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Elections results for November 6, 2018

Published November 7, 2018 by justicewg

Screenshot 2018-11-07 at 11.24.43 AM

The City Charter

There was nothing controversial about the revisions to the city charter that I could find. Was the 15% no vote because of something we didn’t know, or are there people who just vote no for everything?

The Dispensaries issue

Issue #32 was a referendum on whether the city’s ban on dispensaries should be overturned, in a twist of expectations, the wording of the issue required an understanding that Yes vote means No to dispensaries. Was the final 60% No vote a popular choice to allow dispensaries, so that local taxes would benefit from the addition of the marijuana dispensaries? Or was it just confusion caused by those who think “no” means “just say no”? If you were confused, please comment.

The Green Space ordinance

Citizen referendums have a big hurdle to cross from the beginning, they need a lot of signatures, and organizational momentum that can be hard to sustain. The Grandview city administration did a number on that momentum for the Green Space via legal challenges that went all the way to the Ohio Secretary of State. Even though the group was victorious in keeping the ordinance on the ballot, the strident opposition from the Mayor and City Attorney probably gave an insurmountable hit to the question about the actions of going through this method of bringing change to the city.

I also though the “taking our rights” push by the anti-#31 group was overblown, your rights were never in jeopardy unless you own a very specific, narrow strip of land. I don’t think the “right to do a lot split” was worth getting upset about. If the “rights” issue was so important, why isn’t the rights of a group of neighbors to organize and decide how they want development to look like on their own street worth standing up for?

The school levy

A close vote, I don’t think the pro-#6 group can call the result a mandate, nor can it be seen as a blank check for the board to go into warp speed on the wrecking ball for the middle school. It will be interesting to hear how the board and administration plan to heal the rift in the community over the facility process. More later.

All levies passed in FC

Dublin – 58% yes, $195 million bond issue with 7.9 mills additional money.

South-Western – 61% passed a $93.4 million bond issue.

Whitehall – 61% yes on a bond and millage.

Worthington – Separate bond and millage levies passed with 70% and 62% support.

Grandview Heights – 52% passed a combined bond and operational millage.

The voters in Franklin County were all confident in the economy, at least enough to pass school levies. Other schools had large bonds, but managed to pass them with much higher percentages. An obvious question – why was Worthington willing to pass their bond with 70% yes, while Grandview had the lowest approval number in the county?

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Grandview has Issues

Published October 14, 2018 by justicewg

Three signs #6The ballot is loaded with Issues this election, so many it is hard to keep them all straight. Here is a listing of the Issues Grandview residents can chose to vote up or down, and the groups who have Political Action Committees to support or oppose them.

Issue #6 – the school levy, the No groups

No on issue #6, Grandview Heights schools – Tracy Kessler, Tres. Their website is:

https://www.votenoonissue6.com/

Quote – “We are a Pro Community ~ Pro Schools group of residents who believe that Grandview Heights’ Issue 6 proposal is simply the wrong plan at the wrong time.” At least 100 of their signs are on lawns in the area.

Citizens for a Responsible Levy – Craig Berlin, Tres. I don’t think this group has a website. Over 100 signs on lawns.

Issue #6 – the “Info” group

Good for Grandview is a group that formed last year when it became clear the school board would try to build a $50 million new school and other facility improvements. Their website at the time pointed to problems with the numbers the school was projecting for maintaining present facilities, and they objected to the process in the facility meetings. They warned that the board’s plan was too expensive and would bring unnecessary conflict to the community. They had a petition to the school board that had 360 or so names, asking the board to re-think going forward with the $50 million plan (which has increase to a $55 million plan). That part of the website has been removed, now they are just an “info” group, with facts on Issue #6. Over 100 signs are up in Grandview.

https://www.goodforgrandview.org/

Issue #6 – the Pro group

for issue #6Committee for Grandview Heights Schools, Susan Jagers ,Tres. The BOE report shows this group had $29,100 in their bank account as of 7-01-18. Big contributors include “Tri-W group”, at $10K, and another $10K from “810 Grandview LLC”. Nationwide also contributed $5K.

https://forgrandviewheightsschools.org/

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20180827/grandview-heights-schools-ballot-issue-campaign-launched

Issue #31 – the Goodale Greenspace

yes on #31Residents for a Greener Grandview – AKA – Join Grandview – Jody Oster, Tres.

https://joingrandview.com/

The website suggests this group is more than a single issue organization, but at present they are all about promoting Issue #31, the Goodale Greenspace initiative. The group created a citizen initiative to increase the size of the Green Space on Goodale. The required number of signatures were obtained, and the petition was sent to the city, which forwarded it to the BOE. After a couple of legal challenges by the city over process issues, the Ohio Secretary of State ruled that that all legal steps had been followed and the initiative would be presented to the voters.

