ASHLAND - Though voters in Ashland County will see just one contested local race on their ballots this fall, they will also decide a number of local issues.
In addition, they will weigh in on a key Ohio issue as well as vote on important state and federal races. Election day is Nov. 6, and early voting has already begun.
Republican incumbents Denny Bittle and Cindy Funk are running unopposed for county commissioner and county auditor, respectively. Clerk of Courts Deborah Myers, a Republican, faces a challenge from Democrat Michael Zickefoose.
Voters in the city of Ashland will approve or deny a charter amendment that would give council the authority to combine The Ashland City Health District and the Ashland County General Health District. The issue, if passed, would not automatically combine the districts. A merger would require an act of council.
The city currently contracts with the county for health department services, which it pays for through the city's general fund. If the charter amendment passes and the city does choose to officially merge the health districts, city residents would likely begin paying a property tax for the Ashland County General Health District. City income tax would remain the same, but because the city would no longer pay the county for health services, the city could use the portion of revenue that now funds the health department for other expenditures.
Ashland County voters outside the city of Ashland will also have a health district issue on their November ballot. They are being asked to approve a replacement of an existing 0.3 mill property tax, plus a .15 mill increase for a total of 0.45 mills. If the issue passes, the owner of a home valued at $100,000 would pay $15.75 annually, compared to the $8.60 they pay now.
City voters will not have a say in the passage or failure of this issue but could later be required to pay the tax if the city joins the county health district.
Voters throughout Ashland County are being asked to renew an existing 1.5 mill property tax for the operation of Dale Roy programs and services. Dale Roy School educates children and young adults with disabilities from age 3 through age 22.
Ashland Public Library is seeking a renewal of an existing 1 mill levy, while New London Public Library is asking for an additional 1 mill.
Voters in the New London Local Schools district will also see a ballot request for an additional 2.9 mills for permanent improvements in the schools. Permanent improvement levy funds can be used for things like facility improvements or repairs, technology upgrades and textbooks.
Black River Local Schools voters will be asked to approve a new 1.4 mill levy for permanent improvements, and Northwestern Local Schools is seeking a 1.2 mill increase, plus renewal of an existing 2.8 mill levy for PI.
Loudonville-Perrysville schools voters will see a 1.5 mill renewal levy for permanent improvements on the ballot. The levy, if passed, will not increase taxes.
The Jeromesville Community Fire District, which covers all of Mohican Township and part of Perry Township, is asking for an additional 1 mill property tax for fire protection and Emergency Medical Services.
Voters within the village of Jeromesville will also see four village issues on the ballot, including two renewal levy requests and two requests to allow Jeromesville Market to sell wine and mixed drinks throughout the week.
The villages of Loudonville and Savannah are also seeking renewals of existing property tax levies. Bailey Lakes is asking for an additional 5 mills for roads and bridges.
Green, Mifflin and Sullivan townships are all asking for new taxes, either additional or replacement levies.
Montgomery Township is asking voters to weigh in on whether the township should join a natural gas aggregation program. If passed, township officials could negotiate a competitive natural gas rate for residents. Residents could opt out of the program at any time.
Ashland County voters will have choices on the ballot for Ohio governor and lieutenant governor, attorney general, state auditor, state treasurer, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, State Representative, State Supreme Court Justice and Court of Appeals Judge.
On the ballot statewide is Issue 1, a proposed constitutional amendment that would reduce penalties for crimes of obtaining, possessing and using illegal drugs. Several Ashland County leaders have voiced opposition to the issue.
Sample ballots with all local, state and federal candidates and issues can be found at the Ashland County Board of Elections website.
For County Commissioner
Denny D. Bittle - R
For County Auditor
Cindy Funk - R
For Clerk of Courts
Deborah A. Myers - R
Michael R. Zickefoose - D
City of Ashland
Proposed Charter Amendment – Section 50 – The Ashland City Health District shall unite with a General Health District in the formation of a single district.
Ashland City 3D
Sunday Sales of wine and mixed beverages and spirituous liquor by Casa Fiesta/Fiesta Charra
County of Ashland
1.5 mills Renewal tax for The Operation of Dale-Roy Programs and Services
Ashland County General Health District (excludes city residents)
0.45 mill Replacement and Increase tax for Current Expenses
Black River Local School District
1.4 mills Additional tax for General Permanent Improvements
Loudonville-Perrysville Exempted Village School District
1.5 mills Renewal tax for General Permanent Improvements
New London Local School District
2.9 mills Additional tax for General Permanent Improvements
Northwestern Local School District
2.8 mills Renewal tax plus 1.2 mills increase for General Permanent Improvements
West Holmes Local School District
2.5 mills Renewal tax for General Permanent Improvements
Ashland Public Library (Ashland City School District voters)
1 mill Renewal tax for Current Expenses
New London Public Library (New London Local School District voters)
1 mill Additional tax for Current Expenses
Jeromesville Community Fire District (All of Mohican Twp, part of Perry Twp)
1 mill Additional tax for Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services
Village of Bailey Lakes
5 mills Additional tax for Roads and Bridges
Village of Jeromesville
2 mills Renewal tax for Current Expenses
1.3 mills Renewal tax for Current Expenses
Wine and Mixed Beverage Sales by Jeromesville Market
Wine and Mixed Beverage Sunday Sales by Jeromesville Market
Village of Loudonville
4.5 mills Renewal tax for Current Expenses
3.5 mills Renewal tax for Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services
Village of Savannah
3.9 mills Renewal tax for Current Expenses
0.4 mill Renewal tax for Maintaining and Operating Greenlawn Union Cemetery
0.3 mill Additional tax for Maintaining and Operating Greenlawn Union Cemetery
1.25 mills Renewal tax for Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services
Mifflin Township (Unincorporated portions only)
2 mills Replacement tax for Roads and Bridges
Natural Gas Aggregation
1.7 mills Renewal tax for Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services
2 mills Additional tax for Current Expenses