31 tax issues on Mahoning general election ballot

By David Skolnick


Related: Candidates running in nonpartisan races in the Nov. 3 general election


Voters in Austintown in the November general election will cast ballots for one trustee, one fiscal officer, two school board members – and eight tax issues.

In Boardman, it will be the same except for seven tax issues on that township’s ballot.

Every Mahoning County voter in the Nov. 3 election will have at least three tax issues to consider.

There are two countywide renewals – for mental health and for the board of developmental disabilities – and a Mill Creek MetroParks renewal/increase issue that will be on every ballot in the county.

Though Austintown and Boardman are at the high end, plenty of other communities in the county have a ballot full of tax issues.

Craig Beach voters will have six tax issues to consider while voters in Beloit, Beaver Township, New Middletown, Poland Village and Sebring will consider five each.

Overall, 31 tax issues are on the ballot in Mahoning County compared with 12 in November 2014 and 11 in November 2013.

It’s the highest number of issues for a general-election ballot in the county since 2005 when 32 appeared. The total amount of money being requested to be paid annually by taxpayers in the county is $47.3 million, and that doesn’t include a $28.3 million, 34-year bond issue for the Poland school district.

Meanwhile, only three people filed to run for four seats on the Youngstown school board.

Michael J. Murphy and Brenda Kimble are incumbents with Corrine Sanderson, a newcomer, filing by Wednesday’s deadline.

Tina Cvetkovich wanted to file Wednesday, but because she failed to fill out the statement of candidacy on one of her nominating petitions, she had only 144 signatures on the documents. To get on the ballot, a Youngstown school board candidate needs 150 valid signatures.

A recent state law will have a separate, five-member commission appoint a state-paid chief executive officer to run the daily operations of the academically failing school district.

Murphy has said the plan is the state’s effort to dissolve the city school district and Kimble, board president, has been a vocal critic.

When asked why she’s running, Sanderson, an unemployed teacher, said Wednesday: “You still have a board with limited power delegated to them. I hope the new CEO gives the school board a voice.”

While Youngstown couldn’t fill all four school board positions on the ballot, that’s not a problem in the South Range school district, which has seen voters reject new tax levies three consecutive times.

There are six candidates seeking two four-year seats on the board and four candidates seeking a two-year unexpired term.

Amy White, who was appointed to the unexpired term, is the only incumbent running, and she is among the six for the two four-year positions. She was improperly appointed by the board March 16, and then she resigned and was selected for the post two weeks later.

In the Austintown school district, David W. Ritchie filed to run for his 13th four-year term on the school board. He is currently the longest serving board of education member in the state.

There are four candidates running for an Austintown trustee seat held by Rick Stauffer, who was appointed in March to fill a vacancy. Among the other three running is former county Commissioner David Engler, who moved to the township April 4.

In Canfield Township, four candidates filed for trustee, including incumbent Stephen Maszczak, and Tony Bettile, a former trustee who finished last in a five-person race in 2013. Joseph Paloski, who finished fourth in 2013 and last among three candidates in 2011, filed to run again in Canfield.

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