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Greater Akron Chamber Takes Position on November Ballot Issues

Greater Akron—This November, the Greater Akron Region will have multiple issues on the ballot that will affect our communities. The Greater Akron Chamber has reviewed a number of these issues on behalf of the business community and is taking positions on Ohio Issue 1 – the Summit County Children Services Proposed Tax Levy and the local proposed charter amendment to move Akron’s Primary Elections from September to May. 

Each of these issues has been brought to and reviewed by the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee, and a position has been taken by the Board of Directors on behalf of the organization.

No on Issue 1
Ohio Issue 1 is a petition-initiated constitutional amendment that would reduce penalties for crimes of obtaining, possessing and using illegal drugs. If passed, Issue 1 will implement changes that would significantly impact Ohio’s prison and criminal justice systems. 

The Greater Akron Chamber has moved to OPPOSE Issue 1 because we believe changing the Ohio Constitution is an inappropriate means of addressing the important issues this ballot initiative wishes to solve. Marc Merklin, Managing Partner, Brouse McDowell and Chair, Greater Akron Chamber Board of Directors. said, “We recognize that the proponents and opponents of this issue each have a case to make to the voters – but no matter your perspective, it is clear the issues at stake are complicated and the consequences of change will be far reaching.  We are opposed to putting this kind of issue in the Ohio Constitution and using the ballot initiative approach to effect these changes. This is exactly the kind of work that needs to be moved through the normal legislative work of the Ohio General Assembly. These matters require careful deliberation from Ohio’s elected officials in a focused process that includes debate and discussion.”

Yes on the Summit County Children Services Proposed Tax Levy
The Chamber SUPPORTS the Summit County Children Services’ (SCCS) 3.25 mills proposed tax levy. This levy is in part a renewal of the 2012, 2.25 mills levy with an additional 1 mill to constitute a tax for the benefit of Summit County to support children services and the care and placement of children by the Summit County Children Services Board. The Chamber’s President & CEO, Steve Millard, said, “The Chamber continues to support the SCCS and recognizes the important work they do throughout the community for child protection, placement and other important care services. The opioid epidemic has greatly impacted the necessity, frequency and cost of these services and, in light of dwindling state funding, we strongly support this levy to help the agency continue its important work.”
Yes on the City of Akron’s Charter Amendment to Move September Primary Elections to May 
The Chamber SUPPORTS the proposed charter amendment brought to the ballot by Mayor Horrigan and over 6,100 petitioners that would move Akron’s September Primary Elections to May. The organization anticipates several positive results for the City of Akron, including cost savings and improved efficiency.  Marc Merklin stated, “The Greater Akron Chamber Board of Directors recognizes multiple common-sense reasons to make this change and believes there would be no harm to candidates or voters in doing so. If passed, we anticipate an improvement to local election efficiency.”

Leading up to the Fall 2018 General Election, the Chamber will work to educate the community on these issues and avidly encourages everyone to vote on November 6, 2018.  For further information on where to vote, candidates and the issues discussed above, please contact John Rizzo, Director of Government Affairs, at (330) 237-1263.
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