2012-03-10 / News

Park district levy approved on eighth try

By Charles Prince

NEWARK – It took years and eight attempts, but Licking County voters finally approved an small operating levy for the Licking Park District.

The additional .25 mill levy for five years was approved by a 16,802 to 14,630 vote. The district’s parks, paths and trails closed last fall after county commissioners cut its funding from the county’s general revenue fund by nearly 70 percent. Some venues reopened on a very limited basis earlier this year. Voters had rejected a .2 mill levy for five years in November 2010 by a 30,619 to 28,881 vote.

In the only head-to-head battle for a county office, Hanover Mayor Duane Hayes Flowers upset incumbent County Commissioner Brad Feightner in the Republican primarily. Flowers’ victory is tantamount to election since Democrats didn’t field a candidate. Flowers garnered 9,490 votes to 8,642 for Feightner and 2,156 for Licking Township resident Seth E. Elllinton.

County Commissioner Tim Bubb ran unopposed in the Republican primary tallying 16,610. He will face Democrat and former Newark and Buckeye Lake Village Development Director Daniel Boone Coffman in November. Coffman received 4,406 in his unopposed bid for the nomination.

There will be only one more contested race for a county office in November. Incumbent Recorder Bryan A. Long faces Democrat challenger Doug Moreland. Both were unopposed in the primary. Long garnered 16,2311 votes; Moreland received 4,656.

Five county office incumbents were not opposed in the Republican primary and will not face Democrat opponents in the fall. They are:

• Sheriff Randy Thorp - 17,783 votes Tuesday;

• Prosecutor Kenneth W. Oswalt - 16,087 votes;

• Treasurer Scott K. Ryan - 16,487 votes;

• Clerk of Common Pleas Court Gary R. Walter - 16,770 votes; and

• Engineer William C. Lozier - 15,657 votes.

Both Lozier and Ryan were appointed to their posts. Michael E. Campolo ran unopposed in the Republican primary to replace retiring Coroner Robert P. Raker. He tallied 16,637 votes and will not face a Democrat candidate in November.

County voters also approved a 1 mill renewal levy for five years for the county board of developmental disabilities by a 19,371 to 11,956 vote.

In Franklin Township, voters narrowly approved two mill renewal levies for three years for fire protection, and roads and bridges. The votes were 313 to 289 and 317 to 287 respectively. Voters soundly rejected both levies last November when trustees characterized them as renewals when they were actually replacements which would have increased taxes.

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