By Mac Cordell and Kayleen Petrovia
Jerome fire issue fails; Pleasant Valley passes
Voters in the Plain City area, approved one fire levy while rejecting another.
According to unofficial results from the Union and Madison county boards of elections, Pleasant Valley Fire District’s levy passed while the Jerome Township Fire Levy failed.
The Pleasant Valley Fire District earned 972 votes for with 321 votes against, according to unofficial results from the Union and Madison county boards of elections. The issue had about 68% support among the district’s voters in Union County and about 78% support in Madison County.
“We are pretty humbled by the support our residents have shown us,” said Pleasant Valley Fire Chief Mark Kidd. “We don’t get to do our job without their support.”
He said the margin of victory was “almost unheard of.”
“That tells me my staff is going out daily and doing the right things on a daily basis and treating people they way they should and that we are offering the kind of service our residents expect and deserve,” Kidd said.
The approved levy is a 10-mills replacement levy. While it is not an increase in millage, there is a small increase in the payment due to the increase in property valuation.
According to unofficial results from the Union County Board of Elections, about 55% of voters were opposed to the Jerome Township levy as it earned 815 votes for and 1,012 against.
The proposed levy was a five-year, 5.5 mill operating levy. It would have costed residents $16.04 monthly for every $100,000 of market value.
Jerome Township Fire Chief Douglas Stewart said he understands that no one wants to pay more taxes, but feels a tax levy is necessary to grow the Division of Fire and improve community safety.
“We are thankful for those that supported the fire levy and we hope we can earn the support of those that voted against,” Stewart stated in an email to the Journal-Tribune.
He added that, “this was our 911 call to citizen, some answered the call and some did not.”
Although the levy did not pass, Stewart said the Division of Fire remains committed to the community.
“My firefighters and myself will continue to be here every day to serve the citizens of our community when they need us, no matter what the issue is,” he stated.
Stewart said the Division of Fire will seek financial support in the future in order to improve its ability to serve a growing community.
“As for what happens next? Our Fire Division cannot continue to operate without the financial support of the community,” he stated. “We will regroup and at some point, come back to voters. We remain upbeat, focused, determined and ready to serve our community.”
Megan Sloat will fill the seat of former Township Trustee Ron Rhodes, who chose not to seek reelection.
According to unofficial results from the Union County Board of Elections, Sloat received 899 votes while Ken Gordon received 551 and Mark Spagnuolo received 436.
Sloat said she looks forward to working with residents to address issues facing the community.
“I will work extremely hard to advocate for smart, responsible growth and listen to the concerns of residents,” she stated in an email to the Journal-Tribune. “We will all need to work together as we address the issues facing our township.”
Ken Gordon congratulated Sloat on her election and said he hopes to continue to serve the township in other capacities.
“I wish to congratulate Megan Sloat on being elected Trustee for Jerome Township,” he stated in an email. “I look forward to working with her as I continue my service to the township on the zoning commission.
Mark Spagnuolo was not available to comment prior to press time.
Those hoping to stop a housing development that would have added several hundred homes to the Rolling Meadows Golf Course on Industrial Parkway scored a victory, Tuesday.
According to unofficial results from the Union County Board of Elections, 1,359 voters cast ballots against a zoning change that would have allowed the housing development, while 458 voters approved of the change.
In July, the Jerome Township Trustees voted to rezone 210.62 acres of land from Rural Residential District (RU) and Special Recreation District (SRE) to Planned Development District (PD). That zoning change paved the way for the housing development. Concerned residents placed the referendum on the ballot asking for the residents to have a voice in the zoning change.
Referendum supporters said the township is growing too quickly and the growth is creating a burden on residents and on infrastructure. Supporter Barry Adler said the matter was also about a development that was, “pushed through without adequate considerations by both the Zoning Board and Trustees for the concerns of residents for public safety and meeting required zoning regulations.”
In Plain City, incumbent John Rucker will be joined by newcomer Frank Reed.
According to unofficial results from the Union and Madison county boards of elections, Reed was the top vote earner with 351. Rucker earned 328 votes while Daniel Fennell received 242.
Mayor Darrin Lane was unopposed and received 118 votes.
In the Jonathan Alder Local School District, Shannon R. Foust, along with Christine Blacka, Steven Votaw and newcomer Bill McCartney earned spots on the Board of Education.
According to unofficial results from the Union and Madison county boards of elections, Blacka received 1,152 votes, Votaw 1,107 votes and McCartney 1,059 votes. Incumbent Thomas Bichsel received 982 votes.
Foust, running unopposed to fill an unexpired term, earned 1,493 votes, according to unofficial results from the Union and Madison county boards of elections
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