By MARK TODD - firstname.lastname@example.org
Two candidates and a handful of issues have been cleared by the Ashtabula County Board of Elections to appear on the May primary ballot.
At a Friday morning meeting, board members unanimously agreed to place the races and issues before affected voters on May 7. Most, but not all, of the county’s precincts will be involved in the election, said Duane Feher, deputy director.
“Seventy precincts out of 104 will be in play,” Feher said. “But that could change, depending on Ashtabula.”
The city of Ashtabula’s government set-up gives candidates a little longer to file petitions. Deadline is Thursday, the board learned. As of Friday morning, Kris Hamrick is the only person to take out a petition for an Ashtabula council seat (Ward 5, in this case), according to information at the board office.
Two incumbent candidates — Ashtabula Municipal Court Judge Albert Camplese and Geneva councilman Timothy Miller — had petitions they submitted approved by the board. “(Petitions) exceeded the minimum number of signatures for their offices,” Feher said.
Ten issues, including three school levies, also passed muster. They include:
• Ashtabula — Two measures: One setting the municipal income tax at 1.8 percent for three years, and another cleaning up ordinance language related to the finance office
• Ashtabula Area City Schools — Five-year, additional 6.2-mills emergency levy
• Geneva — Municipal income tax increase from 1.5 to 2 percent
• Geneva-on-the-Lake — Four-year, 1.5-mill replacement levy for roads and bridges
• Geneva Union Cemeteries District — Five-year, additional 0.5-mill levy for cemeteries
• Grand Valley Public Library — Additional 2-mill, continuous levy for current expenses
• Harpersfield Township — Five-year, 1-mill renewal for roads and bridges
• Jefferson Area Local Schools — Five-year, 4.5-mill renewal for current expenses
• Ledgemont Local School District — Additional 14.7 mills to avoid an operating deficit
The board also formally withdrew two issues from the ballot at the request of their sponsors. Levies originally planned by the Northwest Ambulance District and Andover Township EMS were submitted too early, per the entities’ legal counsel, members were told. The agencies are free to file for the November general election, Feher said.
Board members will next meet on Feb. 27, where any petitions submitted by Ashtabula candidates will be considered. Members also plan to discuss a capital expenditure plan for 2013 at that time.