Record turnout lifts incumbents in tense Centerville schools race

The ticket of John Doll, Dr. David Roer and Megan Sparks defeated a united campaign by challengers Lysa Kosins, Dawn McGuire and Heather Schultz in a contest that saw 44,231 votes cast, according to final but unofficial results from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
Caption
The ticket of John Doll, Dr. David Roer and Megan Sparks defeated a united campaign by challengers Lysa Kosins, Dawn McGuire and Heather Schultz in a contest that saw 44,231 votes cast, according to final but unofficial results from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Re-elected Centerville school board members are citing a record-high turnout as a key factor in their victories Tuesday night in a hotly contested race.

The ticket of John Doll, Dr. David Roer and Megan Sparks defeated a united campaign by challengers Lysa Kosins, Dawn McGuire and Heather Schultz in a contest that saw 44,231 votes cast, according to final, unofficial results from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

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Dr. David Roer

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Dr. David Roer
Caption
Dr. David Roer

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

That total is a record for the most votes cast in a Centerville City Schools board of education general election race, said Sarah Greathouse, elections board deputy director.

With all precincts reporting, Roer, Doll and Sparks each had about 20% of the vote, while Schultz, Kosins and McGuire had about 13% each.

The vote total recorded Tuesday night is over 13,000 more votes cast than the race for the same three seats four years ago and over 11,000 ballots more than the same race in 2013, county elections records show.

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John Doll

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

John Doll
Caption
John Doll

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Sparks on Wednesday called the turnout “impressive” while Doll said it “was just fantastic and I think that was important for our victory.” Roer concurred.

“I think it was a great turnout,” Roer said. “I think it was a little bit larger than we expected, but not surprised based on everything that was going on in the community and with the campaigning.”

Roer said he thinks “this election drew more interest by the community because of the differing issues and opinions involved in the campaign.”

Caption
Megan Sparks

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Megan Sparks
Caption
Megan Sparks

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

For several months, Kosins, McGuire, Schultz and their supporters have been openly critical at board of education meetings on a number of issues, including the district’s COVID-19 face mask requirements.

Centerville police said they have been requested at a handful of board meetings “to keep the peace” and have never taken any action there.

“I think our community was energized,” Doll said.

“They were seeing what was going on,” he said. “And I think they were energized immensely about what was going on and especially in our school district.”

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Doll, 70, is an attorney who has served more than 25 years on the board during two stints, the first from 1992-2013. He was appointed to a vacant seat in May 2017 and elected by voters that fall.

Roer, 66, is a pediatrician who has served on the board since 1994. He has gained the most votes of any candidate in all but one of the five terms he was re-elected to since 2001, county records show.

Sparks, 41, won election to the board in 2017, finishing third in a five-candidate race for three seats. She is a Centerville High School grad and has five children, four of whom are enrolled in the district.

Centerville City Council

In the election involving two first-time challengers and three incumbents for three Centerville City Council positions, incumbents JoAnne Rau, John Palcher and Bill Serr won the most votes, records show.

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Rau had 26% of the vote, Palcher 21%, Serr 21%, Dan Apolito 16% and Leah E. McCullough 15%.

All candidates have said the city’s Uptown plan to revitalize Centerville’s historic town center will be a top priority moving forward.

The city is in the process of revising Phase I of the $11.4 million plan, a multi-year project to improve access, parking, business growth, traffic, green space and entertainment in the center of town.

Earlier this year the Uptown plan received a boost as Centerville won state approval for a 113-acre entertainment district. Boundaries for that area — which allows for 15 more liquor permits — basically mirror the city’s historic district.

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