Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 3:57 PM
By: Richard Wilson, Will Garbe - Staff Writer
Greene County voters put new faces in office and approved three tax requests in Beavercreek that will provide revenue for city streets, township parks and school district operations.
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Turnout at the polls was low as expected Tuesday at approximately 29 percent, according to the unofficial, final results from the Greene County Board of Elections.
The board will certify the results at 4 p.m. Nov. 22, according to Elections Board Director Llyn McCoy.
At 64 to 36 percent, voters overwhelmingly approved a new tax to support and improve Beavercreek Twp.’s two parks: Victory Park, which contains the all-access playground Owen’s Place, and Beavercreek Community Park.
“We were very pleased,” said Ernie Muller, board chairman for the Beavercreek Twp. Park District. “I think it shows we sized the levy to the right amount to keep these parks in good shape at a reasonable cost.”
The parks levy, which costs about $3.50 a year for the owner of a $200,000 home, will generate about $90,000 a year. Park district officials will be in talks with the city of Beavercreek to provide park maintenance services, like mowing. Muller added that the new revenue will also be considered for park improvements, like adding a bathroom by Owen’s Place.
At 55 to 45 percent, voters in Beavercreek City Schools handily passed the 6-mill substitute emergency levy that voters turned down in the spring.
The levy currently generates about $10.4 million a year at a cost of approximately $210 for every $100,000 of home value. Because this was a substitute, the levy now does not have an expiration date and could generate more annual revenue as more people move into the district.
Beavercreek Schools Spokesman Ryan Gilding issued a statement Tuesday night after results came in.
“We want to thank our community for their continued support,” Gilding said. “Passage of this levy will allow Beavercreek City Schools to realize financial stability now and into the future. More importantly, our district will continue to provide the same high level of services students and families deserve.”
Beavercreek voters also said “yes” to renewing the 1-mill street levy, at 73 to 27 percent.
The street levy generates approximately $1.3 million a year, or about 22.5 percent of the street department’s annual budget, and costs property owners approximately $31 per $100,000 of value each year.
In the race for three Beavercreek City Council seats, incumbent Bob Stone came out on top with 46 percent of the votes, followed by newcomers Joanna Garcia, who received 42 percent of the votes, and Ryan Rushing, who received the most votes of the two write-in candidates.
Garcia is new to public office and new to the Miami Valley. An attorney and Youngstown native, Garcia said she hopes “to bring a different and unique perspective” to bear on city finances and how to maintain infrastructure.
“I also hope to focus on how we can better use technology to improve services and reduce expense,” she said. “While we have limited resources, we are a growing city, and so my goal is to be sure that any time we make any kind of investments, it is tied to our strategic goals so we are delivering the results that people expect.”
Stone said voters helped answer one of the biggest challenges facing the city — finding the funds needed to maintain streets.
“We’re trying to stabilize our funding. Without an income tax, we seem to be going to the ballot every three to five years,” Stone said. “I want to try to make people feel good about where they live.”
In the race for two Xenia City Council seats, incumbent Wesley Smith was reelected with 21.5 percent of the vote, but the top vote-getter was newcomer Levi P. Dean, who received 33 percent of the vote.
“I’m excited to get to work for the citizens of Xenia and excited to bring about some change,” Dean said Wednesday morning.
Councilwoman Sarah J. Mays ran unopposed and will be Xenia’s next mayor. She will assume the office in January, and City Council will then appoint someone to serve the remainder of her unexpired term as a council member.
Paul Keller, Fairborn’s deputy mayor, won a decisive victory in the mayoral race. Keller won 80 percent of the vote against challenger and political newcomer Ethan Long. Incumbent mayor Dan Kirkpatrick could not run again due to term limits.
Robert Hoffman and Donna Wilson will return to Fairborn City Council along with Colin Morrow. Rodney McCubbins came in fourth, edging him out of the three seats up for grabs.