by KEN LAHMERS | EDITOR
Aurora residents will have three issues and a handful of candidate races to vote on at the May 6 primary election, when precincts will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Two issues pertaining just to Aurora will appear on the ballot.
Issue 3 is a five-year, 1.5-mill renewal levy for school district general permanent improvements, and Issue 11 is a zoning map amendment to create a mixed-use development district for 548 acres in the northern part of town, most of which is the former Geauga Lake amusement park land.
All Portage Countians will vote on Issue 10, a 10-year, 0.5-mill additional levy to provide operating funds for the Portage Park District, which currently operates with no voter-approved tax money. They also will vote a state constitutional amendment to fund bonds for public infrastructure improvements.
The school levy renewal would generate about $707,000 a year for permanent improvements, and would continue to cost the owner of a property valued at $100,000 about $37 per year.
A mixed-use district is similar to Crocker Park in Westlake, First & Main in Hudson and the recent downtown Kent redevelopment.
It includes a mix of residential, retail, office, entertainment, amusement and governmental uses, but no industrial, which is what much of the land in the proposed district is currently zoned.
Meanwhile, Issue 10 would bring in $1.63 million annually for the park district, which currently operates on a budget of less than $100,000 a year. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 property about $17.50 a year.
The park district oversees about 1,300 acres of parkland and 14 miles of hike and bike trails that were utilized by about 400,000 patrons in 2013.
The levy's passage would enable the district to provide access to some of the 835 acres that are closed to the public because of a lack of funding.
CANDIDATES SEEK WINS
There are primary races for two Portage County offices -- commissioner and judge of the Common Pleas Court's juvenile/probate division.
For commissioner, Vicki Kline and Angelo Battaglia are seeking the Democratic nomination, while incumbent Sabrina Christian-Bennett and Kristen Kline Morris are seeking the Republican nomination.
For juvenile/probate judge, Bob Berger and Thomas J. Freeman are running for the Democrats and David Brode and Jonathan Jennings for the Republicans. Current Judge Thomas Carnes is not seeking re-election.
The Republicans have a race for the 76th Ohio House District seat between Sarah LaTourette and write-in candidate Linda J. O'Brien.
For the U.S. House 14th District seat, Republicans David P. Joyce -- the incumbent -- and Matt Lynch are facing off.
There also is a race for the Democratic governor nomination between Larry Ealy and Edward Fitzgerald, with the winner facing incumbent John Kasich in November.
Three Republicans -- Dale H. Fellows, John J. Mancini and Andrew Manning -- are seeking the Ohio 18th District central committeeman seat.
For 18th District central committeewoman, Mary A. Briggs and Kathleen Clyde are vying for the Democrats, while Jeneen L. Kubala, Tommie Jo Marsilio, Mary E. O'Toole and Amy Sabath are battling for the Republicans.
There is no primary opposition for Ohio attorney general, auditor, secretary of state and treasurer; Portage Common Pleas Court general division judge, auditor and coroner; and Democratic Central Committee for Aurora precincts.
The winners of contested primary races and party candidates unopposed in the primary will advance to the general election in November.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4189