What’s on the ballot: Many Butler County communities may need to decide races this fall

Some voters came to cast their ballots at the Butler County Board of Elections on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Some voters came to cast their ballots at the Butler County Board of Elections on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Butler County Board of Elections will consider certification of dozens of candidates seeking election, as well as four pocketbook issues.

Nearly half of the Butler County races to be decided in November will be contested, pending the certification of dozens of potential candidates.

Twenty-two races out of 45 races in Butler County communities and on various school boards will see incumbents seeking to retain their positions, new faces who haven’t run for office previously, and former officeholders re-seeking elected office.

There are also four pocketbook issues, which includes one countywide tax levy, are also to be decided. All four levy requests, as well as most candidates, must first be certified to be on the Nov. 2 ballot. Butler County Board of Elections will consider all who filed by this past Wednesday, and are yet to be certified, at its Aug. 16 meeting.

Butler County’s largest cities, townships, and school districts all have the potential to see contested races.

In Hamilton, incumbent council members Michael Ryan and Tim Nabb will seek re-election as Danny Ivers, Lauren Copas Smallwood, Kristina Latta-Landfield and William Lauer are also seeking one of three open seats. Councilman Robert Brown will not seek re-election. Ryan, Ivers, and Smallwood are the only ones at this time certified to be on the ballot.

Middletown’s former police chief, Rodney Muterspaw, is certified to be on the ballot for Middletown City Council. He’s seeking one of the two open seats in a field that includes incumbent Councilman Joe Mulligan and candidates Jennifer Carter and Julia Lewis-Smith. Carter has also been certified to be on the ballot.

Fairfield will see four incumbents leave its city council due to term limits, and some familiar and new faces seeking to be on the board. Former council members Debbie Pennington and Mitch Rhodus are vying for mayor, seeking to succeed Mayor Steve Miller.

Up to five people are seeking one of the three at-large seats on Fairfield City Council.

Former city council member Tim Meyers and candidates Matt Davidson and Gwen Brill are certified to be on the ballot, and candidates Keshab Acharya and Abdul Mbow will see on Aug. 16 if their petitions will also be certified.

Voters in West Chester Twp. will decide on two trustee candidates, including incumbent trustees Lee Wong and Mark Welch and candidate Trent Emeneker. Liberty Twp. voters will also choose two trustee candidates, which includes incumbent Tom Farrell and candidates Buck Rumpke and Todd Minniear. Minniear’s candidacy is pending certification.

Of the five pocketbook issues, one is countywide. They include:

  • MetroParks of Butler County is seeking a six-year, 0.7-mill replacement levy. The levy would generate $6.7 million annually, costing the owner of a $100,000 home around $24.50 a year.
  • Hanover Twp. is seeking a renewal of its five-year, 3.5-mill fire levy. If approved, would not increase property owners’ taxes, and would generate $731,000 a year.
  • Ross Twp. is seeking a renewal of its five-year, 3-mill fire levy. If approved, would not increase property owners’ taxes, and would generate $556,000 a year.
  • Village of New Miami is seeking an additional five-year, 5-mill police levy. If approved, it would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an estimated $175 a year.

The largest fields for school boards include Lakota Local Schools (nine candidates filed to seek three open seats), Edgewood City Schools (eight candidates filed to seek three open seats), Madison Local Schools (five people have filed to seek two open seats), and Talawanda City Schools (one certified and four filed candidates are seeking two open seats).

Other contested school board races are: an unexpired term for Hamilton City Schools, three open seats for Monroe Local Schools, and two open seats for Ross Local Schools. There are also three open seats on the Butler County Educational Service Center board.

IMPORTANT ELECTION DATES

Sept. 17: Military and overseas absentee voting begins

Oct. 4: Last day to register to vote for Nov. 2 election (which can be done online)

Oct. 5: Early in-person voting and vote-by-mail begins

Nov. 2: Election Day. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Source: Butler County Board of Elections, Ohio Secretary of State