Good or bad job? Levy results can reveal what voters think

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How do government bodies deal with renewals? Take them for granted and they might not pass

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana Counties combined will have 78 levies on the ballot Tuesday. Seven are for new money, which means 71 are renewals.

How Do government bodies deal with renewals? Take them for granted and they might not pass.

For instance in Austintown, where voters will be deciding on four renewal levies: Two operating levies for Austintown Schools along with a park levy and road levy for the township.

The schools put together a committee, which raised money for signs and flyers. A billboard along Mahoning Avenue reminds voters about the levies.

“They raise about $5.1 million, which is about 10% of our total budget,” said Superintendent Dave Cappuzello.

Cappuzzllo admits that renewal levies are supposed to pass because there is no new money, but says they can be an indicator of performance.

“I gauge renewals by the temperature of the district. Whether they feel that the schools are doing a good job. The number or percentage that it does pass by. So, we are going to see how they feel about what we are doing,” Cappuzzello said.

He said anything in the 80% range would be a good indication that the voters think they are doing a good job, however, he said that anything in the 70’s would be respectable.

Austintown Township Trustee Jim Davis said when it comes to renewals, people usually vote for it. He agrees that the margin of victory can be a gauge of performance, but he says don’t read too much into it.

“If this was a new tax, that would be a good gauge to how people think that we are doing, so I don’t want to take their yes vote for granted,” he said.

The township and school district approached their levy campaigns differently. By law, no tax dollars can be used for a campaign, so a team of parents raised money to pay for the billboard, signs and flyers.

The township did not form a renewal committee. Instead, officials relied on a few signs and word of mouth.

We hope that the work that employees do, that exemplifies, number one, their hard work and effort and, number tow, just the way we’ve been very frugal about things that people understand this is a necessity,” Davis said.

If by chance any of the four renewals in Austintown would fail, they don’t expire until next year, which means they could try again next year in the primary and general elections

Seven local levies for new money include the following:

  • Green Township (Mahoning County) – Green Twp. Fire levy
  • Trumbull County parks levy
  • Cortland (Trumbull County) – police levy
  • Cortland (Trumbull County) – Fire levy
  • Liberty Schools (Trumbull County)
  • Columbiana County parks levy
  • Salineville (Columbiana County) – Fire levy

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