Early voting is under way for the May 7 election, one that is filled with local tax issues and a few races for city offices.
VOTERS GUIDE: Learn about all the races and issues on the May 7 ballot
Seven local school districts — Beavercreek, Oakwood, Bellbrook, Tipp City, Piqua, Lebanon and Valley View — are asking voters for more money.
“If you want to make a real impact, it starts with voting in local elections. The decisions being made this spring are going to have a real impact in your own backyard,” Secretary of State Frank LaRose said.
Voters in the city of Beavercreek have four taxes to consider this May. Voters will be asked to approve two school levies — a new 6.15-mill operating levy and a renewal on a permanent improvement levy — as well as renewing taxes to support parks and recreation and street maintenance.
Kettering and Tri-County North schools have renewal levies on the ballot.
Miami Twp. has a replacement and increase levy on the ballot for police services.
Washington Twp. officials are seeking a continuous 2.85-mill levy that they say will enable the fire department to address a shortage of firefighters and an increasing number of calls for service. A new fire station also is planned.
In Trotwood, voters have three renewal levies on the ballot for streets, ambulance and fire services.
New Lebanon is asking voters to approve more money for fire and police.
There are also tax renewal issues on the ballot in Xenia, Sugarcreek Twp., Riverside, Moraine, German Twp., Harrison Twp.
Dayton City Commission race
Five candidates are running for two seats on the Dayton City Commission. The city charter requires a May election to narrow the list of candidates down to four for the November election.
Incumbent commissioners Matt Joseph and Chris Shaw are defending their seats against challengers Shenise Turner-Sloss, Valerie Duncan and David Esrati.
Joseph is running for his fifth term. He was first elected in 2003.
“I am proud to have been a part of laying the foundation for the current renewal that is bringing new jobs and new hope to our city, and I ask that citizens return me to office so I can continue this work and make sure the recovery touches and enables all our citizens,” Joseph told the Dayton Daily News.
Shaw is running for his second term after winning a close race in 2015.
“While I am very excited about the progress Dayton has made over the last four years, I know there is still much work to be done. Our city continues to face the challenges of an overwhelming opioid crisis, struggling public schools, and an economic recovery that has not benefited everyone,” Shaw said.
Turner-Sloss lost a commission bid in 2017 and is trying again.
“The time is now to elect a commissioner who has a genuine interest in the community and will make decisions with equity and forethought. For too long, Dayton has been distracted and divided by politicians that promise us change, investments, and resources, but fail to deliver,” Turner-Sloss said.
Esrati has run for commission and mayor several times since 1993. A neighborhood activist and local business owner, he takes pride in fighting city hall over the decades.
He says one of his top priorities will be improving home values in the city.
“No one should see the property value of their home go down, or stagnate because of a lack of faith in the future of their neighborhood. I plan on bringing the same strategies we’ve used successfully in South Park over my last 33 years here to the entire city. Most importantly, we have to stop raising taxes on folks for fixing up their properties, and make sure that everyone has affordable safe housing that is a secure and stable investment. New approaches to tax incentive districts, economic opportunity zones, homestead exemptions are all part of the solution.”
Duncan is a retired employee from the city of Dayton who says city leaders need to put focus on neighborhoods.
“The city of Dayton neighborhoods needs the city’s attention so that life in those neighborhoods are livable. The prime stabilizer in the city of Dayton neighborhoods is its housing stock. A good housing stock enhances the neighborhood, attracts people to want to live in the neighborhoods, reduces crime, reduces health and safety issues in the neighborhoods,” Duncan said.
Troy mayor, council primaries
In Troy, there is a Republican primary for mayor between Robin Oda and Tom Kendall. Mayor Michael Beamish is stepping down and is backing Kendall, who has served on city council for 14 years.
Oda is also a city council member who has been elected four times.
There is also a Republican primary for Troy’s 6th Ward Council seat. Council member Brock Heath is facing challenger Jeff Schilling.
The deadline to register to vote for the May election was April 8.
Reporters Rich Wilson, Jeremy Kelley, Wayne Baker and Cornelius Frolik contributed to this report.
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