“Wherever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” Thomas Jefferson, 1789
“Because the truth is, the country doesn’t need voters who have to be cajoled, enticed, or persuaded to cast a ballot. We need voters who wish to participate in the process.” Mike Rowe, 2016
We were happy to hear from Connie Carr’s representative, DesAnn Collins, about her candidacy as well as from Commissioner Ted Kalo and others on some of the issues on the ballot in Lorain County. While Ted Kalo is on the ballot for County Commissioner, he has no opposition. Lori Kokowski was not able to attend, but Carr’s representative spoke on her behalf. Additionally we had speakers advocating for the Drug & Alcohol Addiction levy and the Euclid City Schools building levy.
Carr’s spokesperson first noted the volume of tax issues on the ballot, and declared that there must be a different way to manage our finances. Her experience as an attorney gives her the experience to be a tough negotiator, and she respects the vast diversity and opportunities that already exist within Lorain County.
Commissioner Ted Kalo discussed the three county tax issues on the ballot. There are other countywide or local tax issues as well, but these three were directed from the County Commissioners. Issue 34 is the TB Clinic renewal, a tax which actually was cut a few years ago. Issue 33 deals with the Coroner’s Office and Crime Lab which has been burdened by the recent heroin and opioid epidemic. Lorain spends about half as much on this office as the similarly-sized Lake County. Finally, Issue 32 is the sales tax addition of 0.25%. Lorain County has a low sales tax compared to other counties and hasn’t had a permanent increase since 1985. Half of this increase will go to public transportation initiatives.
Peggy Baron of the Alcohol & Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County spoke on behalf of Issue 35. This increase will help provide additional treatment and recovery support by reducing wait time and providing detoxification residences for those wanting help. The Services Board also provides education to families and children as well.
Finally for voters in the Euclid City School District, Superintendent Tom Jama spoke on behalf of Issue 23. This bond issue for Elyria City Schools could bring $125-135 million to replace all of their elementary and middle schools with only five schools, and to rebuild Elyria stadium as well. The state, which will help with the funding upon passage of the bond issue, said that none of the schools were worth renovating, which is why the complete replacement is necessary.
Again, we thank these speakers for giving their time on a Saturday morning to speak to our group about these important issues for the citizens of our county. And to the reader… if you have read this far and watched the videos then you are one of the more engaged citizens in Lorain County. Please share this information and your thoughts with other voters and help our county become a more civic-minded community.