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Ballot Issues Get A Mixed Reception from Voters

Voters gave mixed reviews to school money issues around the region. Despite a tough economy, levies in Amherst, Brooklyn, Mayfield and South Euclid-Lyndhurst passed. But, measures in Richmond Heights, North Royalton and Olmsted Falls were defeated. And Parma voters once again resoundingly rejected a new school levy by a 64 to 36% margin. Some school officials have promised severe program and/or staff cuts to make up for their budget shortfalls.

A plan by three western suburbs to pool their resources on a recreation center was also defeated. The Tri-City Joint Recreational District levy of Berea, Brookpark and Middleburgh Hts was trounced by a two to one margin. Voters were more generous when it came to passing a renewal and increase of money for the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

Cleveland voters gave a thumbs up to all six changes to the city charter, including the proposal to reduce the number of Council seats. Next year, ward lines will be redrawn so that there is one council person for every 25,000 people, leading to a loss of two to four seats.

Northeast Ohioans pretty much mirrored the opinions of voters statewide when it came to some proposed changes to the Ohio constitution. Issue 5 which puts tighter controls on the payday lending industry was approved by nearly 40 percentage points across the region, and Issue 6 which would have cleared the way for a casino in southern Ohio went down to a 30 percentage point defeat.

David C. Barnett was a senior arts & culture reporter for Ideastream Public Media. He retired in October 2022.