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Govt & Politics

From Grove City to Grandview: What poll results will mean for you

614now Staff



The wins of two Muslim women and an openly gay candidate made 2018 another record-breaking year in the United States midterm elections.

But how did things pan out around here?

Thanks to the hardworking reporters who tirelessly monitored the poll numbers throughout the night, we’re able to bring you the unofficial results of both local and statewide ballot issues.


Bexley voters say yes to streets levy

  • A 3.5-mill replacement levy will replace an existing 2.5-mill permanent levy that voters passed in 2002. According to the city’s estimates, the replacement levy will generate approximately $780,000 in new funding per year, and will cost property owners an estimated additional $50 per $100,000 of property valuation. –The Week News


Powell voters shoot down proposed income-tax increase

  • Would have been the city’s first income-tax increase in 27 years –The Week News
  • Would have raised the city’s income tax from 0.75 percent to 1.15 percent while increasing the tax credit from 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent for residents who live in Powell but work in and pay income taxes to another municipality –The Week News

Delaware County library, DD levies pass with ease

  • New library to be built in the Powell area –The Week News
  • Will provide various funding and a new Powell library, and a permanent operating levy for the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities –The Week News
  •  1-mill levy renewal for the library is expected to raise about $5 million in 2018 –The Week News

Delaware County townships: Voters approve funds for new Genoa police station, OK other township issues

  • New building for Genoa Township Police Department at the northwest corner of Big Walnut Road and state Route 3 –This Week News
  •  0.4-mill, four-year replacement fire levy for the Harlem Township Fire Department –This Week News
  • 7.0-mill, three-year fire/EMS renewal levy for the Orange Township Fire Department –This Week News



Dublin City Schools voters overwhelmingly support bond-levy

  • Will build new schools and maintain and improve existing structures –This Week News


Gahanna’s tax issue fails in close vote

  • Would have raised the city’s income-tax rate from 1.5 to 2.5 percent –This Week News
  • Set to generate $2.7 million in additional revenue the first year of collection, $6.4 million in the second year and $9 million when fully implemented in the third year –This Week News

Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff

Grandview Heights Schools will revamp, replace buildings after Issue 6′s close victory

  • The $55.25 million facilities plan will include:
    • construction of a new grade 4-8 building on the current site of Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School
    • substantial improvements to Grandview Heights High School
    • construction of a connector between the high school and the new 4-8 building.
  • Improvements to Stevenson Elementary School and other school buildings will be limited to safety and security and ADA compliance –This Week News

Issues roundup: Voters in Grandview reject green-space initiative, overturn council’s marijuana decision

  • Would have revised the Green Space Overlay District along Goodale Boulevard –This Week News
  • Overturned the the 4-2 vote in April that banned medical-marijuana dispensaries in the city –This Week News

Grove City

Wise: Promises made, kept helps South-Western City Schools bond issue win

  • The district will move forward with plans to construct new middle school buildings at:
    • Brookpark
    • Finland
    • Norton
    • Pleasant View middle schools
  • Make renovations at Jackson Middle School and East Franklin Elementary School –This Week News


Approved charter amendment means Hilliard will switch from “strong mayor model” to city manager

  • City Council will set a direction for the city and the city manager would be tasked with the day-to-day operations of the city –This Week News
  • The change in governance to a city manager will not begin until Jan. 1, 2020 –This Week News
  • Mayor Don Schonhardt will complete his fourth term as mayor which expires Dec. 31, 2019 –This Week News


Pickerington Public Library’s permanent operations levy headed to passage

  • Voters agreed to renew the 0.75-mill levy and approved adding an additional 0.50 mills. –This Week News
  • The 1.25-mill levy is expected to generate $1.45 million annually to help fund operations, according to Tony Howard, library director. –This Week News

Fix wins Fairfield County commissioner race

  • Jeff Fix, 53, has been on Pickerington City Council for 13 years, is the vice president of business development for RDP Foodservice, and the chairman of the county’s Republican Party. –Columbus Dispatch
  • Fix will take the seat currently held by Republican Mike Kige. –Columbus Dispatch

Upper Arlington

Upper Arlington voters OK city charter changes


Blendon Township roundup: Police levy wins easily

  • Will provide and maintain police vehicles and other equipment and covering salaries for officers, communications needs, and operational costs –This Week News
  • The Point liquor store at Otterbein, 60 Collegeview Road, was approved –This Week News


Whitehall schools bond-levy, city charter amendments approved

  • Build an addition to Rosemore Middle School –This Week News
  • Replace natural grass with artificial turf at Whitehall-Yearling High School –This Week News



Worthington Schools’ bond and levy requests approved by large margins

  • Issue 9 will be used to upgrade technology in schools, purchase new buses and help rebuild Perry and Worthingway middle schools –This Week News
  • Issue 10 will be used to pay for operating costs –This Week News
    • estimated to generate $2.9 million in fiscal 2019, $7.9 million in fiscal 2020, $12 million in fiscal 2021, $16 million in fiscal 2022 and $18 million in the years following

