Pocketbook issues, charter amendments set to be on November ballot

Butler County Board of Elections to certify issues, charter amendments at Aug. 20 meeting

Voters in Butler County won’t just be deciding the fate of a new school security tax in November.

This past Wednesday marked the filing deadline for all issues and two judicial candidates in Butler County. All levy and issues, and the two Area Court judicial candidates will be up for certification at the Aug. 20 Butler County Board of Elections meeting.

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Voters that live in the Edgewood, Fairfield, Hamilton, Monroe and New Miami school districts will decide on a 10-year, 1.5-mill school security tax that was recently permitted by Ohio law.

But voters in Ross, Middletown, Hamilton, Millville, St. Clair Twp., and Wayne Twp. have other issues they need to decide:

• Middletown — Five city charter amendments, including removing references to wards and elections by wards; allowing the annual report to be kept electronically; eliminating city council’s advice/consent to appointment/removal of employees by the city manager; allowing public notices of legislation or public hearings to be issued on the city’s website instead of the newspaper of record; and removing the civil service Commission and Parks Board as boards under the charter (but continue as boards under city ordinances).

• Hamilton — The city will have just one city charter amendment regarding candidate petition and filing deadline requirements.

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Ross Local Schools — The school district is seeking a 0.5 percent continuing income tax. This request was the district's response after backing out of the multi-district school security tax request.

• Ross Twp. — Trustees are asking voters to support a renewal and increase of a 5-year, 3.75-mill levy.

• Millville — The village is asking voters to support an additional 5-year, 2.75 fire levy.

• St. Clair Twp. — Trustees are asking voters to support the renewal of a pair of levies. The first is a 5-year, 0.75-mill fire levy renewal. The second is a 5-year, 0.5-mill EMT levy renewal.

• Wayne Twp. — Trustees are asking voters to support an additional 3-mill continuing fire levy.

Voters in all of Butler County will also be voting on State Issue 1, named the Drug and Criminal Justice Policies Initiative. If this issue passes, it would, among other things, amend the state constitution to make offenses related to drug possession and use no more than misdemeanors; prohibit those on felony probation from going to prison for non-criminal violations; and require Ohio to spend any cost savings as a result of Issue 1 measures on drug treatment, crime victim and rehabilitation programs.

In addition to these issues and tax requests, there are nine local option requests for restaurants and convenience stores to be permitted to sell alcohol.

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Communities with local option requests include: West Chester Twp., Middletown, Trenton, Monroe and Hamilton.

Butler County Area court judges Kevin McDonough and Robert Lyons are also expected to have their petitions for the non-partisan county court seats at the certification meeting. Both would be unopposed in the November election.

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