Eight candidates met Wednesday’s deadline to file to run for Oberlin city council, making for an interesting musical chairs-style race this fall.
Council members Scott Broadwell and Sharon Fairchild-Soucy cannot run due to term limits. But incumbents Bryan Burgess, Sharon Pearson, Ronnie Rimbert, Kelley Singleton, and Linda Slocum will all seek reelection.
They will be challenged by Heather Adelman and former council members William Jindra and Kristin Peterson.
With seven seats open, only one candidate will be denied by voters on Nov. 7. The field is much smaller this year than in 2015, when 15 candidates sought office.
Oberlin council races are nonpartisan and candidates file in August instead of appearing on the spring primary ballot.
That’s also true of township and many village races, such as in Camden Township, where James Hozalski and Gus Ristas are shoe-ins to keep their trustee seats, barring a longshot write-in campaign by a third candidate.
Connie Karney will serve as Camden fiscal officer through March 31, 2020.
In Henrietta Township, Ronald Baumann and Joseph Knoble are unopposed for two open trustee seats.
Kipton has four council seats open and four candidates: Adrienne Cornelius, Karol Cornelius, Judy Wiele, and Cindy Wiles.
New Russia Township has two open seats and two trustee candidates: Patti Brubaker and Jack Hoyt.
Mark McConnell and Forrest Mohrman are running for two Pittsfield Township trustee seats and Mandy Cecil will serve as fiscal officer through March 31, 2020.
The largest race in our area is for three open seats on the Oberlin board of education.
Incumbents Albert Borroni and Anne Schaum have filed to seek reelection against a slate of seven challengers: Samuel Baker, Laura Jones, Isabella Moreno, Sandra Redd, Steven Thompson, Jason Williams, and Kenneth Yancey.
Firelands will also have a contended school board race. Ben Gibson and Daniel Pycraft will run to keep their seats with challenges from Bob Danicki and Joshua Frederick.
The ballot could still change. The Lorain County Board of Elections will certify candidates’ petitions by Aug. 18, and potentially disqualify any who did not turn in enough valid signatures to run.
The News-Tribune will send surveys to all local candidates in September and publish their responses prior to Election Day.
The November ballot will also feature a number of issues for our readers to consider.
State Issue 1 is a proposed constitutional amendment to better define crime victims’ rights. It calls for victims to be notified of major court proceedings and case developments, to allowed to be present at court proceedings, to speak with a prosecutor before any plea deals are made, and to be heard at plea, sentencing, and parole hearings.
If passed, victims would also receive restitution from the convicted party and be able to refuse interviews and depositions that are requested by the accused during the legal process.
The measure has bipartisan support among prosecutors and law enforcement officials, but has been criticized by defense attorneys who say it would give victims more rights than the accused, who are innocent until proven guilty.
State Issue 2 seeks to put the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act in place through a referendum. It would require state agencies to buy prescription drugs at a cost that matches or is lower than what the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays.
The VA negotiates prescription prices up to a fourth less, and the Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices says Issue 2 would force pharmaceutical companies to lower prices.
Ohioans could save about $400 million per year, the group argues. Funding for the ballot push comes mainly from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
A counter-group called Deceptive RX Issue, backed by a prescription drug company CEO, says Issue 2 would raise prices.
Lorain County voters will also get to vote on:
• A 0.065-mill renewal levy for tuberculosis clinic services, which are required under state law.
• A 0.5-mill renewal for 911 emergency services.
• A 0.08-mill renewal for the Lorain County Drug Task Force.
Oberlin voters will also get to weigh in on the continuation of a fifth percent of a one percent income tax for operating and capital expenses for 10 years, as well as reversal of the city’s decision on Renewal Energy Credits and whether they are applied to the Sustainable Reserve Program.
Henrietta Township voters will be asked to renew and decrease a fire levy at 0.75 mills and pass a one-mill addition for roads and bridges.
The Central Lorain County Ambulance District will ask voters for a 1.15-mill renewal for operations over five years.
The Oberlin City Schools are asking for both a 0.75 percent income tax renewal and a 1.3-mill renewal for technology.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.