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 Published by the League of Women Voters of the Akron Area Education Fund


This publication has been issued by the League of Women Voters of the Akron Area to provide a forum for all political candidates.  The materials contained in this publication were assembled in the following manner:  Questions were selected by the League of Women Voters and addressed to the candidates.  Candidates were informed that their responses would be printed in their own words, which in fact has been done, and that each would be solely responsible for the contents of the replies.  The League of Women Voters in publishing this material neither endorses nor rejects the view of any candidate quoted and does not and cannot assume responsibility for the contents of any candidate’s reply.  Materials in this Voters Guide may not be reproduced or altered without written consent of the League of Women Voters.



Vote for no more than 3 – Term commences 01/01/10 





MICHELLE M. DIMEFF   956 Jefferson Ave.      Akron OH 44302


Did not respond


JEFF FUSCO            2117 Forest Oak Drive           Akron OH 44312        Age: 50


QUESTION 1:    I retired from the city of Akron in 2007. Before that I was a Deputy Service Director 1997 to 2007. I was on Akron City Council from 1986 to 1997. I graduated from St. Vincent St. Mary High school, attended the University of Akron and graduated from Leadership Akron.

QUESTION 2:   Continuing to compete for jobs in the global economy for Akron's residents is the most urgent issue facing Akron. We need to revisit and create a way to provide a college education for our youth and work force. I will work to find a supportable option. 

 QUESTION 3:   For the long run, Akron needs to look for cost cutting measures with Summit County and others by combining services. For the short run cost cutting measures need to be explored before layoffs are used and services are cut. Ideas for cutting cost can be found from our city workers.


DAVID J. KIRSCHBAUM 156 N. Highland Ave.                        Akron OH 44303


Did not respond.


LINDA OMOBIEN              2104 Brookshire Rd.   Akron OH 44313        Age:  56


QUESTION 1:    A 20+ year licensed mental health administrator with a Master’s degree in  Community Counseling. I served as President thrice in my 16 year tenure on the Akron Board of Education, the third largest employer in the City. I served on the board that oversees Akron’s largest $800 mil rebuilding project.  

QUESTION 2:   Most urgent issue facing the city is the economy, loss of jobs and homes.  If elected, will work to attract businesses, continue the school rebuilding project which is jointly overseen by the city and school district and apply for all Federal Stimulus dollars to create jobs, and rapidly rehouse individuals.             

QUESTION 3:  First step would be developing a list of positions that are critical,  and eliminating positions that are not absolutely necessary, beginning  with part-timers, and as-needed employees.  Ask department heads to reduce their budgets by a certain percentage.  Freeze all hirings, salary increases, and reduce overtime.  Discontinue discretionary programs and activities.    


DAVID M. SUTTER              860 Jonathan Lane      Akron OH 44333        Age:  48


QUESTION 1:  I graduated from the University of Akron in 1984 with Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.  I am President of Excelsior Marking, a small manufacturing company located in Akron.  I have no previous political experience.  I will bring new, impartial ideas to help the city grow and remain strong.

QUESTION 2:  We need to work at helping our existing business base to grow and to attract new business to the area.  To help with this we need to make sure we have a well educated workforce.  We also need to provide support to our Police and Fire departments. 

QUESTION 3:  We need to look closely and make tough decisions regarding the cities budgets.  I would look at this with the experience of a business owner not as a politician worried about being re-elected.  Non-essential programs should be cut before we reduce the police and fire department workforce. 


MICHAEL D. WILLIAMS 1263 Country Club Rd.  Akron OH 44313   Age: 52


QUESTION 1:  Member of Akron City Council for 22 years. Served as the 4th Ward Councilman (10 years) and At-Large (12 years). Deputy Executive Director for Alpha Phi Alpha Homes, Inc. Graduate of Buchtel High (1975), Morehouse College (Bachelor of Arts 1980) and the University of Akron Law School (Juris Doctorate 1985). 

QUESTION 2:  Vacant properties and associated crime are the most important issue. It is discussed at every citizen meeting. While the current budget deficit is being acted upon, drastic cuts in the safety forces and Health Housing must be avoided. I will push for a budget that reflects citizen priorities and concerns. 

QUESTION 3:   The amount of taxpayer resources committed (debt – city income tax) to every economic development project must be carefully examined from a cost/benefit perspective. Future commitments must be severely limited or suspended. All non-essential spending must be eliminated; with a focus on maintaining an adequate police presence in our neighborhoods.



