By Lynne Phillips
Joe Hintz has been elected to his third term as a Huron County Commissioner following Tuesday’s election.
Hintz captured 51 percent of the vote beating Democratic challenger Melissa James and Independent Bob Morgan.
According to unofficial results from the Huron County Board of Elections Hintz took 9,424 votes compared to James with 5,532 and Morgan with 3,627.
Hintz said there are many things that are important as he moves forward to his next four term as a commissioner. “I want to continue to work hard to serve the people in this county.” He added, “The most important thing is to continue building relationships with the other elected officials.” He cited working with the sheriff’s department to continue to purchase new vehicles as part of the commitment to the safety of the citizens. “When I first took office the vehicles in that department were old with high miles and very rusty. We have been able to purchase 21 new vehicles, we want to continue that.”
He stated he also wants people to know that contrary to prevailing rumor, he isn’t sick and was never sick. “I had surgery on my foot and am now recovered.
“There are many areas we are working on as far as economic development is concerned and we want to continue moving forward with those. Also we must focus on tackling the drug issue.”
Roland Tkach retains the county auditor position beating Republican Tom Dunlap with 55 percent of the vote. Tkach had 10,201 to Dunlaps 8,464.
Tkach said during his campaign his focus as auditor has always been about serving the public and customer service. “I work for you,” he told people at a candidates night event in New London.
A one mill levy request from the New London Public Library was approved 986 for and 814 against.
Director Anne Lowery said she is extremely thankful for the support shown by the community for the library.
“It is very gratifying to know that the people of the New London area value their library. I’d like to specifically express appreciation to Dr. and Mrs. Erlenbach and Kay Erlenbach for heading the levy campaign, Jonna Rowland who spent hours of her own time criss-crossing our service area delivering levy signs, and Kathy Frombaugh for her assistance with navigating all of the legal and financial requirements for the levy campaign.” Lowery noted, The Huron County Prosecutors office and Auditors office guided them step by step through the complexities of a tax levy. “Most importantly,” she said, “the library staff spent not only their own personal time helping with the campaign, but are committed to the library and excellent level of service which we can now see has been recognized and rewarded by patrons with their support.
“Now we can begin the task of replenishing our building fund, addressing maintenance needs which we have been bandaiding, and improving our collection department. This money needs to get us through the next ten years and we need to have reserves in case of future funding cuts and infrastructure issues.”
A 2.9 mill levy request to voters for the New London Local School District failed nearly two to one, with 1,126 votes for and 676 against.
District superintendent Brad Romano said, “Going into election day, I was incredibly optimistic that we were going to be successful, yet I am not surprised by this outcome. School issues have a very low success rate in Ohio, especially when the request is on the ballot for the first time. The unfortunate reality is that school levies are a tough sell, often taking multiple attempts before they pass. Yet, I still find myself very disappointed in the outcome, especially knowing the time and energy that many put into the campaign. Although the levy was rejected, I do feel our campaign was successful. While discussing our levy with our community, I had the opportunity to speak with many community members and share the many amazing programs we are doing for the children of our community. I was able to reminisce with alumni and senior citizens sharing their memories of being a student in our district. While reflecting on the levy’s outcome, I strongly believe our community supports our school and our children. The district will need to engage our stakeholders to better understand why the levy was rejected so we can make the necessary adjustments in our communication plans and practices to build upon the successes of this campaign as we look to the future.
“So where do we go from here? The levy was always about permanent improvement projects to our building and grounds to ensure our students and staff have the best environment possible for learning. These permanent improvements included resurfacing Wildcat Drive, parking lots, and playgrounds; a renovation and/or replacement of our low slope roof; technology enhancements; bus replacements; and safety upgrades. These needs do not disappear with the levy being rejected. With no relief from Columbus on the horizon a deep analysis of our distinct finances and priorities must be made. It is through that analysis that the district can decide if there is a need for reductions in other areas of the budget, freeing up funds for the much needed projects as well as a timeline for future levies.”
A renewal and small increase for senior citizen services and facilities passed 11,462 for and 7,058 against.
An additional one mill for five years for Developmental Disabilities programs, permanent improvements, and operations of facilities also passed 9,699 for and 8,789 against.