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The league of women voters® of the canton area 2013 voter’s guide

21

THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS® OF THE CANTON AREA 2013 VOTER’S GUIDE
Cities of Canton, Louisville, Massillon, North Canton and Townships of Jackson, Nimishillen, Perry, Plain


TABLE OF CONTENTS

ISSUES

City of Canton

City of North Canton

City of Louisville

City of Massillon

Massillon City School District

Jackson Township

Perry Local School District

Plain Township

CITY OF CANTON

President of Council

Treasurer

Members of Council

CITY OF LOUISVILLE

Mayor-Councilperson

Members of Council

CITY OF MASSILLON

President of Council

Treasurer

Members of Council

CITY OF NORTH CANTON

Mayor

Members of Council

CANTON MUNICIPAL COURT DISTRICT

MASSILLON MUNICIPAL COURT DISTRICT

TOWNSHIP TRUSTEES

Jackson Township

Nimishillen Township

Perry Township

Plain Township

BOARDS OF EDUCATION

Stark County Educational Service Center

Canton City School District

Louisville City School District

Massillon City School District

North Canton City School District

Jackson Local School District

Perry Local School District

Plain Local School District

LWVCA SPONSORED EVENTS

PERRY TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE CANDIDATE FORUM

Tuesday, October 22 7:00 PM

Trinity United Methodist Church

Fellowship Hall accessible by elevator

3757 Lincoln Way East
Massillon OH 44646

Doors open at 6:30 PM

The audience will be invited to submit questions.

_______________________________________________________

VETERAN’S DAY BREAKFAST

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11 8:30 - 10:00 AM

Meet with your State Legislators

Panera Bread, Meadows Plaza

2010 Lincoln Way East

Massillon OH

A continental breakfast will be served. Cost is $5 per person payable in advance. Meeting is open to members and the public by reservation only by phoning Connie Crabtree, 330-477-5650.

JOIN THE LEAGUE

The League of Women Voters®, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Membership in the League is open to men and women regardless of political affiliation.

With more than 93 years of experience and nearly 800 local and state affiliates, the League is one of America’s most trusted grassroots organizations.

The League never endorses, supports, or opposes candidates or political parties.

For more information visit our website at or phone 330-649-1905.

ABOUT THIS GUIDE

Candidates’ names for each race are listed alphabetically by surname.

Candidates are asked to limit their responses to specified lengths.
Ellipsis marks (...) indicate responses that exceeded those limits and that have been truncated for publication.

Printable Word and pdf versions, formatted for 8 1/2 X 11 paper, are available for download from our website:

CITY OF CANTON – ISSUES

Issue 1 – Canton City Parks Levy

Issue 1 is a new 4-mill property tax levy to support parks and recreation in the City of Canton. The city’s 68 park properties (800+ acres) are currently funded from the city’s General Fund. Recreation services in Canton parks are currently supported by a one-mill levy through 2015. Issue 1 would provide earmarked funds for park maintenance, capital improvements, and recreation services at the Southeast Community Center and J. Babe Stearn Center. If adopted, the proposed levy would generate $2.9 million per year for three years. The issue was put on the ballot by Canton City Council.

If approved, the new parks levy would be used to commission a new Master Plan for Canton City Parks, improve neighborhood parks, develop local bike trails, improve security in the parks, improve erosion controls along the West Branch Creek, repair and replace the Stadium Park rubberized walking trail, establish a fund for emergency park repairs, provide oversight and recreation programs at the two community centers mentioned above.

If passed, the annual cost to a homeowner of an occupied residence valued at $100,000 will be $140.

Supporters of the levy say:

The new levy will allow Council to use funds previously spent on parks ($1.2 million per year) for safety forces and other city services.

Canton City Parks need updating and repair; the previous Master Plan is more than 30 years old.

The county-wide levy approved for Stark Parks does not provide any operating funds for city parks like Canton’s.

Opponents of the levy say:

The economy has not improved enough; homeowners can’t afford this tax.

The proposed tax is too high; it more than doubles what is available from the General Fund for park development.

We should eliminate some of our smaller parks before we increase the Park Department budget.

Issue 7 – Increase Term of Council President

Issue 7 was put on the ballot by Canton City Council and would lengthen the term of the President of Council from 2 years to 4 years. Canton is a statutory city, governed by the Ohio Revise Code (ORC). The current two-year term was established by the ORC, which also allows the term to be changed by voters.

Supporters of a 4-year term say:

President of Council is an Executive position that should match the term of Council members.

A 4-year term will decrease fundraising, attracting more potential candidates.

Opponents of a 4-year term say:

Voters might get “stuck with” a poorly performing President for an additional two years.

Fundraising needs won’t diminish; they will just be spread over 4 years.

Issue 8 – Increase Terms of Council Members

Issue 8 was put on the ballot by Canton City Council and would lengthen the term of the Council members from 2 years to 4 years. Canton is a statutory city, governed by the Ohio Revise Code (ORC). The current two-year term was established by the ORC, which also allows the term to be changed by voters.

