TRUMBULL COUNTY Polivka, Heltzel garner easy wins
The Lifelines levy passed.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Races for Trumbull County offices held no last-minute surprises, with incumbents winning across the board, and Democratic nominees taking the prize in the races with no incumbents.
In the races for county commissioner, Democrat Dan Polivka won the right to retain the seat he was appointed to in January by a more than two-to-one victory over Republican Philip DeCapito.
To win the other seat, Paul Heltzel, who beat a handful of contenders for the Democratic nomination in May, also beat his Republican rival, Michael Colello, by more than two-to-one.
"I'm happy I won, and I'm happy I get two months to get ready for it [taking office]," Heltzel said. "It is going to be a tough job."
He said the challenges will include cleaning up county government in the wake of a corruption scandal and projected $5 million to $7 million budget shortfall in 2005.
Both of the Republican candidates ran on a promise not to raise the county's piggyback sales tax, a possibility that Democrats have not been willing to dismiss.
Clerk of courts, treasurer
In other contested races, Democrat Karen Infante Allen beat Republican David T. Simon by more than 2 to 1 for the job of county clerk of courts and incumbent Democrat Christ Michelakis beat Republican Norbert Ronyak by a margin of 2 to 1 to keep his job as county treasurer.
A countywide tax issue that would raise $3.4 million annually for Lifelines, Trumbull County's alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services board, passed with 56 percent of the vote. The levy had been turned down three times by voters since 2000.
The 1-mill levy, 10-year levy will replace a levy set to expire at the end of the year that generates $2.4 million annually.
The money will continue Lifelines' funding for agencies including Belmont Pines, Burdman Group Inc., Catholic Charities Regional Agency, Children's Rehabilitation Center and Community Solutions Association.