Area districts prepare for special elections


Special election ballots are being cast and collected throughout much of Portage County today.

Voters will decide the fate of the school districts in Ravenna Township and Streetsboro. Ravenna also is looking to raise taxes in the city.

Portage County Auditor Janet Esposito said the Ravenna school district is looking for approval of an additional 6.5 mills for a continuing period.

According to the Ravenna school district Web site, if the levy fails the Ravenna Board of Education voted to cut busing to the state minimum–—busing will only be available for kindergarten to eighth grade. The board is also considering closing all buildings to evening activities, cutting teachers and staff and instituting athletic participation fees. If the levy passes, homeowners with property worth $100,000 will pay an additional $205 a year or about $17 a month.

In Ravenna City, voters are asked to consider a tax increase, City Council President Kevin Poland said. The 0.02 percent hike will bring the city tax to two percent. The tax would go to the general city budget, and will be used for police, fire and EMS services.

“We haven’t raised it for 20 years,” Poland said, referring to the tax rate in Ravenna.

He also said 2 percent would make the tax rate the same as Kent’s, and that a lot of the money will be paid by non-residents who work in Ravenna, while the money will primarily benefit residents.

Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today.

—Charles Cook