Herald Staff Writer
Barberton City Council members voted on two ordinances which would eliminate the primary election held on the eighth Tuesday prior to the general election and instead establish a May primary election date for municipal elections in the city of Barberton, which would result in cost reduction for taxpayers.
Councilman Thomas Heitic stated, “It would give the voters a chance to decide when their elections are. I think only having one [election] would be a disservice to the citizens and rob them of that choice.”
The first ordinance which would authorize and direct the Summit County Board of Elections to submit a proposed charter amendment to the voters to abolish the primary election did not pass as council members Shorter Griffin, Nina Angeloff, Carol Frey, Joyce Coburn, and Carla Debevec voted against the proposal while Councilmen Thomas Heitic, Shaun Jaber and Justin Greer voted yes.
The second ordinance which would allow voters to determine if they want to establish a May primary election date was passed with a 6 to 2 vote and Debevec explained her reason for voting no on the first but yes on the second is because she fears citizens may be confused by the two very similar proposals on the general election ballot.
Other legislation discussed at the May 26 council meeting included the passing of an ordinance allowing for the transfer of $7,185.57 from the city’s general fund to the fire department operating budget for supplies. Another ordinance was not passed after it ended in a tie vote to create a community improvement corporation.
Council members discussed their decisions to vote against it, mainly agreeing that although it could be a good tool, there isn’t enough information about it.
Councilman Greer also shared his concerns that it may create a competition between nonprofits for funding.