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Local Medina County News

Races, issues pack November ballot


MEDINA — The county’s fall election ballot will feature dozens of officeholders seeking re-election along with two school districts asking voters to help them address aging facilities.

According to Wednesday’s filing deadline for the Nov. 7 ballot, there will be 160 candidates running for local offices, along with 24 local issues.

There also will be two state issues — the Ohio Crime Victims Bill of Rights (Marsy’s Law) and the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act — on the ballot.

The ballot is to be certified during a Medina County Board of Elections meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday at 3800 Stonegate Drive, Suite C, Medina Township.

School issues

Voters in Brunswick Schools will decide a $48.1 million bond issue, to be retired at 2.3 mills over 36 years, to build a new middle school and renovate its elementary schools.

The request would cost a homeowner $80.52 annually, or $6.71 per month, per $100,000 property valuation, according to Medina County Auditor’s Office data.

The district recently was approved to receive $18 million in state funding through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission toward the project.

In Highland Schools, officials are seeking approval of a $63 million bond issue to replace three elementary schools and renovate the middle school.

The request, to be retired at an estimated 3.9 mills over 37 years, would cost a homeowner about $136.56 annually, or $11.38 per month, per $100,000 property valuation, according to the auditor’s office.

Renovations at the middle school would include heating, ventilation and air conditioning; roof replacement; safety and security measures; and fire suppression systems.

Fire, safety services

Westfield Township trustees are asking voters to approve a $3.3 million bond issue to construct a 12,000-square-foot facility. The bonds would be funded with a 1.9 mill levy over 20 years. If approved, it would cost the homeowner $66.50 annually, or $5.54 per month, per $100,000 of property valuation, according to auditor’s office data.

The project was scaled down by 2,000 square feet, and construction was changed from a masonry design to pre-engineered steel, after voters turned down a $5 million bond issue May 2.

The proposal includes:

  • eight bays and one wash bay;
  • a multipurpose day room/sleeping area that includes a kitchenette;
  • a training room;
  • office space with storage;
  • a men’s and women’s bathroom with lockers and showers;
  • a public meeting room and safe room;
  • equipment room.

In Hinckley Township, voters will see a five-year, 1-mill levy request on the ballot that officials have said is needed to increase staffing and replace fire department equipment.

The request would generate $322,800 annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $35 per year, according to the auditor’s office.

Fire Chief Mel Morgan has said his highest priority in the next five years is to staff the department from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and replace two vehicles — a 1999 ambulance and a 2000 fire engine.

The station is staffed with two members six days a week for 10 hours (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and five hours (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) on Sundays. During overnight hours (11 p.m. to 8 a.m.), Morgan said three people volunteer to respond to calls.

The part-time, volunteer department has 33 members, including Morgan.

In Medina Township, trustees placed a five-year, 1.4-mill safety services levy on the fall ballot. It would generate an estimated $496,000 a year.

If approved, trustees have said a 2-mill fire levy on the township’s books would be rolled back to zero if the 1.4-mill tax is approved in November. Voters passed the 2-mill levy in 2003 as a continuous tax.

Trustees said the move would give the township flexibility to disburse funds between the police and fire departments.

Trustees recently approved a contract to pay the city of Medina $230,000 a year for fire services, a move that was criticized by some residents at trustee meetings.

Candidate highlights

  • Voters will elect a new Medina Municipal Court judge because Judge Dale H. Chase is retiring at the end of the year. The candidates who hope to replace Chase are Bob Campbell, of Chippewa Lake; J.R. Russell, Montville Township; and Gary Werner, Brunswick.
  • Medina, Mayor Dennis Hanwell is being challenged by Isaiah Terrance Inman.
  • Medina Ward 1 Councilman Brian D. Hilberg will face two candidates to keep his seat — Laura Parnell, owner of Cool Beans Caf← on Public Square, and Kevin Consiglio.
  • Another local business owner Melissa Malone, of The Book Store on Public Square, is seeking election to the Medina Board of Education. Three seats are up for election on that board. Tom Cahalan decided not to seek re-election, but Rob Skidmore and Rebecca Parkhurst are running for re-election. Joining Malone as challengers are Matthew Collins and Valerie Pavlik.
  • With Ward 3 Councilman John Sharkey not seeking re-election, Wadsworth is guaranteed one new City Council member. Candidates for the seat are Democrat Lee Potts and Republican Joseph Magnacca.
  • In races for township trustee, two leaders of a citizens group that has opposed construction of the NEXUS Gas Transmission pipeline are seeking office. Jonathan Strong is running in Guilford Township and Paul L. Gierosky in York Township. Both are leaders of the Coalition to Reroute NEXUS, which has attempted to fight the original route for the pipeline proposed through the county.
  • Also on the York ballot for the two open trustee seats are incumbent Richard Monroe and Mike Russo. Colene Conley, a 28-year York Township trustee, decided not run again.
  • In Guilford Township, Seville/Guilford Fire Chief Jerry Winkler, is seeking one of two trustee seats along with Strong, incumbent Steven Fulton, Dan Bock and Gene Morris.
  • In Medina Township, Mark Radice, a former member of the township fire department, filed for one of the two open trustee seats. He will face Jimmy Traynor and incumbents Ray Jarrett and Bill Ostmann.

For a listing of Medina County issues and candidates, visit

Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or

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