BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
Port Clinton is 193 years old, and finally has a plan for fixing its infrastructure, and the money critical for getting the grants needed to do it after Port Clinton City voters approved a new 4-mill levy on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Mayor Mike Snider and Port Clinton City Council lead the charge, holding public meetings to identify the long-time infrastructure woes and working out the details with the experts at Poggemeyer Design Group in Bowling Green.
There were a lot of fingers crossed at Port Clinton City Hall on election night.
“The vote exceeded my expectations,” said Snider. “I certainly did not expect to win with a 60-40 split in the vote. Now we have the plans for repairing and resurfacing our roads, and the money needed in order to apply for the grants to do it.”
According to the Ottawa County Board of Elections, there were 793 votes cast on the 4-mill levy. The margin wasn’t close, with 502 in favor and 291 against it. Many thought it would be closer than that, after the poor attendance at public hearings, and the city’s history of neglect after manufacturing companies disappeared in the mid-1980s.
“Tuesday (Nov. 2) night was pretty darned cool for Port Clinton,” said Snider, who celebrated on Friday with a road trip to Lincoln, Neb., to watch his beloved Buckeyes defeat the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 26-17 on Saturday afternoon.
“We finally have a plan in place for repairing our infrastructure. It seems long overdue, but I’m glad it is here.”
So are the citizens living on Port Clinton city streets that have decades-old brick roads in desperate need of repair.
It was not a surprise, though, that Port Clinton voters also gave the nod to a 1.9-mill renewal levy for the Port Clinton Fire Department to provide fire protection, ambulance and emergency services by an overwhelming 664 to 132 vote.
“I’ve never heard of any levy getting 84% of the vote,” said Snider. “About 20% of the voters always vote against any levy, no matter what it is for. In this case, though, Fire Chief Kent Johnson says that is because every person in the city will need his volunteer firemen at some point in their lives, and want to be sure they will be there.”
Overall, only 8,708 of Ottawa County’s 30,272 registered voters cast a ballot this year. That is a turnout of just 29%.
The Genoa Area Local School District levy for expenses was the only one of 13 school levies to lose this time around.
Winning Port Clinton City Council races were incumbents Margaret Phillips (Third Ward) and Beth Gillman (First Ward), while John Morgan took over the Second Ward seat and Joseph Brenner was elected City Treasurer.
Elmore Village Council winners were Benjamin Drill, Robert Babjack, Thomas Jackson and Jacob Wargacki. Bay Township Trustee winners were Denton Glovinsky and Benny Peterseon. Carroll Township’s Jordon Moore and Sandra Shearon won seats. Catawba Island Township victors were Matthew Montkowski and William Rofkar.
In Clay Township Chad Gargas and Joseph Badger won seats. Donald Greenhill II and Beveral Haar won Harris Township seats, while Keith Heileman and Karl Kopchak won in Portage Township. In Salem Township, winners were Todd Winke and Randall Wilburn.
In the Port Clinton City Schools race, Gary Coon, Michelle Mueller and Paul Shaw won board seats. In the Danbury Local Schools race the winners were Mary Lou Rinaldo, Paul Dunfee and Julie Lenner McDonald.