Supporters of a 4-year term say:

A 4-year term will allow for continuity and focus on solving city problems.

A 4-year term will decrease fundraising, attracting more potential candidates.

Opponents of a 4-year term say:

Voters might get “stuck with” a poorly performing Council member for an additional two years.

A 4-year term gives fewer opportunities for new candidates to be elected.

Issue 22 – Local Option, Ward 3, Precinct E

Sunday sale of beer, wine and mixed beverages.
Wal-Mart Store, 4000 Tuscarawas St W.

CITY OF NORTH CANTON – ISSUES

Issue 10 – Local Option, Ward 1, Precinct A

Sunday sales of wine and mixed beverages.
Grinders & Such, 1671 N Main St & Patio.

Issue 13 – Charter Amendment Establishing Full-Time Mayor

This issue was put on the ballot by North Canton City Council following a successful initiative petition drive by local citizens. The current City Charter provides for a part-time Mayor who has the responsibility to appoint a Director of Administration to oversee the daily operation of the City, as well as the Chief of Police and Fire Chief. Other Mayoral duties include attending Council meetings and submitting an annual budget for Council’s approval. The Mayor may initiate and veto legislation, and makes appointments to many City boards and commissions. However, like North Canton’s seven Council members, the Mayor is expected to have outside full-time employment in addition to Mayoral duties.

If passed, the Mayor’s duties will become full-time, preventing time for other full-time employment. A new salary commensurate with the increased responsibilities would be established by the North Canton City Council. If approved, the Mayor’s full-time responsibilities would begin after the next election.

Supporters of the issue say:

A full-time Mayor will team with the Director of Administration to conduct the business of the City in a more efficient manner, eliminating the need for hiring assistants, thus reducing personnel costs.

Citizens and business owners will have a Mayor available to meet with them during normal business hours, which will strengthen economic development efforts.

A full-time Mayor would not have to be distracted with the burdens of private employment and would not have to put city business secondary to another full-time job.

Opponents of the issue say:

Expected savings would be small since the City will be required to pay two full-time employees if Issue 13 is approved.

Current technology provides for easy access/response from a part-time Mayor, as it does from its seven part-time Council members.

The city is better served by a full-time professional trained in the complexities of government and public administration, rather than by an effective campaigner.

Issue 15 – Local Option, Ward 1, Precinct A

Sale of beer, wine, mixed beverages and spiritous liquor.
Walther’s Cafe, 430 Applegrove St NW.

Issue 16 – Local Option, Ward 1, Precinct A

Sunday sales of beer, wine, mixed beverages and spiritous liquor.
Walther’s Cafe, 430 Applegrove St NW.

Issue 19 – Local Option, Ward 1, Precinct A

Sale of beer, wine, mixed beverages and spiritous liquor.
TDS Tailgate Grill, 1641-1657 North Main St.

Issue 20 – Local Option, Ward 1, Precinct A

Sunday sales of wine, mixed beverages and spiritous liquor.
TDS Tailgate Grill, 1641-1657 North Main St.

Issue 23 – Local Option, Ward 2, Precinct C

Sale of beer, wine and mixed beverages.
Giant Eagle Store, 1955 & 1959 E. Maple St.

Issue 24 – Local Option, Ward 2, Precinct C

Sunday sales of wine and mixed beverages.
Giant Eagle Store, 1955 & 1959 E. Maple St.

CITY OF LOUISVILLE – ISSUE

Issue 12 – Local Option, Louisville C

Sunday sales of wine and mixed beverages.

Grinders Above & Beyond, 500 W. Main St.

CITY OF MASSILLON – ISSUES

Issue 18 – Local Option, Ward 1, Precinct A

Sunday sales of wine, mixed beverages and spiritous liquor.

Bugsy’s Pasta House, 7936 Hills & Dales Rd.

Issue 25 – Local Option, Ward 3, Precinct C

Sunday sales of spiritous liquor.
Giant Eagle, 2032 Lincoln Way East.

MASSILLON CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT ISSUE

Issue 47 – Massillon City School District Renewal Levy

This 8.1-mill property tax levy was first adopted by voters in 1999 and has been renewed every five years since then. It generates $3.4 million per year for the City School District as part of a $45 million annual budget. The funds are used for operating expenses, including salaries, books, and other daily operations at Washington High School, one middle school, and three elementary schools. The School District also has a permanent improvement levy for capital expenses. The last increase in school operating funds was a 7.9-mill levy approved in 2012. The district employs about 500, and has a student census of about 4,000. If approved again, this levy will continue for five years, providing $3.4 million per year.

If passed, the annual cost to a homeowner of an occupied residence valued at $100,000 will be $248.06, about $6 less than the current levy

JACKSON TOWNSHIP – ISSUES

Issue 32 – Road Department Renewal Levy

This 3-mill property tax renewal levy was put on the ballot by Jackson Township Trustees for funding new highway capital projects, construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, and repair of township streets, roads, and bridges for five years. It is not used for wages, equipment, or operating expenses. The levy has been renewed every five years since Nov. 1977. If approved, the levy will generate more than $1.16 million per year allowing new capital road projects and road improvements to continue to address township growth and safety. The Department consists of the Highway Superintendent, Highway Foreman, secretary, and 10 full-time laborers.

