Thursday, May 31, 2018
Austintown 3.2-mill police levy still lost by 14 votes
By David Skolnick
Recounts didn’t change the outcomes of four races in Mahoning County.
The recounts were conducted Wednesday by the county board of elections in races with margins of decision of 0.5 of a percent or less.
A recount in the Austintown police levy took away one yes and one no vote with the final total being 3,006 against and 2,992 in favor. So the 3.2-mill levy – a 2.4-mill replacement and a 0.8-mill increase – still lost by 14 votes.
When votes were counted May 8, the night of the primary, the levy was losing by 18 votes. The outcome tightened to 14 votes after the board last Friday counted provisional and late-arriving absentee ballots.
The levy would have raised $1,990,583 annually for police expenses.
Township Trustees Jim Davis and Kenneth Carano say the levy will be back on the ballot in the November general election as Austintown’s need for the money, caused by cuts by the state government, hasn’t changed.
The three other recounts didn’t change the vote totals at all.
A liquor option for Buckeye Auto Wash, 6123 Market St., in Boardman Precinct 9 was a 112-112 tie. Issues have to win, so the option was defeated.
County Democratic Chairman David Betras, who is also the vice chairman of the board of elections, held on to a 124-123 win for Democratic committee member in Boardman Precinct 8. He defeated Kenneth D. Ruse by one vote.
Betras abstained from voting Wednesday to certify his recount with the three other members voting in favor of it.
“A win is a win is a win,” Betras said. “The frackoholics were working my neighborhood hard against me.”
Betras was referring to a group of anti-fracking backers in Youngstown who beat the board of elections in the Ohio Supreme Court to get their proposal to ban fracking on the May 8 ballot. The measure was defeated earlier this month for the seventh time since 2013.
Also Wednesday, Corrine Sanderson, a Youngstown school board member, tied 17-17 with Dominic Lucarelli for Republican precinct committee member in Youngstown Precinct 4B.
Sanderson won a coin toss last Friday to win the election if a recount didn’t break the tie, which it didn’t.