Vote for no more than 1 – Term commences  01/01/10 


JIM HURLEY                      1227 Clifton Ave.       Akron OH 44310        Age:  52


QUESTION 1:  I am currently the Ward 1 Councilman with 2 ½ years experience.  I was appointed for 6 months succeeding Danny Horrigan, and then elected, holding this position for two years.  I am a 1976 North High School graduate and a small business owner of J.P. Hurley Electric. 

QUESTION 2:  My primary concerns are our youth, and the climbing rate of empty houses and unkept landscapes.  I am currently working with people in the community that are implementing several youth programs, and also working with City department heads and various groups investing and repairing homes to revitalize our neighborhoods. 

QUESTION 3:  The City is being forced to cut back in all areas of our government.  I continue to work with the Mayor and fellow councilpersons, as well as City staff, to work through a very difficult time.  We are learning to become very creative in this process. 


CHARLY MURPHY           1117 Dayton St.                      Akron OH 44310


Did not respond.



Vote for no more than 1 – Term commences  01/01/10


BRUCE KILBY                   1750 Olalla Ave.         Akron OH 44305        Age:  58


 QUESTION  1:  EXPERIENCE:  I have served on Council for twelve years.  My service, unlike my opponent's, has been serving and representing the people not the politicians downtown. 

QUESTION  2:  NEIGHBORHOODS FIRST:  Unlike my opponent who said;  "We must continue to invest in downtown".  I want to invest in our neighborhoods that have been ignored. COMMUNITY POLICING:  We must reorganize the Police Department so that they are in the neighborhoods.  Before we can do that we must heal the bad relationship that exists between the police and the administration. 

QUESTION  3:  HOUSING:  Vacant and abandoned houses are a blithe on our neighborhoods.  There are eight thousand of them in our City.  We can use the stimulus money to keep and get families back in them.

JOSH SINES                         851 Ranney St.                       Akron OH 44310


Did not respond



Vote for no more than 1 – Term commences  01/01/10 


MARCO S. SOMMERVILLE        618 Copley Road        Akron OH 44320



Did not respond.



Vote for no more than 1 – Term commences  01/01/10 


RUSSEL C. NEAL, JR.       476 Moreley  Ave.      Akron OH 44320        Age:  47


QUESTION 1:  Resident in the ward over 38 years, I serve/served on various grassroots and community boards that address the needs of the ward and the city. Owner of Graffitti Print Shop, self-employed 20 years. Graduate of Buchtel High School and Ohio University, BA Management & Marketing.

QUESTION 2:  Develop a strong sense of community by networking businesses, block clubs, organizations and churches to form and communicate a common community vision and plan to address community concerns.                                                                   Get banks and faith based community to partner to address high number of foreclosed properties in area.

 QUESTION 3: To adequately answer this question need to review the last independent audit of the City's finances.                                                                                    Implement a hiring freeze in all city departments that are not related to the safety of the residents of Akron.                                                                                                          Work closey with Akron Chamber to recruit new business to area.




Vote for no more than 1 – Term commences  01/01/10 


KEN JONES                         767 Garfield St.          Akron OH 44310



Did not respond 



Vote for no more than 1 – Term commences  01/01/10 


ROBERT J. OTTERMAN  1969 Wells Creek Run   Akron OH 44312       Age:  77


QUESTION 1:  Retired High School teacher & counselor. B.A. Degree in Social Studies, M.A. in Adm. Both from the University of Akron, Former 6th Ward Councilman – 8 years, Former Akron City Councilman At Large – 22 years, Former Ohio State Representative, Former President of the All-Amer. Soap Box Derby 

QUESTION 2:  Economic Development & Jobs – good paying jobs. Work with the city adm. In every way. Have to tighten our belts, so we can ensure our city adm does the same.  How every tax dollar are spent wisely, so that we can spread our tax dollars the furthest. 

QUESTION 3:  Work to pass legislation to support locally-owned businesses.  Take the led in passing legislation in keeping major employers here in Akron (Goodyear-Firestone).  Work with local businesses, our number one priority.





Vote for no more than 1 – Term commences  01/01/10 

TINA MERLITTI                  304 Clinton Ave.         Akron OH 44301         Age:  38


QUESTION 1:  My over 12 years of experience in government helps me resolve issues quickly and bring resources to Ward 7.  I have been on City Council for 4 years.  I currently work as a Communication Specialist for the County of Summit.  Bachelors Degree in Political Science from The Ohio State University.

QUESTION 2:  Increase in rental properties and crime are problems.  Both of these issues can be resolved with increased community involvement.  I have been actively working to increase the number of block watches in Ward 7.  I will continue to support efficient innovations in law enforcement and housing inspection programs.

