Election results certified

Tiffin school, Clinton Twp. races remain undecided

A 6-mill property tax levy for Fostoria officially was approved while two other local races still are undecided.

Seneca County Board of Elections met Tuesday evening to count absentee ballots and make decisions on provisional ballots. During the meeting, the board certified results from the Nov. 7 election.

According to information from the board, the Fostoria levy was approved with 1,100 votes for and 1,044 against, or 51.3 percent in favor.

The levy, which is to help fund safety services, Is part of a financial recovery plan created by a special committee formed by the city and State Auditor’s office after the city was placed in fiscal emergency by the state. It is to raise about $3.5 million over five years.

Mayor Eric Keckler said the levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $210 in additional property taxes annually.

Jonathon Puffenberger, who chaired a committee that aimed to get the levy approved, said passage is to help the city get out of fiscal emergency within five years.

According to information from the state auditor’s office, the tax increase will create a projected carryover of $1,946,297 after five years. The city must have a three-month carryover — about $1.8 million — after five years to restore its fiscal health.

Fostoria Police Chief Keith Loreno said the department appreciates levy passage.

“It’s very important to us for the continuation of our operations,” he said.

Loreno said the funding would not create new positions but would replace officers who were lost in recent years.

Councilman Brian Shaver thanked voters who supported the levy.

“It’s exciting news,” he said.

Shaver said he takes the result as an endorsement from most voters.

“Those people do believe in Fostoria, they believe in the future of Fostoria,” he said.

Shaver said it was a close vote, so he believes city leaders must work harder to prove they will spend tax money wisely.

“Because it was close, we have to give more effort to prove to (those who opposed the levy) their money is not wasted,” he said.

Puffenberger agreed.

“Now that the voters have passed this crucial legislation for the future of our city, we must remain vigilant as a community to make sure our leaders, city administration and city council, spend wisely and in the best interest of the residents,” he said. “Government must be transparent to the people in its dealings for the people.”

The board of elections also ruled that two races are to have a recount.

The Tiffin City School Board race and the Clinton Township trustee race are to be recounted at noon Nov. 29.

In the school board race, three seats were available and Jeffrey Hoyda, who got 2,880 votes or 33.6 percent, and Christopher Widman, who earned 1,999 votes or 23.3 percent, won seats.

Victor Perez received 1,846 votes, or 21.56 percent of the vote, which was seven votes more than Randall C. Schwartz, who got 21.47 percent of the vote.

The percentage difference of votes between the two was less than 0.1 percent, triggering an automatic recount.

In the trustee race, two seats were available and Dennis E. Moyer received the most votes, with 793, or 38 percent.

Jim Distel received 647 votes, narrowly edging out Dennis Kingseed, who had 645. The percentage difference of votes between the two was less than 0.1 percent.