Residents give Worthington permission to explore electricity aggregation

  • Will allow city leaders to consider whether to become a governmental aggregator and pool the community’s purchasing power to negotiate a bulk price and potentially lower electricity bills. –This Week News

Perry Township’s renewal levy for roads and streets approved

  • Will help pay for “general construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of streets, roads and bridges,” according to the board of elections. –This Week News


DeWine wins governor’s race, leading GOP repeat sweep Columbus Dispatch

Republicans sweep downticket statewide races Columbus Dispatch

  • Dave Yost won as attorney general
  • Robert Sprague as treasurer
  • Frank LaRose as secretary of state
  • Keith Faber as auditor

U.S. Senate: Democrat Sherrod Brown wins third term Columbus Dispatch

Voters reject statewide Issue 1

  • Would have reduced prison sentences for felony drug offenders and instead offer a quicker path to rehabilitation –Columbus Dispatch

Democrats Michael Donnelly, Melody Stewart win seats on Ohio Supreme Court Columbus Dispatch

Republican Troy Balderson wins U.S. House seat over Danny O’Connor Columbus Dispatch

Franklin County

Democrats win Franklin County commissioner, auditor races

  • Democratic Columbus City Councilman Michael Stinziano beat incumbent Republican Clarence Mingo to win the Franklin County auditor’s race –Columbus Dispatch
  • Democratic county Commissioner Marilyn Brown won a fourth term, defeating Republican challenger Michele Reynolds –Columbus Dispatch

Former social worker wins race for new Franklin County judgeship 

  • Monica Hawkins wins a seat as a magistrate in Franklin County Probate Court –Columbus Dispatch

Democrat defeats state Rep. Jim Hughes in Franklin County judicial race

  • Democrat Karen Phipps beats Republican Jim Hughes –Columbus Dispatch
  • Jaiza Page, a Democratic member of Columbus City Council, ahead of Republican Bill Creedon –Columbus Dispatch
  • Kim Brown, a Democrat completing her first term on the court, beats Republican Michael Cassone –Columbus Dispatch
  • Democrat Stephen L. McIntosh, won without opposition –Columbus Dispatch

Metro Parks levy up big in early voting; would add parks, trails

  • Will allow the district to buy more land and build parks while creating more trails and programs to attract visitors. –Columbus Dispatch
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Govt & Politics

Ginther names two independent entities for administrative and criminal review of CPD




Mayor Andrew J. Ginther addressed masked members of the media at the Michael B. Coleman Government Center on Wednesday. In the mayor’s address, Ginther gave an update on who would be heading the investigations into police response to protests. 

“I challenge the FOP in joining the community in demanding change and reform,” Ginther said during the press conference.

Ned Pettus, Director of Public Safety, introduced Ginther before he announced the two independent entities charged with completing an administrative and criminal review of the Columbus Division of Police.

The law firm BakerHostetler is being brought in to review cases that require administrative action outside of police policy and are open for discipline with the CPD. So far 40 incidents have been identified for referral to the law firm.

A professional investigator, also a retired FBI agent, will be brought in to review 16 incidents that may result in criminal charges. The name of the professional investigator has not yet been disclosed.

Although Ginther mentioned that the images of the use of pepper spray by the CPD “don’t live up to community or (his) standards,” he did support the continued use of it being dispersed amongst peaceful protestors who were impeding traffic. Ginther did bring up that the city has encouraged peaceful protestors to stay on sidewalks.

Ginther also announced the workgroup that would help establish the future civilian review board, which is slated  for creation by the end of the year Those city officials include:

·        Jasmine Ayres, community organizer, People's Justice Project

·        Fred Benton, attorney

·        Bo Chilton, President and CEO, Impact Community Action

·        Dr. Lewis Dodley, IMPACT Community Action

·        Stephanie Hightower, President and CEO of Columbus Urban League

·        Pastor Frederick LaMarr, President, Baptist Pastors Conference

·        Kent Markus, General/Bar Counsel, Columbus Bar Association

·        Jonathan McCombs, Dean of College of Health and Public Administration, Franklin University

·        Ismail Mohammad, attorney, Ismail Law Office

·        Densil R. Porteous, Chair, Create Columbus

·        Aslyne Rodriguez, Director of Government Affairs, COTA

·        Janay Stevens, President, John Mercer Langston Bar Association, Associate, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

·        Kyle Strickland, Senior Legal Analyst, Kirwin Institute

·        Erin Synk, Director of Government Relations, LNE Group

·        Nana Watson, President, NAACP Columbus

·        Anthony Wilson, Vice President National Organization of Black Law Enforcement - Columbus Chapter

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Govt & Politics

Elizabeth Brown hosts virtual public hearing on demilitarization of police




President Pro Tempore and Finance Committee Chair Elizabeth Brown and several other Columbus City Council members held a virtual finance committee public hearing Tuesday afternoon that lasted long into the evening. The hearing was held to “discuss equipment purchased for and allowed to be purchased for by the police department.”