QUESTION 3:  We need to continue working with other government agencies to combine resources and efficiently utilize tax payer dollars.  Personnel cost, especially health care, has increased exponentially over the last several years.  A countywide health care package would save money not only for Akron but for all Summit County Communities. 


DUANE L. SCHRAMM, SR.             878 Austin Avenue      Akron OH 44306


Did not respond.



Vote for no more than 1 – Term commences  01/01/10 


SANDRA KURT        140 Mayfield Ave.      Akron OH 44313                     Age:  47


QUESTION 1:   As a degreed Industrial Engineer (Iowa State University, 1985), my career has focused on increasing efficiency and making the best use of resources.  City government will benefit from my instincts to get more out of what we have, through both fully leveraging our resources and engaging new and innovative practices.  

QUESTION 2:   My two concerns are ensuring that residents of Ward 8 receive the critical city services that they support financially and that residents receive timely responses from their councilperson.  I commit to providing the latter and will work with the city administration to address any gaps in the former. 

QUESTION 3:   My professional life has been dedicated to doing more with less and I will bring that sensibility to City Council.  We no longer have the luxury of maintaining the status quo. We must examine assumptions, assess the effectiveness of current practices, and be willing to make tough decisions. 


ELIZABETH BERRY SMITH          1529 Bryden Drive      Akron OH 44313


QUESTION 1:  Years in Court Administration, Graduate with a Bachelors Degree, Business Owner, Taxpayer, Long time resident. 

QUESTION 2:  We need to make sure our essential needs are secured;  Police, Fire and Rescue.  Our homes and family need to be safe and protected.  There is a high value added to a community with a strong police force and fire and rescue service.  People buy homes where they feel safe. 

QUESTION 3:    It is time to get back to basics.  The City needs to get back to fundamental services



Vote for no more than 1 – Term commences  01/01/10 


MIKE FREEMAN                  1914 19th Street SW     Akron OH 44314         Age:  52


QUESTION 1:  I have effectively served as councilperson for the past 8 years. I grew up in this ward and understand the concerns of my constituents. Occupation-Director of Planned Giving for The Salvation Army. Education, Kenmore High graduate, 1975, Massillon Baptist College, Bachelor of Divinity 1979

QUESTION 2:  Concern #1  - Loss of sense of community due to high rate of transients and non-invested residents.  Connect residents at different levels that encourages community. Concern #2 – Aging housing stock. Use of local organizations to assist those homeowners who cannot adequately care for their residence.

QUESTION 3:  Cuts to non-essential social activities, overhaul city employee health plan and introduce a co-pay to unions for consideration. Decrease city debt and thereby decrease the annual debt obligation. Police and fire should be absolute last cuts made




Vote for no more than 1 – Term commences  01/01/10 


KELLI CRAWFORD            1460 Seminola Avenue       Akron OH 44305 Age:  28


QUESTION 1:  Education: Graduate of the University of Akron, B.A. Business and Organizational Communication-Public Relations.  Currently employed as a Finance Consultant to the Ohio    Democratic Party.  Have worked in all three branches of government and understand how good government works.  As the incumbent, I have experience as Councilperson.

QUESTION 2:  Crime and vacant homes.  To continue forming and utilizing neighborhood watch groups, continue Ward and crime watch meetings and work to rebuild sense of community. Continue working with Health Department to board up vacant homes and work to secure additional funds for demolition or reconstruction.

QUESTION 3:  Continue to make short term cuts to extras such as overtime spent on community festivals and events, as well as production costs for these events.  Long term, we need to look at regionalism, to provide the same level of service by combining with other entities that provide the same services.  


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Vote for no more than 1 – Term commences 01/01/2010 

QUESTION 1:  Please list your education, occupation, training and experience. 

QUESTION 2:  Given the cost of incarceration, what specific alternatives to sentencing will you use and what approach will you take to decreasing the recidivism  (tendency to be a repeat offender) rate? 

QUESTION 3:  With the increase in collection and eviction actions, what could be done to help pro se (without lawyers) defendants navigate the system and not be disadvantaged?

JASON ADAMS       1830 Stabler Road      Akron OH 44313        Age:  46 

QUESTION 1:  J.D., University of Akron School of Law 1989, B.A. (economics), University of Akron 1985, Admissions: State of Ohio and Federal Court, Currently - Judicial Attorney and part-time Magistrate - Summit County Common Pleas Court (five years). Formerly - Assistant Summit County Prosecutor, private practice and small business owner. 

