A final count shows an Austintown police levy lost by just 14 votes
By David Skolnick
With all votes counted, the Austintown police levy still lost, but it was closer.
When votes were tallied May 8, the night of the primary, the 3.2-mill levy – a 2.4-mill replacement and a 0.8-mill increase – to raise $1,990,583 annually lost by 18 votes: 2,982 voting no to 2,964 voting yes. The margin of defeat was only 0.3 of a percent.
The Mahoning County Board of Elections on Friday counted provisional and late-arriving absentee ballots and certified the election results. The final vote was 3,007 against and 2,993 in favor, a loss of just 14 votes, 0.24 of a percent.
An automatic recount will be Wednesday because the margin of defeat was less than 0.5 of a percent, but county election officials said the outcome won’t change.
“That’s a pretty big margin to overcome for a recount so don’t expect the results to change,” said Deputy Director Thomas McCabe. “The machines are pretty accurate.”
Township trustees also don’t expect the results to change, but express disappointment the levy lost by only 14 votes.
“We recognize the fact that people are tired of paying more, but Columbus keeps taking money from us,” said Trustee Jim Davis. “Either we cut services or ask for additional funds.”
The township will put the issue back on the ballot in November, he said.
“I read comments on the internet from people who made decisions to vote no based on rumor or their perception,” he said. “We need to do a better job informing our voters on what our police department does. This will be on the ballot in November with a better explanation.”
Trustee Kenneth Carano said, “I thank the people who did vote for it. People were not in the mood to vote for the levy. With less of the funds coming back from the state we need the additional money to keep going with what we’re doing now. I feel we have a good chance to get it passed the next time.”
Also, the board certified the outcome of a liquor option for Buckeye Auto Wash, 6123 Market St., in Boardman Precinct 9 as a 112-112 tie.
Because issues have to win, the liquor option was defeated, said board Chairman Mark Munroe.
It, too, will be subject to an automatic recount Wednesday.