The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, May. 6, 2021

VW Council races, levies on primary ballot

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Tuesday, May 4, is Primary Election Day in Ohio this year. Ballot issues are slim this year, with two Van Wert City Council primary races and two replacement levies sought by the Van Wert County Council on Aging. Republican voters will decide both City Council primary races, as the only Democrats running are unopposed in the primary.

Heading the City Council races is a two-person race for the president of Council position now held by Jon Tomlinson, who is not running for re-election. Both of the candidates seeking to replace Tomlinson have previous political experience.

Kirby Kelly, served two terms on City Council in the last decade, while the other candidate, Jerry Mazur, is a former City Council member, Council president, and mayor.

Both are hoping to provide leadership as Council president, a position that is similar to being U.S. Senate president. Both positions include presiding over their respective legislative bodies and neither position has a vote other than to avoid deadlocks with tie-breaking votes.

In addition to Council president, there is a four-way race for the three at-large seats on City Council.

Those seeking the Republican nomination for an at-large Council seat include two incumbents, Bill Marshall and Jeffrey Kallas (the other incumbent, Joel Penton, is not seeking re-election).

Marshall is a retired sales executive who is seeking his third term on Council, while Kallas is a government and history teacher at Van Wert High School who is seeking a second Council term.

The two challengers are Judy Agler-Bowers, a member of the Heartland Patriots group and a former small business owner, and Stephen J. “Joe” Jared, a local businessperson who has run unsuccessfully for mayor during the last two primary elections.

Also on the ballot are two replacement issues, a .25-mill, five-year levy and a .20-mill, five-year levy, which are being sought by the County Council on Aging. 

The levies on the May ballot replace tax issues with the same exact millage rates; however, replacement issues would bring revenues up to 2021 values.

According to Council on Aging information, the levies provide approximately two-thirds of the agency’s annual budget, with donations and grants making up the remainder. The Delphos Senior Center also receives 16 percent of the .20-mill property tax levy. The current levy generates $265,000 in annual revenues.

The owner of real estate valued at $100,000 would pay $15.75 a year if the two replacement levies are approved by voters. That’s less than half a cent a day to provide a number of important services to senior citizens in Van Wert County, including transportation to and from medical appointments and other senior transportation needs.

POSTED: 05/03/21 at 11:42 pm. FILED UNDER: News