QUESTION 2:  To prevent unnecessary detention before trial, pretrial release programs are available for first time and low level offenders.  After plea, Family Violence, Mental Health, DUI, and Drug Courts offer diversionary programs to minimize recidivism.  For qualified probationers, community based programs are also available to reduce jail overcrowding and minimize recidivism.  

QUESTION 3:  Help is available for qualified individuals through Community Legal Aid.  Also, the Court could expand its mediation program and provide information on its website and with the initial Complaint explaining the judicial process, similar to foreclosure program implemented in the Summit County Common Pleas Court. 


JERRY K. LARSON           1256 Heather Lane     Akron OH 44313        Age:  44 

QUESTION 1:  I received my B.S.B.A. and J.D. from The University of Akron. For the past twenty years I have worked in the Municipal Court of Akron as Assistant City Prosecutor, Police Legal Advisor, and Chief Assistant City Prosecutor.  I am currently Judge of The Municipal Court of Akron. 

QUESTION 2:  Reliance on the Akron Specialty Courts such as Drug Court, Family Violence Court, DUI Court, Mental Health Court, and a proposed Veteran’s Court can address the underlying issues of criminal behavior that mere incarceration cannot.  The recidivism rate is low due to the specialized treatments offered by these courts. 

QUESTION 3:  Public awareness of the alternatives available to individuals before a collection or eviction case makes it to court is the best way to aid an individual.  Availability of the appropriate legal forms through public agencies or the Internet could aid a pro se defendant once in court.


MARYBETH MAXWELL    67 Castle Blvd.        Akron OH 44313        Age:  52

QUESTION 1:  1982-University of Akron, School of Law, JD, 1979-Bowling Green State University, BA, Certified to appear in all Ohio courts, 1996-Present- Attorney, owner of private practice, representing hundreds of clients in civil matters. 1983-1986                   Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Summit County, 1986-1995- Associate Attorney, Ruport Co., Akron, 1981-1982- Judicial Clerk, Summit County 

QUESTION 2:   I would create sentencing alternatives and decrease recidivism by establishing a court system allowing first-time offenders to delay sentencing until they have completed a rigorous program of up to one year.  Completion of this program would place a defendant on probation.  Defendants who fail the program would be sentenced as required by law. 

QUESTION 3:  To help pro se defendants navigate the system in collection and evict inactions, I would develop a printed court guide to aid them in organizing their position, including defenses, rights and presentation of evidence. I would explore the possibility of having advanced law students assist defendants in completing the guide.



Vote for no more than 1 – Unexpired term to end 12/31/2013

KATARINA COOK             2300 Amesbury Rd.    Akron OH 44313        Age: 45 

QUESTION 1:  1982-High School Diploma-Firestone High School-Akron, 1986-B.A. History & Psychology-University of Rochester-New York, 1990-J.D. University of Akron School of Law, 1993-1997-Assistant Prosecutor Stark County, 2003-2005-Mediator Summit County Common Pleas Court, 2005-2009-Full-time Magistrate Akron Municipal Court 

 QUESTION 2:   When I was a magistrate, I not only sentenced defendants, but I also educated them during my twice daily arraignments. I also made myself accessible after sentencing and guided them through the process. I plan to utilize Oriana House services such as house arrest, daily reporting, and work release programs. 

 QUESTION 3:  Volunteer Legal Services Project has staff attorneys and volunteer attorneys (such as myself) that provide workshops to teach people how to defend themselves and also do provide free legal services. In addition, Akron Bar Association offers a Modest Means Program, where attorneys take reduced fee cases for the financially needy.


ORLANDO WILLIAMS     1708 Karg Drive         Akron OH 44313        Age:  52 

QUESTION 1:  BA.  Bowling Green State University 1979; JD. University of Toledo College of Law 1985.  Judge Akron Municipal Court; Visiting Magistrate Akron Municipal Court; Attorney for 24 years: Roetzel  & Andress (7yrs); Partner G.A. Clark & Associates; Founding Partner  Ivey  & Williams Co. LPA;  Owner and founder Orlando Williams Law Firm.

QUESTION 2:  Probation, Electronically Monitored House Arrest, Community Service, A halfway house like the Oriana House programming would comprise several alternatives to jail incarceration.

QUESTION 3:  The Court could have an attorney help desk staffed by pro bono attorneys from the Akron Bar Association. To advise Pro Se individuals.



Vote for no more than 1 – Unexpired term to end 01/02/2012 

STEPHEN A. FALLIS        1321 Village Drive      Akron OH 44313        Age:  61 

QUESTION 1:  Judge, Akron Municipal Court.  J.D., University Akron.  B.A., Political Science, Kent State University.  Thirty-five years practicing attorney; former prosecutor; experienced trial attorney, civil, criminal, domestic, probate; member, St. Vincent’s Church.  Past: President Akron Bar Association, Akron Bar Counsel, Assistant Director of Law City Akron, President Family Services, President Lions Club. 

