Election Results: Cuyahoga Library Levy, Akron Body Camera Proposal Pass
Northeast Ohio residents cast their ballots Tuesday in favor of a variety of local issues, approving new levies for public services and amending local charters.
Cuyahoga County Library Levy Approved
Cuyahoga County voters approved a levy to support the county library and cover current expenses. The issue passed with roughly 60 percent of voters in favor of it, according to unofficial results. It’s the first time the Cuyahoga County Public Library has asked for a levy increase in more than a decade, though critics argued the measure should include an expiration date.
The levy is a permanent 1-mill increase for Cuyahoga County residents, in addition to the continuing 2.5-mill levy the library currently receives. The funds will go toward general operations, as well as improvements to security and facilities.
No Change To Pepper Pike Zoning
A proposal to create the first mixed-use development zone in Pepper Pike was shot down by voters.
About 83 percent of voters rejected the creation of an overlay district, first proposed as part of a plan to turn the former Beech Brook family services location into residential and commercial spaces. In October, the developer withdrew the proposal for construction on what would have been the first mixed-use development in the city, but the zoning issue remained on the ballot.
The city had been discussing the proposed rezoning and development for more than a year prior to the ballot initiative.
Akron Police Body Camera Proposal, Zoo Levy Get Green Light
A proposal that would require the City of Akron to release footage from law enforcement body cameras in cases where fatal or serious force was used also gained favor with local voters. The proposal passed with roughly 89 percent of the vote.
The amendment was one of six on the ballot this election cycle, and was meant to be an effort to remain proactive in allowing residents to see for themselves what happened during altercations, according to city officials. Some body camera footage is protected by state or federal laws, and will not be covered by the charter amendment.
A Summit County levy increase for the Akron Zoo also passed, with 59 percent of voters in favor of the proposal. The total levy will bring an estimated $13 million a year to support general operations and maintenance, as well as the expansion of facilities and educational programming.
It is the zoo’s first levy increase in its 67-year history.
Mentor Marina Changes Approved
Ballot issues to allow changes at Mentor’s marina and lagoon were approved by local voters in Tuesday’s initial results.
Previously, the city needed to put any proposed developments for the area on the ballot in order to follow through. About 73 percent of voters were in favor of an amendment to the city charter that will allow Mentor officials to make changes and further develop the marina without a vote.
The city would still be barred from selling or leasing the property without voters’ permission.
A similar proposal failed in 2019, officials said, due to confusing language on the ballot.
And an additional proposal to construct an accessible boardwalk was approved with roughly 82 percent of the vote in favor. That also will allow the city to start work toward an accessible observation deck and tower, with the help of a $115,050 matching grant.