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Northeast Ohio election results roundup
Other morning headlines: Congressman Tim Ryan endorses Clinton; Former Canton officer, city reach settlement 
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ
and LAUREN SCHMOLL


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
  • Northeast Ohio election results roundup
  • Congressman Tim Ryan endorses Clinton
  • Biden's Ohio visit to focus on transportation
  • Former Canton officer, city reach settlement
  • Pilot Flying J settlement to cost $72 million
  •  

    Northeast Ohio election results roundup:

    Mayoral races
    Cleveland's mayor has won a third term in office. Mayor Frank Jackson easily defeated fellow Democrat Ken Lanci on Tuesday with about 65 percent of the vote. Jackson first won the mayor's office in 2005.

    In Youngstown, Democrat John McNally defeated DeMaine Kitchen in a six-way race where those two candidates emerged as the frontrunners. McNally is a former city law director. Kitchen will return to his job as the mayor’s chief of staff and secretary.

    Cuyahoga Falls will have a new mayor for the first time since the mid 1980’s, as Council President Don Walters defeated Don Robart.

    Olmsted Falls and Richmond Heights also will have new leadership, as Olmstead Falls Councilwoman Ann Marie Donegan unseated 14-year incumbent Robert Blomquist, and Richmond Heights Councilwoman Miesha Wilson Headen defeated incumbent Daniel Ursu by just 55 votes.   

    Beachwood will keep Mayor Merle Gorden, who’s been scrutinized for his $200,000 salary that makes him the highest paid mayor in the state.   

    School funding issues
    Nearly two-thirds of school tax issues on Tuesday’s ballot were approved by voters. Voters rejected most requests to increase taxes, but approved nearly all requests to renew existing tax levies, including Elyria, Avon, Independence, Massillon, Tallmadge and Twinsburg.

    About a half dozen Northeast Ohio school districts will kick off multi-million dollar building projects with voter-approved bond issues on Tuesday, including Norton, Canton Local, Lakewood, North Ridgeville and Streetsboro. Voters in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights district approved a $134 million bond issue to update buildings. North Royalton voters said ‘no’ to a bond issue for construction.

    In the Portage County school district of Field, a combined 5.5-mill levy failed for the third time this year. The Portage County Tea Party campaigned against the measure. Cuts will be coming to Westlake schools after voters rejected an operating levy.  

    In Medina, voters approved an additional levy that was pulled from the May ballot during controversy surrounding a hefty contract and questionable spending by Superintendent Randy Stepp, who is now on unpaid leave and the school board has voted to fire him.

    It was a narrow victory for Lorain County Community College’s program to increase the number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees offered by the school. The levy won by just 75 votes, which will require an automatic recount.

    That levy will increase property taxes by $21 a year for the average homeowner to fund a program that affiliates the college with four year universities

    City tax issues
    Income taxes are going up in Barberton, Kent and Peninsula as voters approved increases.

    In Twinsburg, income taxes will be going down as voters approved repealing a .25 percent hike that was approved in 2009 to help the city weather the closing of the Chrysler Stamping Plant. The city tax rate will return to 2 percent. 

    Voters rejected income tax increases in the Stark County communities of Alliance and Brewster, along with New Philadelphia in Tuscarawas County and the Cleveland suburb of Rocky River.

    A Lorain County sales tax increase failed, putting the county in a $6 million deficit next year.

    Strongsville voters rejected a property tax reduction that actually was an increase. The proposed 1.4-mill property tax would have replace a 1.5-mill tax that's been on the books since the 70’s, but since tax rates go down as property values go up, it actually would have cost homeowners about five times more than the current tax. 

    Summit County issues
    Summit County voters overwhelmingly approved three countywide issues in Tuesday’s election. All are renewal levies, including one for Summit County Metro Parks will collect nearly $16 million a year. The Akron Zoo will collect about $8 million a year for seven years with passage of its issue. Voters approved an issue for the Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board that will collect nearly $33 million a year for six years.

    Fracking ban defeated
    Voters in Youngstown have rejected a fracking ban in the city for a second time this year. Opponents of the drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — say they'll be back for a third try next year. In May, the anti-fracking charter amendment failed by 13.7 percentage points. On Tuesday it failed by 9.7 percentage points, according to unofficial results. The United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 396 spent more than $74 thousand trying to defeat the amendment. The union called it a job-killer.


    Congressman Tim Ryan endorses Clinton
    Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan became the first member of the House to publicly back a run by Hillary Clinton in 2016 for president. The group Ready for Hillary announced the Democrat’s support. Ryan also endorsed Clinton during the Democratic primary in 2008. Ryan, of Niles, is in his sixth term in Congress and was elected at age 29. His district stretches from Youngstown over to Akron.

    Biden's Ohio visit to focus on transportation
    Vice President Joe Biden is swinging through Ohio to make a case for investing in the nation's railways, ports and highways. Biden will stop today at a rail cargo hub in northwest Ohio, just outside the village of North Baltimore. The rail facility about 30 miles south of Toledo connects freight moving between the Midwest and East Coast. The vice president says investing in ports and rail lines will help the nation add jobs and bolster the middle class.

    Former Canton officer, city reach settlement
    A former Canton police officer and the city have reached a settlement, nearly two years after the officer was fired for threatening to kill a man during a traffic stop.
    The Canton Repository reports that Daniel Harless will receive $40,000 from the city, a neutral employment recommendation and a retired officer ID. In exchange, Harless will retire and drop all claims against the city. A 2012 dashcam cruiser video went viral that showed Harless threatening the driver, who he discovered had a gun in the car. The driver had a concealed carry permit but didn’t immediately tell Harless as required by law. An internal investigation revealed two other similar incidents and Harless was fired. He was reinstated after an arbitration ruling. 

    Pilot Flying J settlement to cost $72 million
    Court documents released this week show Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam’s truck stop business is expected to spend $72 million to settle a federal class action lawsuit. WEWS reports trucking companies involved in the lawsuit call the Pilot Flying J settlement “extraordinarily good.” The suit is in response to an alleged fuel rebate scheme that’s been the center of an FBI and IRS investigation this year. The settlement will include interest, costs of audits, attorney fees, and an additional $10 thousand for each company that settles. Those companies must agree not to sue at a later date.

    At least 150 companies have opted out of the settlement as dozens have filed their own lawsuits.

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