QUESTION 2:  Community service and rehabilitation programs for alcohol, drugs, and anger are effective alternatives where incarceration is not possible.  Defendants have the opportunity to accept responsibility for their conduct while serving the community.  I treat all people in my court with dignity and respect, and make clear the consequences of recidivism. 

 QUESTION 3:  Defendants may contact the pro bono legal program at the Bar Association, or Legal Aid.  I encourage defendants to contact the opposing party, and try negotiating a settlement, an alternative agreement, or mediation as an alternative to judicial intervention.  The parties then retain control over the outcome of their dispute.


TOM McCARTY                 96 Winston Rd.           Akron OH 44313        Age:  53 

QUESTION 1:  .   Walsh Jesuit High School, 1974, University of Akron, B.A. 1979, J.D. 1982, I have 27 years of legal experience, having represented thousands of clients, some all the way up to the Ohio  Supreme Court. As an Assistant Attorney General I prosecuted consumer fraud actions.  Please elect a tough, experienced leader. 

QUESTION 2:  In the Akron Municipal Court we have many sentencing options available.  As judge, I will use my skills as a problem-solver and a tough negotiator to work with offenders to make sure they tow the line.  I will refer them to the programs that most closely suit their needs. 

QUESTION 3:   As an attorney who has handled many of these cases, and as a past President of the Fair Housing Contact Service, I have specific knowledge, experience, and contacts in this area, and I want to use those skills to create a Housing Court that could comprehensively address these issues.

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Vote for no more than 4 – Term commences 01/01/10





BRUCE D. ALEXANDER      2217 Thurmont Rd.    Akron OH 44313        Age: 49

QUESTION 1:  BA Health Education w/minor in Marketing, Detention Superintendent, Various training with youth and families

QUESTION 2:  Knowledge of youth, families, school system, and the community awareness

QUESTION 3:  Develop a plan of action to increase student enrollment, Better teaching and student learning, Ways to make schools a safe place for learning


GINGER BAYLOR             1327 Village Drive      Akron OH 44313        Age:  54

QUESTION 1:   Education-MAED Curriculum Instruction, University of Phoenix-2006, BA Business and Organizational Communications, University of Akron-1998, Occupation-Experience-Assistant Professor-Effective Oral Communications- University of Akron-2008 to present; ASSET Instructor-Advisory Board-Akron Urban League-2008, Substitute Teacher Akron Public Schools-1999-2009, Training-7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Johnson Leadership Institute 

QUESTION 2:  I have spent many years using learning strategies working with children ages pre-k to college in the Akron community. I am an active listener, critical thinker, effective communicator, complex problem solver, negotiator, socially perceptive, service oriented, team-player, and builder, understands management of material and financial resources and capacities used to allocate them efficiently. 

QUESTION 3:  Two objectives I hope to achieve are: Report card ratings with an Excellent achievement designation for all Akron Public Schools; Restore our common purpose, parents, teachers, administration and community working together to provide the necessary support that facilitates high quality education and success for all students. Strong Schools = Strong Communities.


JASON HAAS           905 Hereford Drive    Akron OH 44303        Age:  36

QUESTION 1:  In 2003, I earned a MA in sociology from Akron and am employed by Summit County as a Grants Program Analyst. Currently, I am writing grants and tracking the stimulus act for funding opportunities. In 2007, I was elected to the Akron school board.

QUESTION 2:  I have two daughters in APS, so I have a vested interest in its stability and success.  As such, for the past four years, I have immersed myself in issues affecting education as a board member, candidate, and campaign volunteer.

 QUESTION 3:  Opening a STEM high school to compliment the middle school; raising the district's graduation rate by 10 points to meet the state average; and refusing to seek a levy until I'm convinced the Board has taken every cost saving action without affecting educational quality.

RITA MARIE HOSCH        594 Talbot Avenue     Akron OH 44306        Age:  72

QUESTION 1:  Pontiac, Michigan:  K-12th grades, JOB:  Clothing windows Akron, Ohio,       University of Akron –Elementary Education, Occupation – retired teacher (27 years),            Teacher of the Year, Paraprofessional – 3 years at Robinson, Created, directed and taught at After School Tutoring, Solicited funds from local grants and foundations, Received 5013c non-profit certification 

QUESTION 2:   I was a teacher assistant for 3 years.  I teamed often as an ESEA Title I Reading Teacher.  I was a leader for the Black History Month activities including plays, speeches, displays, and food!  I created an after school program for students 5-17.  (1998-2008)  Published in the Reading Teacher magazine. 

