The 2020 campaign is nearly upon us

LISBON — Tuesday’s election may be over, but others are already looking ahead to the next one.

Rachel Ketterman, director of the county Department of Job and Family Services, met Wednesday with county commissioners to begin the process of placing two renewal levies on the March 2020 primary election ballot.

At the request of Ketterman, commissioners adopted resolutions asking the county auditor’s office to determine and certify how much the two levies would generate, the first step that must be taken before commissioners can put them on the March 17 primary election ballot.

Because 2020 is a presidential election year, Ohio moved the primary election up two months from the traditional May date so the state could play a larger role in determining the Democratic and Republican nominees for president. As a result, the filing deadline was moved from early February to Dec. 18 for anyone wanting to run in the primary and for placing issues on the ballot.

The two levies Ketterman is asking be renewed are a 0.75-mill Children Services levy last passed in 2014 and a 0.5-mill senior services levy, which was approved by voters for the first time in 2015. Both run for five years.

The Children Services levy is used to provide foster care and related services for neglected and abused children. It currently costs the owner of a $100,000 home $23 a year in property taxes.

The senior care levy provides expanded home care and other adult protective services to residents 60 years and older. The levy currently costs the owner of $100,000 home $15 a year in property taxes.

In other action, commissioners agreed to transfer $40,000 in unappropriated funds to the sheriff’s office for the purchase of a new police interceptor from a Tallmadge dealership through the state purchasing program.

Commissioner Mike Halleck said Sheriff Ray Stone usually purchases replacement vehicles with money from the fees his office receives from conducting sheriff sales of foreclosed properties. The pot of money has shrunk as the number of foreclosures has declined in recent years, which is why commissioners are using the money from unappropriated funds to purchase the vehicle.