SANDY TWP. -- A routine letter to verify ballot language for issues to appear on the November ballot has turned into a headache for Sandy Township officials.
Fiscal Officer Cathy McKinney received the letters and the language for gas aggregation, Issue 38, and electric aggregation, Issue 39, was correct.
However, when she read the language for the proposed police levy, the ballot language was incorrect.
In addition to noting that the levy would provide funding for police protection in the township, it also indicated "or the provision of ambulance or emergency medical services by the police district."
"This has never been a part of the discussion with the Stark County Board of Elections," said John McCall, a local attorney retained to assist the township with the levy. "We have never discussed this and we want everything to be correct. We don't want inaccurate ballot language to confuse anyone."
McCall contacted the Board of Elections to correct the language.
Nearly 60 tax issues are set to appear on the fall ballot in Stark County and many of these issues were filed at the last minute.
"They added this because the language comes right out of the state code," McCall said. "It would appear that it was copied and pasted. An employee apparently added this language from the state code."
McCall added that it is apparent that the ballot language did not get the appropriate scrutiny by elections board officials before the letters were sent.
McCall was not able to get the language changed by Sept. 2, when the trustees met due to the Labor Day holiday.
McCall and Cathy McKinney were to go to the Stark County Board of Elections on the morning of Sept. 6, the deadline to change ballot language.
"Everything we have ever put on the ballot has been upfront and transparent," noted Trustee Robert Fallot. "We don't want people to be confused."
McCall also is looking into legal options for the township to get the language corrected and get the issue on the fall ballot. Waiting until the next election is not an option for the township.
"We can't wait until the next election," noted Cathy McKinney. "We won't have any police protection. We don't have any funds."
Road Supervisor Gary McKinney told trustees that mowing has continued. Repairs were made to one of the mowers and a new battery was purchased for a dump truck.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is starting a culvert replacement on State Route 44, south of American Landfill.
Road detour signs have been set up and ODOT said the work should take about five days.
In other business, trustees:
/ PAID bills totaling $20,239.04.
/ LEARNED the Mohawk Valley Joint Fire District has responded to 73 calls through Sept. 1 with an average of 6.7 firefighters on each call.
The next meeting is set for 7:30 .m. Sept. 15 in Sandy Township Hall.