QUESTION 3:   Should I become elected to the Akron Board of Education, I hope to achieve expertise at the supervisory level while working with colleagues of various levels of the education system.  I also expect to identify aspects of student learning and weaknesses and offer additional insights.


LISA MANSFIELD       1266 Romayne Drive         Akron OH 44313        Age:  42

 QUESTION 1:    I earned a B.A. in Secondary Education from the University of Akron and volunteered with La Leche League, Mentoring Mothers, and Pregnancy Care. The Beacon Journal honored me as a “Woman of Excellence” for my service to military families. My employment at Weathervane provides great opportunities to serve Akron’s students.

QUESTION 2:  As a third-generation graduate of the Akron Schools and mother of three current students, I’m vested in the success of APS. I have kept an eye to the State budget while regularly attending Board meetings over the last nine months.   I bring the perspective of a parent, graduate and educator. 

QUESTION 3:    Facilitate the right-sizing of the district to match enrollment and raise the OPT scores of our Middle Schools. Help the STEM Middle School lead to a successful STEM High School.  Work with the Superintendent to be fiscally responsible and keep budget cuts as far away from the classroom as possible.


VIRGIL A. ORTIZ              996 Independence Ave.   Akron OH 44310      Age:  36 

QUESTION 1:    I graduated from Kent State in 2000 with a degree in Technology.  I currently work for Mesaba Airlines as a Customer Service Representative.  I am a former substitute teacher and I know the schools and what they need to be improved and benefit the children.

QUESTION 2:     As a former substitute teacher I have been on the ground floor of the education system and I know what works and doesn't.  I plan on implementing changes so that no child is left behind with every possible advantage that they will need. 

QUESTION 3:     It is my plan to provide every child with all the latest technology material and the latest textbooks.  I plan on seeing every child graduate and to on to be productive members of society.


DIANNA SMITH     536 Amberwood Drive      Akron OH 44312             Age:  21

QUESTION 1:    I graduated valedictorian of Ellet High school in 2006.  Currently, I am finishing my last year at Kent State University majoring in Business Administration.  Upon graduation, I plan to attend law school.  I previously interviewed with the Board of Education for an appointment for an unfulfilled term in 2007. 

QUESTION 2:    I attended Akron Public Schools from pre-K through 12th; this first-hand experience makes me aware of what needs to be done to improve the education system.  As a young candidate, I believe that I will offer the board a view that is closer in perspective to today’s education of students. 

QUESTION 3:    My focus is to offer strong initiatives in the best interest of the students.  I would like to extend uniforms to the high schools, raise state test scores, keep extracurricular activities to help students stay interested in school and contact local and state officials to work on school funding.


MEXIE J. WILSON             649 Sunset View Dr.  Akron OH 44320        Age:  37

QUESTION 1:  St. Vincent-St. Mary High School Graduate, Ohio University - Bachelor of Business Administration, Kent State University - Master of Liberal Studies, Current Position: Marketing Representative for Ohio Tuition Trust authority promoting CollegeAdvantage, Ohio's 529 Savings Plan in eleven counties throughout Northeast Ohio, Previous employer: Akron Public Schools as a substitute teacher

QUESTION 2:  I am an active community member and an involved parent with a unique perspective on addressing the needs of the children and the community. My education in Management and professional work in Marketing allow me to view challenges as opportunities. I use my talents and skills to serve the community.

QUESTION 3: I would like to develop an alliance between students/parents and teachers/administrators and community/businesses that will increase performance in each cluster, build on successful programs and work with board members to be effective leaders during this era of change. I will focus on middle school performance if given the opportunity.

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A majority affirmative vote is necessary for passage. 

Shall we, the People of the City of Akron, amend Section 13 and Section 28 of the Charter to require that recall petitions be signed by twenty (20) percent of qualified electors who were registered to vote at the last preceding general municipal election for the office subject to recall? 

_____  YES 

_____  NO 

EXPLANATION:  This amendment would allow a change to the current requirements for recall petitions.  It would change those qualified to sign a recall petition to a percentage of all registered voters , not just those who voted in the last general election, usually a smaller number.  Section 13 contains the recall procedure for all city officers, while Section 28 specifically pertains to the recall of a ward councilman. 

