News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Metro RTA

Levin Furniture


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


Summit County takes the Akron arena out of the sales tax equation
County officials say voters would reject the tax hike for law enforcement if arena funding remained a part of the issue
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
Summit County Sherriff Steve Barry (at podium) talks about the need for additional funding for his safety forces; county Executive Russ Pry (seated) announced today the county will take the arena project off its proposed sales tax increase because he believes it would doom the issue in November.
Courtesy of WKYC
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The downtown Akron arena is being removed from the sales tax increase that will appear on Summit County ballots this November. County officials believe the arena funding would have sunk the tax hike, which would also fund safety improvements. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, county officials call it a tough decision based on stark realities

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:08)


(Click image for larger view.)

Summit County voters will still decide on a quarter percent sales tax increase this fall. But all the revenue will be earmarked for much-needed improvements at the county jail, updates to the emergency communication system, capital improvementS to other county properties and pay increases.

County Executive Russ Pry says community sentiment did not support including $161 million to build the arena.

“I got it back from various mayors who are close friends, law enforcement people who were out there. We had a committee and some professional people on there who weighed in in terms of doing the evaluation. We had some polling data that was out there. It was a combination of all these factors that led us to believe that that issue would potentially hurt the public safety part of this.”

Perhaps another way some day
Pry says he still supports building a multi-purpose arena to help stimulate downtown, but now isn’t the time to ask for county tax money to do it. The original plan called for the arena to be built on vacant city-owned property across from Canal Park, the minor league baseball facility. The University of Akron would have operated the arena and its basketball team would have played there.

In a written statement, the university says it understands and respects the county’s decision, and intends to continue working with the county and city on economic development issues.

Law enforcement needs
Summit County Sheriff Steve Berry calls the ballot change a tough decision on the county government’s part, but one that had to be made.

“As a result of the recession and lost revenue in 2009, 30 full-time deputies and 10 civilian employees were laid off from our jail. These workers have not been replaced and will not be replaced until funding is available. Because we have less jail staff, we’ve had to replace inmate programming and increase lockdowns. This creates a very unsafe, a very volatile atmosphere within the Summit County jail.”

We told them so
Summit County Council voted in June to put tax increase -- including the arena--  on the ballot. David Culp is with the Committee to Defeat the Arena Tax. He says the ballot changes echo what his group has been saying all along.

“And yet we hear it today as though it was the first time it was said. If county council had listened to many of us who said the very same things that they’re saying now, we would not have to be here today. ... Instead we had to do their job; county council didn’t do their job so we had to do it for them. They’ll call that democracy; I don’t call that democracy. I call it dishonesty and abdication.”

On board with the new plan
Culp’s group has always supported the tax increase if it were only used for safety improvements, and he says he’ll campaign for the amended version. He adds that he supports the University of Akron’s effort to build a new arena, but the university needs to pay for it and put it on campus property.

The new tax issue will be for 10 years instead of being permanent as the original language called for. It would generate an estimated $225 million. Summit County Council must approve the language before next Thursday’s deadline to get it on the ballot. Council is expected to vote and approve the changes at its meeting Monday.

Listener Comments:

David should be commended for his efforts to "wake up" the politicians of Summit County and the City of Akron.

However, I still don't trust any of them and I assure everyone they will try and find another way for the taxpayers to foot the bill for the University.


Posted by: Steven (Akron) on August 1, 2014 7:08AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio lawmakers propose grants for home construction for disabled people
We have been trying to have a "Visitability Bill" passed for years. Thanks, Greg

Lake County crimes may give Trump immigration fodder
Shoddy reporting at best. "Mixed views" The question that came to my mind was, "How many people did he have to interview to get "mixed views". Do the two peo...

Ohio's U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announces plans to improve Medicare by lowering prescription costs for seniors
Sounds good. I'm living in Florida to escape the snow. So far it's working. I retired from GM in 2000. Keep pushing for all the working people. In the long run ...

The tiny town that time, and elections, forgot may go out of existence
Thank you for this story. I grew up in Limaville, my parents home is there still...unsellable due to the septic/sewer problem. Sometimes I am sorry I left...wis...

Where Ohio'sJohn Kasich stands in the presidential polls
We are fans of Gov. Kasich since he served in the House of Representatives. It pleases us to finally see him as the potential President of the United States. We...

Cleveland hosts the first national Movement for Black Lives conference
What a wonderful experience this was, So much love and understanding, without all of the other distractions that tend to come with organizing for change, this e...

Air Force unit gets training and Youngstown gets rid of some eyesores
Do they have to totally destroy all the beautiful oak and leaded windows, which I am thinking are probably there? Do they just have to destroy them like that? C...

Jewish challah and Native American fry bread at an Akron cultural exchange
Each time I saw the young students relate to each other, I got goose bumps. These young students can and hopefully will teach all of us to live and respect eac...

One of the Cleveland Orchestra's most celebrated musicians bids farewell
I had the honor of studying with Franklin Cohen in the late 80s and early 90s. He is unparalleled both as a clarinetist and as a musician. His deep personal war...

Summa's dress code is not 'etched in stone'
SOME OF THESE POLICIES ARE A COMPLETE JOKE. UNLESS YOU ARE DOING THESE TYPE OF JOBS EVERY DAY, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IS COMFORTABLE AND REASONABLE OR NOT. UNLESS ...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University