Levy funds are only used for new construction projects; levy funds don’t fund any other Highway Dept. expenses, which include maintenance of 202 miles of roadways, surface and drainage maintenance, street sweeping, roadside mowing, sign maintenance, ice and snow control, and staff salaries. According to information about voted levies on the Township’s web site, an additional $8.3 million is available for Highway Department expenses.

If passed, the annual cost to a homeowner of an occupied residence valued at $100,000 will be $24.19, same amount as the current levy.

Issue 42 – Local Option, Jackson Twp 5

Sunday sales of wine, mixed beverages, and spiritous liquor.
Brookside Country Club, 1800 Canton Ave W.

PERRY LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT ISSUE

This 13.1-mill property tax levy has been renewed every five years since 1996 and generates $8 million per year. The total school budget is $43 million per year. The funds are used for operating Perry Local High School, one middle school, one intermediate school, and five elementary schools for 4,500 local students and 300 open-enrollment students from other districts. The last time the district received an increase in operating funds was in 1996 when this levy was first approved. If Issue 50 passes, the levy will continue for five years and will provide $8 million per year. The district has approximately 600 employees.

If passed, the annual cost to a homeowner of an occupied residence valued at $100,000 will be $401.19, about $9 less than the current levy.

PLAIN TOWNSHIP – ISSUE

Issue 30 – Local Option, Plain Twp 7

Sunday sales of wine and mixed beverages.
Grinders & Such, 3114 Whipple Ave NW.

CANTON – PRESIDENT OF COUNCIL

Elect 1 Salary: $18,928 Term: 2 years

Question: Canton remains one of the largest Ohio municipalities that is still governed by Ohio state statutory law, rather than by a locally developed charter. City leaders have once again begun the discussion of charter government for Canton.

(1) How might Canton benefit by forming a charter government?

(2) What concerns would you have about the specific content of a potential charter for Canton?

Allen Schulman, Democrat No response

CANTON – TREASURER

Elect 1 Salary: $78,607 Term: 4 years

Question: Describe one of the most important challenges you will have as Treasurer and how you will address it.

Kim R. Perez, Democrat No response

CANTON CITY COUNCIL

Salary: $18,146 Term: 2 years Elect 3 at-large and 1 per ward

Question: Canton remains one of the largest Ohio municipalities that is still governed by Ohio state statutory law, rather than by a locally

developed charter. City leaders have once again begun the discussion of charter government for Canton.

(1) How might Canton benefit by forming a charter government?

(2) What concerns would you have about the specific content of a

potential charter for Canton?

CANTON MEMBER OF COUNCIL-AT-LARGE

James O. Babcock, Democrat

3411 9th Street SW, Canton OH 44710

Age: 63

Education: High School

Occupation: Licensed Realtor and Canton City Council Member

Qualifications: Currently a Council Member at Large

Answer: (1) Canton is facing some serious issues of economic development and crime, and focusing on the form of Government at this time distracts Council from the major tasks at hand.

(2) Charter Government does not necessarily increase voter participation. Less Public Officials are elected under a Charter Government plan and more under the direction of the Mayor. It is uncommon to have a Charter Government that has a similar plan to the statutory plan with elected law directors and others. So, with that being the case I do not see the benefit.

Roland K. Burns, III, Democrat No response

Richard D. Hart, Non-Party

2405 University Ave NW, Canton OH 44709

Age: 59

Education: Grad. John H. Lehman HS 1972; Ohio State University 1975 B.S. Education; Masters University of Akron

Occupation: Retired Teacher

Qualifications: Former 10th and 7th Ward Council Member. Member Board of Zoning Appeals, City Planning. Brought curbside recycling to Canton; solved Ward/City problems. Board member of Canton Preservation Society and Calvary Mission.

Answer: Canton will benefit from a charter government because it will allow Canton to determine self rule. The key to charter government for Canton is the commission that will write it. If researched a charter can be written to embrace the uniqueness of Canton. Canton’s neighborhoods can begin to grow and prosper if they receive improved services from the city.

Bill Smuckler, Democrat

5203 Cedar Glen Cir NE, Canton OH 44714

Age: 58

Education: 1973 Graduate Oakwood High School; 1977 Graduate Bowling Green State University

Occupation: Co-Owner Canton Hotel And Restaurant Supply Inc.

Qualifications: Past President of Canton City Council; Past Ward Councilman Canton City Council; Past Canton City Councilman At Large; 24 years experience.

Answer: We can benefit in the City of Canton, by home rule rather than state mandates. We have the potential to save money by cutting out the duplication of services.

There is always a concern of specific content that a charter may bring but just like back in the City of Canton you vote the Charter down.

The key here is we are asking the people to be a part of the system and design a new government. Yes government is broke here and we do need it fixed.