Arguments in favor of the amendment:

  1. Just 3,100 signatures were required to put the recall issue to the City of Akron voters this past June, allowing significant action to be launched by a small percentage of voters.
  2. A special recall election costs too much to be based on the wishes of a small percentage of City residents.


Arguments opposed to the amendment: 

  1. This change may set the bar too high and put the recall option out of reach.
  2. Why do it now when the Charter is going to be reviewed in depth in 2010 anyway?

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A majority affirmative vote is necessary for passage. 

Shall the Charter of the County of Summit be amended to, effective January 1. 2013, consolidate and transfer the powers and duties of the County Engineer to the County Executive, who shall be required to employ a supervising engineer and a sufficient number of registered professional engineers and registered professional surveyors, and to eliminate the office of County Engineer in 2013 and the election for that office in 2012? 

FOR THE AMENDMENT                _____ 


EXPLANATION BY THE AKRON, HUDSON, AND TALLMADGE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS: This amendment, if approved, would change the office of County Engineer from an elected office to a position appointed by the County Executive, effective January 1, 2013.

Arguments in favor of the amendment:

1.  Those who are responsible for setting policy should be elected; those who are responsible for implementing policy should be appointed.

2.  The consolidation of the two offices saves money and provides a more efficient and streamlined government.

3.  Ohio is the only state in the United States that elects County Engineers.

Arguments opposed to the amendment: 

1.  Election of the County engineer ensures accountability to the voters.

2.  Townships need an elected engineer and the move would consolidate too much power in the hands of the County Executive.

3.  If voters defeated this issue in 1996 and 2001, why bring it to the voters again?


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Ohio State Issues 1, 2, & 3

(This information on Issue 1 was obtained from the LWV Ohio website at www.lwvohio.org)


(Proposed by Joint Resolution of the General Assembly of Ohio)

To adopt Section 2r of Article VIII of the Constitution of the State of Ohio 

A YES vote means approval of the amendment.

A NO vote means disapproval of the amendment.

A majority YES vote is required for the amendment to be adopted. 

If approved, this proposed amendment shall take effect immediately. 

League Explanation of Issue 1:  This ballot issue proposes a constitutional amendment that would provide compensation to veterans serving during the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq conflicts.  The amendment is similar to the bond issues passed by the voters to compensate veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam conflict.  It will provide the state with the authority to issue up to $200 million of bonds. The Ohio treasurer has estimated that only $106 million of the bond proceeds might actually be needed.  All bonds must be issued by December 31, 2013. Repayment of these bonds would be a general obligation of the state backed by the taxing power of the state. Revenue from these bonds would be used to provide additional compensation as follows:

·         Payment may be made to Ohio residents who have served on active duty in the United States armed forces between August 2, 1990 and March 3, 1991, which was the duration of the Persian Gulf conflict; between October 7, 2001 and the end of the United States’ involvement in Afghanistan; and between March 19, 2003 and the end of the United States’ involvement in Iraq.

·         Veterans who served domestically or in foreign service in locations other than the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, or Iraq may receive $50 for each month served up to a maximum of $500. 

·         Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, or Iraq may receive $100 for each month served up to a maximum of $1000, or may receive $1000 if medically discharged due to combat-related disabilities.

·         If a person died as a result of injuries sustained in Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, or Iraq service, that person’s family may receive $5000.

·         If a person is missing in action or held in enemy captivity, that person’s family may receive $5000.

The Legislative Services Commission estimates that issuing $200 million of obligations could increase the state’s annual debt service expense by up to $18 million.  The voters must approve this bonding authority because the Ohio constitution does not permit an appropriation being made for a period longer than two years. 

Proponents of the proposed amendment argue that:

1.  Passing the amendment by vote of the people shows that Ohioans appreciate Ohio veterans.

2.  The payments will ease veterans’ transition back into civilian life. 

Opponents of the proposed amendment argue that:

  1. Tax monies will be diverted to paying principle and interest, and this may limit the availability of state revenue for other state programs during a period of financial crisis.
  2. Future taxpayers will be responsible for the debt incurred for these payments.  The payments should be paid for by revenues available in the current biennium.

Websites:  Websites not available for proponents and opponents.


(This information on Issue 2 was obtained from the LWV Ohio website at www.lwvohio.org)


(Proposed by Joint Resolution of the General Assembly of Ohio)

To enact Section 1 of Article XIV of the Ohio Constitution 

A YES vote means approval of the amendment.

A NO vote means disapproval of the amendment.

A majority YES vote is required for the amendment to be adopted. 

If approved, this proposed amendment will be effective immediately. 

League Explanation of Issue 2

·         This proposed constitutional amendment would create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board for the purpose of establishing standards governing the care and well-being of livestock and poultry in Ohio. 