No on #31

no on #31Citizens to protect Goodale Greenspace, James Oberla, Tres. First registered 10-01-18. I can’t find a website for this group.

I have to make a complaint about the name of this group because of the choice of words, the name suggest they are a group that is somehow protecting the greenspace, but there is no chance that the greenspace will go away with either vote result. The pro-issue #31 group will protect the Greenspace, by increasing the width of the protected zone. Preventing a house being built is more protective than keeping the rules as they currently exist. If this group picked that name just to confuse voters, they don’t deserve a public seat at the discussion table.

(edit)   www.protectgrandview.com is the website. I don’t think “the right to do a lot split” was one of the fundamental rights our founding fathers fought a war to give us.

Issue #32 – The medical-marijuana dispensaries vote

Keep off grassIssue 32 is a referendum on whether the city’s ban on dispensaries should be overturned. The city intentionally made the vote to ban dispensaries a non-emergency measure, so the voters could decide the issue.

This issue is a little confusing – a “Yes” vote means No to dispensaries. A “No” vote means we will allow dispensaries inside the city limits (at present there is a planned dispensary just outside).

I can’t find any yard signs or PACs for either side of the issue.

http://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20181008/medical-marijuana-voters-will-cast-die-on-grandviews-dispensary-ban

Issue #30 – City of Grandview Heights – Proposed Charter Amendment Read the rest of this entry →

Fall 2017 election candidates have filed

Published August 11, 2017 by justicewg

The Franklin Co. Board of Elections has posted the candidates that have filed to run. These are not certified, mistakes in the paperwork could disqualify some of them.

City Council

Four open seats on the council have six candidates attempting to take office. Anthony Panzera, Kearns, and Smith will try for re-election. Stephen Papineau will be retiring from the council.

Dan Headapohl, a past council president, will try to return to the council. Nicholas Pavlik, and Melanie Houston will also run for a seat.

(later –  Nicholas Pavlik dropped out of the race).

School board

Current member Truett has filed. Douglass and Evans are stepping away. Only two other candidates have filed, Eric Bode and Molly Wassmuth, so at this point they will get to take office with no opposition. You have to wonder how much the planned major building at the schools have turned off candidates for this office, instead of the usual running the schools and passing normal levies, the board will be tasked with trying to pass new construction levies that will hit record heights.

Remember, this is only the first filing list, the candidate must still have all the paperwork in order to be certified. We could still have a shocker election, like 2013, when Clifford made a rookie mistake in her paperwork.

(Aug 23) All candidates for council and the board have been BoE certified.

Grandview Heights Elections, November 2015

Published November 1, 2015 by justicewg

From VerifiedVoting.orgCity Council

Three seats are up for election on the seven member council.

The incumbents are Steve Gladman, Ed Hastie and Tim Galvin. Their CV and position statements are in the October 15th TVN.

I don’t have any big issues with any of the incumbents, they did seem to be overdoing the smoking issue when they voted to criminalize 18 year olds use of tobacco (Hastie was the only no vote on the entire issue). I understand where that push to keep tobacco away from kids comes from, but I don’t like using cops as enforcers for every problem.

A problematic issue is the conflict of interest that have kept council members from voting on issues. Hastie and Panzara had to step out of the room for some discussion and voting on properties issues which were up before the council because they either were part owners or realtors. Hastie again couldn’t speak for the council when I brought an issue up about the Ohio Taproom’s parking problem in Grandview. I understand some conflict is expected in a small town, but when realtors and lawyers who represent local businesses are constantly causing conflicts, we should make the choice simple for these people and vote them out of office.

The slate of potential new members

A voting slate, in which three people combine all election campaigning into one, and run as a unit, is new to Grandview Heights, as far as I know. It has potential to save money for the candidates, and it certainly helps with yard signs, anyone who wants to help a single person on the slate must defacto endorse all three (Emily Keeler, Ryan Longbrake and Brandon Lynaugh). The TVN story on these candidates showed no particular surprises, standard “low taxes and good services” sort of stuff. The slate approach to campaigning requires them to be bland, they don’t want to say anything that might cause the entire team to lose votes.

Steve Reynolds is attempting to return to the council by himself. He served for seven years as council president, and although he didn’t give much reason to stop beyond “time to move on”, he apparently can’t move on. I like his position on pushing back on the Grandview Yard project, the city already has been arm twisted by the mammoth corporation into bad deals, and it is refreshing to hear somebody say we need to stand up to NRI.

If you want to vote for Reynolds, and the slate, which member do you pick to leave out? That would be a good question to send to the slate members – “which fellow candidate should be dropped from the slate vote?”

Mayor DeGraw is running unopposed for a fourth term.

