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Votes for progress in Kent, Streetsboro

electorate clears the way for new police station, high school

Published: November 7, 2013 4:00 AM

Passage of tax issues in

Kent and Streetsboro will bring significant improvements to those two communities.

In Kent, an increase in the city's income tax -- the first in nearly 30 years -- will provide funding for a new Safety Administration Building, while voters in the Streetsboro school district approved a bond issue that will enable construction of a new high school and upgrades for other school facilities.

Voters in Kent were told that a new police facility would be constructed regardless of whether Issue 4 passed. The choice, city officials said, was whether the funds for it would come from a tax increase or through cuts of more than $1 million per year in the operating budget. Passage of the tax hike will provide the $1.2 million needed annually to pay for the $18 million project.

The new safety building will be another major element in the revitalization of Kent. It will meet a longstanding need for a modern police station.

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In Streetsboro, passage of the school bond issue will enable the school district to access $24 million in state funds to pay for improvements to school facilities, including construction of a new high school on S.R. 14. Streetsboro's school facilities have not kept pace with the growth that has transformed the community in the past generation. A new high school has been under discussion for years, and improvements are needed at other facilities.

Money issues did not fare well at the polls in the Field, Ravenna and Mogadore districts, where voters turned down requests for additional funding.

The Field levy, which failed by a little more than 100 votes, was especially needed. District voters elected a new majority to the Board of Education; the new members seem to realize that finding a solution for the schools' funding woes will be their first priority. In Ravenna, the 4.9-mill request turned down by voters would have generated funding for building maintenance and other expenses; school officials there say that a levy will return to the ballot in February. In Mogadore, options appear to include pay-to-participate, reduced busing and increased student fees.

Aurora will have a new mayor, one who can bring experience at the state level to the job. Councilwoman Ann Womer Benjamin, who served eight years as a state representative, topped a field of six candidates to win the mayor's post.

Incumbents retained their City Council seats in Ravenna, where Sharon Spencer was re-elected in Ward 1 and Amy Michael and Fred Berry, running as a team, kept their at-large posts in a hotly contested race. In Kent, Melissa Long will be the new face on City Council, winning an at-large post along with incumbent fellow Democrats Mike DeLeone and Roger Sidoti. Former Councilman Stephen Michniak will return to Streetsboro City Council, joining Jeffrey Allen and Tim Claypoole, who were re-elected. Amy McDougald won the lone at-large council seat on the Aurora ballot.

Brady Lake voters turned back a bid to disincorporate the village, which would have enabled it to return to township rule, although there were legal questions about the exact outcome of such a decision. The campaign for disincorporation highlighted the serious financial challenges Brady Lake confonts. While it will remain a village, those problems need to be addressed. Perhaps those who rallied to "save the village" will turn their energies now toward finding a solution to ensure the village's viability.

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TaggR Nov 9, 2013 9:52 AM

rareearth57 stated, "I really wanted to go down the street and beat the crap out of a guy who posted a sign in his yard supporting the school levy in a house the fat SOB is renting."  

Sounds like a typical conservative response to me. When others do not agree, start a war. Make up false accusations and allegations if need be, to get others to support you. 

TaggR Nov 8, 2013 2:26 PM

rareearth57 you are not a landlord and have never been one. Obvious because your comment is a bunch of malarkey. We/landlords absolutely pass the cost on to the tenants. Doesn't matter if they have a month to month lease or a year long lease. They will end paying the taxes. It's very arrogant of you telling me I don't know what I am talking about. Rental properties have been a big part of my income for many years. 

doc54 Nov 8, 2013 6:16 AM

Do you really believe that 30 minutes after the polls closed they had all the votes counted. LOL government has never been that effcient. As far as the school board leveling the field so that only property owners get to vote on taxes, that would be unconstitutional and is far beyond any authority they have. Like it or not the majority elected the board members and passed the school bond issue.

rareearth57 Nov 8, 2013 4:53 AM

This is for tagr

People that have a lease that states a certain rent and when it will go up is a binding contract.

So just becasue a levy passes does not mean you can pass it on to the renter.

Maybe if you have month to month remters but most of them are done by lease. so you have no idea what your talking about!!!!!

little republican you were exactly wright this town is a mob mentality, and I hope someday it comes back to bite all these corrupt politicians on the dary air!!!

TaggR Nov 7, 2013 2:22 PM

Concerning property taxes, I own a few rentals. If property tax, insurance etc.. goes up, I pass that cost onto the renter. That is common practice.  Some people (see below) have no clue!

little_r_republican Nov 7, 2013 12:14 PM

good questions....why do people who do nOT pay property tax get to votet to increase my taxes? Why do people who do NOT pay income tax get to vote to increase my income tax? mob democracy is all these bobble head politicians know. At one time someone called them "pointy heads"...they still are.

rareearth57 Nov 7, 2013 7:28 AM

Headline should read votes for progress in kent, Scandal in Streetsboro!!!

rareearth57 Nov 7, 2013 7:25 AM

One more thing you should know. I had a senior citizen ask me just yesterday, they take our money to compete with other schools and now what do we do eat 2 meals a day instead of 3?

Thats what your corrupt city is doing to the seniors here many of them will lose thier homes over this tax increase.

How does that make you corrupt bureacrats feel? probably nothing!!

rareearth57 Nov 7, 2013 7:22 AM

I do not believe Streetsboro;s levy passed. I cite corruption at the counties election board. Why at 8pm the night of the elections did the poll results show the issue being defeated yet the next morning it showed as having won? I call for a  recount and investigation into this matter. 

The thign is even if it did pass, which i doubt the apartment dweelers now equal the home owners in this city. How is it fair that someone who just pays rent is allowed to vote to raise my taxes?

This city sucks and me and mine will be moving in the next year or so becasue as always in Portage County there is corruption, just like the School Board in Streetsboro.They have not leveied the playihng field or done nothing to make the advantage against home owners versus apartment dwellers fair and just.

I really wanted to go down the street and beat the crap out of a guy who posted a sign in his yard supporting the school levy in a house the fat SOB is renting.

I said it before nothing but corruption here!!!!!

Ian_Maserb Nov 7, 2013 5:52 AM

Yea, right, higher taxes is always progress.