·         The bipartisan board would consist of thirteen members:

o       The director of the state department that regulates agriculture

o       Ten members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, including:

§         One member representing family farms

§         One member knowledgeable about food safety

§         Two members representing statewide organizations that represent farmers

§         One member who is a veterinarian

§         The State Veterinarian in the state department that regulates agriculture

§         The dean of the agriculture department of a college or university in Ohio

§         Two members of the public representing Ohio consumers

§         One member representing a county humane society

o       One member appointed by the Speaker of the House who shall be a family farmer

o       One member appointed by the President of the Senate who shall be a family farmer

·         The Board would have authority to establish standards governing the care and well-being of livestock and poultry in Ohio, subject only to the authority of the General Assembly.  

Proponents of the proposed amendment argue that:

      1.  The board represents a balance of interests.

2.  The board would establish standards governing the care and well being of livestock and poultry in Ohio.

3.  Ohioans can have greater confidence in the safety of locally produced food. 

Opponents of the proposed amendment argue that:

1. The board should be created by statute rather than by amendment to the Ohio Constitution.

2.  Creating another regulatory board utilizes revenues best spent on basic services to Ohioans.

3.  The amendment could prevent certain animal care reform proposed by national animal rights organizations.

Websites: Websites are not available for both the proponents and opponents.


(This information on Issue 3 was obtained from the LWV Ohio website at www.lwvohio.org)


(Proposed by Initiative Petition) 

To add a new Section 6a to Article XV of the Ohio Constitution 

A YES vote means approval of the amendment.

A NO vote means disapproval of the amendment.

A majority YES vote is required for the amendment to be adopted. 

If approved, the proposed amendment will take effect 30 days after the election. 

League Explanation of Issue 3: This amendment would authorize four casinos, one each in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo, located on particular parcels of land owned by private individuals.   

1.      The operator would be required to pay a tax of 33% annually on gross casino receipts. “Gross casino receipts” excludes payments to winners.  The tax revenue would be allocated in the following ways:

·         51% to the 88 counties on a pro rata basis, with 50% of the county’s distribution going to the county’s most populated city if it had a population of greater than 80,000 as of the 2000 United States census.

·         34% to public school districts in proportion to their public school district populations.

·         5% to the host city where the casino that generated the revenue is located.

·         3% to fund the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

·         3% to a fund supporting purses, breeding programs and operations at existing horse racetracks.

·         2% to fund a state law enforcement training program.

·         2% to fund treatment of problem gambling and substance abuse. 

2.      The Ohio Casino Control Commission would license and regulate casino operators, management companies, key employees and all gaming.  The commission would have 7 members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

3.      Each casino operator must make a minimum initial investment of $250 million.

4.      The initial license fee of $50 million for each casino will fund state economic development programs.

5.      Each casino could operate 24 hours a day.  Each casino may have a maximum of 5000 slot machines.  Each casino may conduct any type of card or table games, slot machines or electronic gaming devices permitted by states adjacent to Ohio, except bingo, and horse racing where the pari-mutuel system of wagering is conducted. 

Proponents of the proposed amendment argue that:

  1. Thirty-eight states—including West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—have casino gambling. 
  2. By authorizing casinos in Ohio, the profits could benefit our state rather than other states.

3.  Counties, public school districts, and many cities will receive tax revenue

     generated by the casinos, and each can decide  how to best spend its money.

4.  The casinos will create 34,000 new jobs in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo. 

5.  The casinos will stimulate the economy by adding restaurants, hotels and ancillary businesses. 

Opponents of the proposed amendment argue that:

  1. The Ohio general revenue fund, which supports basic services for Ohioans, will get $0 from the gross casino receipts tax.
  2. Ohio lottery profits, currently dedicated to education, may decrease because people will gamble at the casinos instead of playing the lottery.
  3. Ohioans may spend money at the casinos they would have spent at other existing Ohio businesses such as restaurants, movies, or sports events, adversely impacting those businesses.
  4. The number of gambling addicts in Ohio would increase, and the tax receipts dedicated to providing treatment for addicts could be insufficient.
  5. The proposed amendment could be construed to mean that all games allowed at the casinos can be played only at the casinos, eliminating church-festival poker games and casino nights sponsored by charitable groups.


In support of the proposed amendment:  Cops for Casinos   http://copsforcasinos.com/

In opposition to the proposed amendment: Vote NO Casinos Committee, TruthPAC  www.truthpac.org/

Note:  Further information on the State Issues can be found at the Ohio Secretary Of State

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