To address corporate legal privileges, the ordinance specifies that corporations intending to engage in any of these prohibited activities could not avail themselves of any claimed legal powers to nullify the rights of the people and natural communities of Oberlin.

Proponents argue:

The proposed ordinance asserts certain rights of Oberlin residents and the natural environment:
* the right to community self-government
* the sovereignty of the people
* the right to clean water and air
* the right to peaceful enjoyment of one’s home
* the right to be free from chemical trespass
* the rights of the natural communities
* the right to a sustainable energy future.

The legislative core of the ordinance affirms that, if passed, the voters of Oberlin adopt the measure establishing a Community Bill of Rights and Obligations for the people, environment and natural communities of the City, and bans corporate extraction of gas and oil within the City of Oberlin and its jurisdiction because that extraction and that waste disposal cannot be achieved without violating the rights of the people, environment and natural communities within the City by endangering their health, safety, and welfare. It also removes certain legal powers from gas and oil enterprises operating in violation within the City and imposes liabilities and fines for violations, and asserts that the Ohio Constitution’s establishment of local control “trumps” state legislation enacted over the last several years that seems to pre-empt that local control.

Finally, the ordinance affirms the people’s right to self-government. It states the foundation for the ordinance is the people’s fundamental and inalienable right to govern themselves, and thereby secure their rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and safety. (Information provided by Citizens for Safe and Sustainable Energy and edited by LWVOA)

Opponents argue:

The language on the screen of the ballot machines (a summary) gives a different idea of the proposed law from what it seems like when you look at all five pages.

     This local decision opens the way for other localities to assert their rights in directions that are opposite and counterproductive to this ordinance.
      This sets a poor precedent environmentally. Environmental policy is inherently regional and global
      It would give surrounding townships the right to do things we would rather be regulated by the state. 
      Any ban should be at least county-wide, and other states and countries have made statewide and country-wide bans
      We already have plenty of environmental rights; we are short on enforcement, not on laws
      Our anti-fracking energy should be thrown into getting an Ohio state-wide ban or moratorium.
      Ordinances do not declare rights    Exceptionally progressive declarations of rights might be appropriate in a local charter
      This ballot language is a mash-up of a fracking ban, a community "bill of rights," and a declaration of authority


OBERLIN CITY #17: WARD #5 only. By petition

Shall the sale of wine and mixed beverages be permitted for sale on Sunday between the hours of eleven a.m. and midnight by Wal Mart Stores East LP dba WalMart 5309, an applicant for a D-6 liquor permit who is engaged in the business of operating a neighborhood store at 46440 US Route 20, Oberlin, OH 44074 in this precinct?


OBERLIN PUBLIC LIBRARY - #34: PROPOSED TAX LEVY (RENEWAL)

A renewal of a tax for the benefit of the Oberlin Public Library for the purpose of current expenses at a rate not exceeding 1.5 mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.15 for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for 5 years, commencing in 2014, first due in calendar year 2015.

Explanation of Issue:

A renewal of a 5-year, 1.5 mil operating levy is needed to maintain the current level of service and operating hours at the Library and the Bridge.

Proponents argue:

     Local property tax revenue has been reduced due to the economy and revaluation of property.
      State funding is shrinking due to a volatile economy and a change in philosophy. All tax-funded institutions, including public libraries continue to face budget cuts.
      The renewal levy helps maintain quality services, materials, facility, programs and staff that our community depends on.
      The renewal levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $3.83 per month in taxes.

No public arguments against the levy were readily available to the LWVOA before this Voter Guide was produced.



 

Issue #1: SALES AND USE TAX INCREASE FOR LORAIN COUNTY

The Board of County Commissioners of Lorain County proposes an increase in the rate of the sales and use tax in the amount of 1⁄2 of 1% for the purpose of providing additional general revenues for Lorain County for a 3 year time period and the Board concurrently suspends the collection of the real property inside millage from 1.6 mills to 0.2 mill for tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015 upon passage of said sales tax increase.

Explanation of the Issue:

     The roll back of 1.4 mills in property tax will save homeowners $49 on a $100,000 home.
     It is estimated that revenue will increase by $5.6 to $6 million per year.
     The revenue is needed to close a projected gap in the budget

Proponents Argue:

     Lorain County has the lowest sales tax in the State except for one county.
     The County has cut its budget significantly in the last few years and can not cut any more.
     A five cent increase on a $10 purchase will not hurt sales.

Opponents argue:

     The county needs to be more fiscally responsible before it turns to taxpayers for more revenue.


Issue #2: PROPOSED TAX LEVY (RENEWAL AND INCREASE) LORAIN COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE

A renewal of 1.5 mills of an existing levy and an increase of 0.6 mill to constitute a tax for the benefit of the Lorain County Community College District for the purpose of The University Partnership, continuing job preparation and educational services, including technology, operations and improvements to property, at a rate not exceeding 2.1 mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.21 for each one hundred dollars of valuation for 10 years, commencing in 2013, first due in calendar year 2014.

Explanation of the Issue:

     LCCC would lose over 10% of its total funding if this levy fails
     Need to keep LCCC affordable. Tuition has already been increased for the last two years.
     It will renew existing 1.5 mills and add .6 mills
     It will cost $1.75 more/month on a $100,000 home
     It helps to continue and expand LCCC’s University Partnership

Proponents argue:

     Our county’s students, workforce, families and economy need to keep LCCC high-quality, up-to-date and affordable. LCCC offers more than 120 associate degree and certificate programs. Courses earned at LCCC are guaranteed to transfer to any Ohio public college or university. Even with the recent increase in tuition LCCC has kept tuition low, third lowest in Ohio.
     Through LCCC’s University Partnership, students can earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from 12 colleges without leaving Lorain County.
     Higher education plays a key role in helping to pull our region out of the current economic conditions and is essential for good paying jobs. Employers require a knowledgeable and skilled workforce to stay competitive.
     LCCC has cut millions from its budget by increasing workloads, freezing salaries, shifting the cost of benefits to employees, eliminating positions, restructuring operations and improving efficiency.

Opponents argue:

     The poor economic condition of so many residents makes even a small increase in property taxes burdensome.
     I don’t use the facilities of the college, why should I help pay for those who do?
     Raise the tuition of the students at the college so that those who benefit from the services are paying for them.
     Let the college tighten its belt even more.

© 2013 League of Women Voters of the Oberlin Area 104 Woodhaven Place Oberlin, OH 44074 lwvoberlin@gmail.com