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Local voters talk issues, taxes

October 29, 2012
By Sam Shawver ( , The Marietta Times

In a "swing state" like Ohio the U.S. presidential race has tended to overshadow other issues that are also important to area voters.

On a rainy Sunday afternoon local folks seemed to have taxes on their minds-especially the proposed Washington County Childrens Services Levy.

"I don't want to see any more taxes-although I do understand the need to serve those kids," said Warren Street resident Robyn Young.

"There are too many taxes already-we're being taxed to death," she said.

Lee Strecker of Front Street agreed, saying he wouldn't support another levy.

"They've just raised our property taxes-I have a rental property on Harmar Hill and the property tax was raised $200," he said. "I'm not in favor of raising taxes at all."

The proposed 1.46-mill 10-year Children Services Levy would translate to about $45 annually per $100,000 property valuation. The levy would restore the local school outreach prevention program and provide a prevention specialist in all six school districts.

Seventh Street resident and retired educator Kay Goff believes levies aimed at helping children and education is worth voter support.

"I would like to see people support this levy," she said. "I worked with the West Virginia Department of Education, and for the last 10 years I worked with troubled youths. Troubled kids are near and dear to my heart-they just need some extra attention. And it takes money to operate these programs."

Back on Warren Street attorney Rustin Funk also talked about the Children Services Levy.

"I think the vote will be close on that issue," he said. "There are many people who will support it, but others say they simply can't afford more taxes."

As an attorney Funk said he's also interested in how the Washington County Common Pleas Judge race between Democrat Randy Burnworth and Republican Mark Kerenyi will turn out.

And one ballot issue Funk said he's definitely against is state Issue 2 that creates a state-funded commission to draw Ohio's legislative and congressional districts.

If approved, the process would allow the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court to appoint eight appeals court judges (four from each party) who would then select an initial pool of 42 qualified individuals that would eventually be narrowed down to a 12-member commission.

"I think that's a real mistake-it's getting the judicial system mixed in with the legislative branch of government," Funk said.

Front Street resident Bill Wilkinson said he's relatively new to the Marietta area and wasn't familiar enough with the local issues to comment. But he did express some frustration with the current election.

"I'm tired of all the mudslinging that's going on, and I'll be glad when the election is over," he said. "I want to see a candidate's real platform, not these continuous negative ads of one candidate against another. All they're telling us is what the other guy doesn't stand for."



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