BOARDMAN PARK Officials name group in complaint

The park director says he doesn't think the campaign has been jeopardized.
BOARDMAN -- A levy to pay for improvements to Boardman Township Park has led to a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission.
Park officials filed a complaint against Teresa B. Irwin and Richard Hahn as representatives of Boardman Citizens for Responsible Taxation over a postcard the group sent to residents about the 1.8-mill levy.
Park Executive Director Daniel Slagle and board members Jack R. Russell and Robert C. Johnson filed the complaint as citizens, saying they do not have time to act as a board.
Details of complaint
The complaint focuses on about six statements park officials contend are false, ranging from the amount of money it will cost taxpayers to concerns about the school district.
"The concern with this misinformation is that it may confuse people, and if people are confused, they may have reservations about voting for the levy. ..." said Slagle. "We are just trying to bring out accurate information."
Slagle said he does not think the statements have jeopardized the levy campaign. Enough information has been put out to supply the voting public with enough information to make an informed decision, he said.
Russell said he feels the statements were inaccurate and unfair, but said there is very little recourse for park officials or those who have worked on the campaign because of time constraints before the election.
The most important part of their complaint, he said, is going on record saying the statements were not accurate.
Standing behind it
Irwin, who was not aware of the complaint until she was told about it Thursday afternoon, said she stands behind the information in the mailing and what she and Hahn said about the issue earlier this week on a radio talk show.
Irwin said she is not opposed to the project, only the way it's being funded.
The 30-year levy would cover the cost of implementing a master plan for the park that will include construction of a community recreation center at an estimated cost of $19 million and could be in operation as early as 2004.
Total cost of projects in the master plan is about $24 million.

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