Local elections carry much importance

As we approach election day 2013, it is important to note that while this is not a presidential year election, including all of the other national, state and local elections, it is still important to get out to vote this year.

On the ballot Tuesday are many important municipal, township and levy issues that affect all of eastern Ohio. These local level elections are seemingly the most important ones the voters should ardently address as these are the individuals elected to implement policies and issues that directly affect us on a daily basis. While our county, state and national issues remain as important, the ‘midterm’ elections remain vital to the success of our cities, villages, townships, libraries and school districts.

In eastern Ohio, there are a plethora of ballot issues on Tuesday’s ballot. Regardless of where one lives, Tuesday’s ballot includes mayor seats, city/village council seats, township trustee seats and school district/ library levies. In addition, in certain precincts, there will too be local option elections for the sale of alcohol at certain premises in specific areas of the precinct.

In Belmont County, and on a countywide level, there will be senior services renewal levy on the ballot. It is a levy that historically has been renewed on a regular basis and that provides amongst many other things, meals for Belmont County seniors. In most of the county, excepting St. Clairsville, Barnesville and Bellaire, and for the first time in its history, the Belmont County District Library, formerly the Martins Ferry Public Library, will propose a 1-mill operating levy lasting 5 years. If passed by the voters, it will permit libraries in Martins Ferry, Bethesda, Bridgeport, Flushing, Powhatan Point and Shadyside to resume more regular hours, to purchase more books and other materials and to offer the public more computer classes. There too are many municipal levies on the ballot including a very important current expenses replacement levy in the city of St. Clairsville, most of which will be used for the city’s police protection. The Bellaire Local School District is making another attempt to pass a now emergency funding levy in and for the district.

In Harrison County, beyond the aforementioned village council , township trustee and school district races, voters will be presented with a number of different levies depending upon their residency. They include a renewal levy for the Harrison County Board of Developmental Disabilities, a renewal levy for Harrison County Children Services, a renewal levy for Harrison County Senior Services, a renewal levy for Harrison County police protection, a renewal levy for the Puskarich Public Library, an additional levy for the upgrade and enhancement of the county’s emergency response communications systems and an additional tax for the current expenses, purchasing of equipment for buildings and improving buildings for the Jefferson County Joint Vocational District(which encompasses Belmont, Carroll, Harrison and Jefferson counties). It will certainly be interesting to see how the voters respond to so many levies on the Harrison County ballot.

Finally, in southern Jefferson County, voters will to see the same city, village and township issues as in all other counties. The villages of Dillonvale and Yorkville will have current expense renewal levies on the ballot and all of the locations will have the Jefferson County Joint Vocational District levy on the ballot. There too will be Jefferson County Educational Service Center elections on the ballot in all Jefferson County precincts.

As all voters can now see from the above-stated issues, Tuesday’s election is as important as any other election. If you are interested in looking at your specific ballot in the next few days, you may go to www.electionsonthe.net/oh/belmont or type in the county in which you reside.