Buckeye Lake fire levy defeated
NEWARK – Most local and county-wide races in Licking County drew little attention from voters focused on the presidential and state-level races. One candidate for county commissioner was unopposed and incumbent Tim Bubb faced an independent candidate James Snedden Jr. Bubb was easily reelected by a 49,992 to 17,086 margin. All vote tallies are unofficial at this point.
With the exception of the contest for county recorder, the incumbent prosecuting attorney, clerk of common pleas court, sheriff, treasurer, engineer and coroner were all unopposed. Incumbent county recorder Bryan A. Long easily defeated challenger Doug Moreland by a 43,739 to 26,208 vote.
A notable exception in the lake-area was Buckeye Lake Village’s bid to renew for five years its five-mill fire levy. Approval of fire levies is typically routine and six of the seven fire levies on the Licking County ballot were approved Tuesday. In the lakearea, Bowling Green Township voters renewed a one-mill fire levy for five years by a 472-314 tally, Licking Township voters tax will be collected through 2013. The proposed 1.75 percent tax would be limited to earned income - excluding retirement and investment income - an option that didn’t exist until 2006. Board members took that option to give “a break to those on fixed incomes.” The tax would still raise about $1.2 million a year for operating expenses.. The higher rate - 1.75 versus 1.25 percent - is required to maintain the current income since it will be assessed on a smaller tax base.
Voters turned down the revised tax by a 1,300 to 794 vote. Superintendent Dale Dickson was disappointed by the margin of defeat. “We are going to look forward,” he told The Beacon Wednesday. “We have a year to work with,” Dickson added. “We need to ramp up our education efforts (on the revised tax).”
“We work real hard to control costs,” he said. The income tax raised $1,148,416 last fiscal year, representing 18 percent of the district’s $6.2 million budget. The district has two more opportunities - May and next November - to seek voter approval before tax collection is affected.
In other Fairfield County races, Millersport business owner and Millersport Council President David Levacy was elected to replace retiring Judy Shupe as a county commissioner. He defeated perennial candidae George C. Hallarn by a 38,329 to 25,313 margin for a four-year term.
When The Beacon tracked down Levacy Wednesday, he was already at work even though he won’t take office until January. He was filling in for Shupe at a meeting in Delaware. Levacy said the first issue he will face is helping select a permanent county economic development director. Next up is taking a serious look at the location and funding for a new jail that could cost $40 million. Supporting law enforcement to address crines caused by drug issues is another priority.
Levacy is the first northeastern county resident to serve as a county commissioner in recent history or memory.
Incumbent County Commissioner Stephen Davis, who was appointed in January 2011 to fill the last two years of former Commissioner Jon Myers’ unexpired term, defeated Reed Bailey by a 38,739 to 24,082 vote. The incumbent prosecutor, sheriff, clerk of common pleas court, recorder, treasurer and county engineer were all unopposed for reelection.