Allen County roundup: Delphos request fails, mental health levy result uncertain


First Posted: 11/5/2013

DELPHOS — Officials in the city were hoping to raise revenue with an income tax increase to soften cuts coming, but that won't be the case.

Delphos voters rejected a 0.25 percent increase in the city's income tax by a 58 percent margin. City Council placed the measure on the ballot to increase the income tax from 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent. It would have raised an additional $400,000 a year.

Now officials will make deeper cuts on top of what has already been done, including cutting staff, furloughs and pay reductions. The city needs to make up $1.2 million lost from major employers leaving the city and a cut in the state's local government funding.

Also in the region:

• The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties' request for additional funding was failing Tuesday night, by 164 votes total in those three counties.

Board Executive Director Mike Schoenhofer said the board was investigating provisional and absentee ballots yet to be counted in the three counties before they would know for certain the levy's outcome.

The board sought new funding to replace state revenue cuts and increase services for children and adults. The board asked for a new 1 mil, five-year levy generating $3.2 million a year. The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $35 a year. The district has an existing 0.5 mill, 10-year levy for basic operations.

The measure narrowly passed in Auglaize County, with 51 percent in favor and even more narrowly in Allen County, with 50.36 percent in favor, according to unofficial results from the elections boards. The measure failed in Hardin County with 55 percent against.

“We'll have a better idea in the morning,” Schoenhofer said.

If the measure does fail officially, the board could be back on the ballot in May and discussions are beginning about that, Schoenhofer said.

The board has taken multiple funding hits since 2008, including a $2 million annual cut from the state, board Executive Director Michael Schoenhofer said. In 2008, the board had revenue of $8.2 million; the fiscal year 2014 revenue is $4.9 million.

• In Beaverdam, election night ended with a three-way tie for two Village Council seats. Barbara Gossard, Pamela LePine and Greg Smith each received 49 votes. A total of four seats were elected Tuesday; two other candidates won their seats outright.

Allen County Board of Elections Director Ken Terry said there are no provisional or outstanding absentee ballots to count. That will mean the board will conduct a tie-breaker to declare winners, and then do a recount. To conduct a tie-breaker among three candidates, the elections board chairman resolves it “by lot,” according to Ohio law. The board hasn't yet determined how that will be done, Terry said.

• In Bath Township, trustees Roy Hollenbacher and Ron Miller won re-election in a three-way race with challenger and former trustee Michael Meeks.

• In Auglaize Township, Michael Stout and Steve Ewing won election to trustee seats in a five-way race.

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