“I believe that in this country...we strive to have community-based safety forces,” Brown said during the hearing. “I believe for the protection of our residents, for that to exist, there should be a covenant between police and people that we are on the same side.”

In 2015, then-President Barack Obama issued an executive order limiting the amount of military-grade gear going to police departments. In that executive order, there were two lists of military-grade weapons: prohibited and controlled.

In 2017, President Donald Trump rescinded that executive order, effectively opening the door to the militarization of police departments across the country.

Deputy Chief Michael Woods thoroughly listed the use of certain military-style equipment, not limited to weapons, and physical purchases by the Columbus Division of Police. Deputy Woods outlined the equipment that the CPD doesn’t possess as well.

Some of the prohibited items discussed included: 

  • Trekked armored vehicles – none owned by CPD
  • Weaponized aircraft vessels /vehicles of any kind – none owned by CPD
  • Firearms and ammunition of 50 caliber or higher – none owned by CPD
  • Grenade launchers – none, but do use gas guns ($936 each)
  • Camouflage uniforms – CPD wears a woodland pattern ($316/uniform)

Some of the controlled items discussed included:

  • Helicopters – CPD ranks higher in helicopter fleet (six helicopters)
  • Riot shields and batons – haven’t purchased new ones in 15 years ($200 each)
  • Tasers
  • M16 military rifles and gas guns
  • Armored vehicles

There are arguments to be made on both sides when it comes to using military-grade equipment. For example, the roar of helicopters may incite fear in communities, but they provide valuable community resources in locating missing persons or during natural disasters. And if their use is valid, is six excessive and even wasteful?

Columbus residents were encouraged to submit written testimony to Brown’s office and participate in the virtual press conference. Columbus City Council received an outpouring of community engagement, including 906 written comments and 69 speaker testimonies. Many spoke in length about the unprovoked and violent force used by the police since the protests started at the end of May.

“The overwhelming public engagement we received is more evidence of the urgent need to think differently about how we keep every resident safe in our city. I’m grateful to the nearly 1,000 people who lent their voices. I also appreciate (the) Division of Police personnel for providing information to Council and residents — they answered some important questions, and we will continue to ask more questions. Creating public policy is not just putting words on paper; it’s about making a difference in people’s lives. We are all better prepared for that job by having given residents the mic last night.”

President Pro Tempore and Finance Committee Chair Elizabeth Brown said in a statement to (614)

Those who spoke included the Department of Finance Director Joe Lombardi, Public Safety and Veterans’ Affairs Chair Mitchell J. Brown, Director of Public Safety Ned Pettus, and several other council members.

Before the list of prohibited and controlled equipment was outlined by Woods, Lombardi went through the process that the city goes through when setting a specific budget. Here is the procedure for 2021:

  • The budget process begins in June, and the Department of Finance puts together target budgets; target budgets are based on estimates of available resources from following fiscal year
  • A series of meetings will take place between August and October
  • Budget is adopted in February

(614) reached out to the CPD for comment after the press conference and had not received a response at the time of publishing.

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Govt & Politics

Columbus City Council announces additional steps toward police reform




On Thursday, Columbus city council members discussed short and long-term public safety reform measures and opportunities for the public to sit in on a finance committee hearing about the allocation of policing funds.

More dollars toward safe, sanitary public housing; less money spent on militarizing the police. 

City Council President Shannon Hardin began the conversation with a message to the public to hold city council members accountable for the steps toward reform outlined on Thursday.

After it was announced by city officials on June 30 that the Columbus police would no longer be permitted to use chemical agents on peaceful protesters, a group downtown was sprayed on Sunday, according to a report from the Columbus Dispatch.

“We know that the current system isn’t (keeping every resident safe.)”

Elizabeth Brown, Columbus City Council President Pro Tempore

In an effort to continue to improve community relations with police, Columbus City Councilmembers announced four critical short-term measures to continue to slowly reform the police.

Those short-term measures include:

  1. No more no-knock raids
  2. Hate-group background checks for police
  3. Demilitarization of police
  4. Executive order allowing outside independent investigations

Hardin mentioned that a legislative package passing this reform would go into effect by the end of July. He also announced that there would be a finance committee hearing on June 30, where they would discuss what equipment Columbus police is allowed to purchase and use in our city.

“We do write laws and we do pass budgets,” Hardin said.

Brown also discussed the importance of the demilitarization of police and using those funds for investing in Black communities.

“This is our moment to act,” Hardin said. “We have the opportunity to move legislation...that will change our city forever.”

Hardin also mentioned that Columbus residents will be updated on the long-term reform the city has planned for the Columbus Division of Police. This includes providing better resources to mental health specialists and social workers so that they have the proper tools to handle the problems that the police aren’t equipped to do.

Hardin also announced that there will be a safety advisory commission held in July.

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