Three candidates for School board

Current board president Brannan is running for re-election. I have a few problems with her time in office. I’m hoping that the roomful of parents who attended the band director board meeting and read Brannan’s “Keep Calm and March On” letter will be marching down to the voting booth to give Brannan her marching orders.

Melissa Palmisciano is almost an exact replacement for Adam Miller, the JAG attorney who is leaving after one term. I had hopes for Miller shaking things up on the board, but with a single vote he didn’t have much leverage. There are also problems with the attorney mindset, they are conditioned to keep their mouth closed about any issues with their clients, and when a lawyer is on a board, they consider the other members their clients. The community is supposed to be the client, and when there are bad actors on the board, members should speak up (before the voting).

Melanie Mueller is a candidate who was recruited by the same group that made Grandview into a Policy Governance board. Expect her to sit silently and provide the fifth vote. However, if you don’t vote for her, you may allow Brannan to return to office, so a certain amount of holding your nose while voting may be needed.

Results

Reynolds won the highest number of votes for city council, he apparently still has voter mojo. Keeler in second place was the surprise of the evening, nothing in her background story in the TVN hinted she would have this much support. Gladman is the only current council member to be re-elected. Ed Hastie’s last place finish might be a result of the conflicts he had with part ownership of the Grandview and First building, the apartments he tried to build on this property encountered much opposition.

Palmisciano had a surprisingly  strong first place finish for the school board. Brannan will get to keep her spot.

(Later) I was told the reason Keeler won with such a high number of votes was because she is the only women to run for the office in this election, and women vote for her to offset the (nearly) all male council as it used to be.

Ivotronic machines and write-in voting

Published October 16, 2013 by justicewg

From VerifiedVoting.orgIf you want to vote for a write-in candidate for school board on November 5th, you need to understand how the Ivotronic voting machines work. I sent an email to the Franklin county BOE and got some info from Dana Walch, the Deputy Director.

Using the machine

I never voted for a write-in candidate on the Ivotronic voting machines, my experience was with the old clunky lever machines, which opened up a slot and required you to write a name on a piece of paper. There was always the danger that people who had poor penmanship would make an illegible scrawl with that system, and I’m sure spelling mistakes invalidated some votes. Things are a bit improved with the electronic machines.

This YouTube vid explains the process of voting for a write-in (jump to 1:19 if you are in a hurry). The short version – touch the slot that says “write-in”, an on-screen keyboard will allow you to enter the name. One name per write-in slot.

What about over voting, could you vote for more than three candidates in the school board race and cause your vote to be rejected? What if you voted for the two on the regular ballot and tried to vote for more than one write-in candidates?

The voting machines will not permit you to vote for more than the allowable number of candidates. In your example, if you vote for the two listed candidates, the machine will only allow you to vote for one write-in candidate. If you attempt to vote for two write-in candidates after already having marked two listed candidates, the machine will instruct you that you must de-select one of the candidates you have already selected.

What about spelling – and do we have to remember first and last name?

If the voter has written in part of an eligible write-in candidate’s name, the board of elections must count a vote in which a voter has written in only the first or last name of the candidate, if there is only one eligible write-in candidate with that first or last name. However, if there are two or more write-in candidates with the same first or last name, the voter must provide sufficient information for election officials to determine the voter’s intent in order for the vote to be counted. This is listed out in Secretary of State Directive 2013-19 which can be found here (http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/Upload/elections/directives/2013/Dir2013-19.pdf).

Since none of the school board candidates has the same first name, you could get away with typing only the first name. I would suggest entering the last name of the candidate if you are in too much of a hurry to write-in the full name.

What about the nag screen after you have finished voting – will it remind you that you have not filled in a name in the write-in section of the school board race?

On our Ivotronic voting machines, the voters are giving a generic reminder if they have not voted for the allowable number of candidates in any given race. They are not reminded that they can specifically still vote for a write-in candidate or any listed candidate, just that there are more possible spots for which they could vote. Dana Walch, Deputy Director,  FCBOE

This is where the regular ballot candidates have a big advantage. If you get a nag screen that tells you that you have not voted for all of the possible candidates, the low information voter will return to the school board race and see that they need to make three selections to stop the nag. The easy votes will be for the two regular ballot names. If they can’t remember a write-in name, some people will skip the vote, some will enter Mickey Mouse (and that vote will not be counted).

I don’t think the second place write-in candidate has much chance of getting on to the board, the write-in process is such a weird, half real, not at all easy vote. Almost no other country in the whole world has write-ins, most other countries have a sensible “on the ballot or off” system.

If you are planning to vote for two of the write-in candidates, let me repeat the math for this vote. Your two choices will not be the same as other people’s two choices. The result will be less votes for all of the write-in candidates, and will improve the chances of the regular ballot candidates. I’m guessing Douglass will win no matter what you vote, but if you don’t want to see Jesse Truett on the school board, vote for all three write-ins.