Voters will have plenty to decide on Nov. 7 election day

SALEM — Voters in Perry Township and the city of Salem have a lot to decide when they cast ballots Nov. 7, from candidates ruling their schools, city hall and township to issues involving parks, permanent improvements, safety forces and a charter commission.

Only one candidate for city government stands unopposed and that’s newcomer Tom Baker, who filed as a Republican for President of Council. Come January, he’ll take control of the gavel being let go by current council President K. Bret Apple, who ditched the “D” after his name and chose to seek the city treasurer’s seat as an Independent.

Fellow Independent candidate Robert Hiltbrand will go head-to-head with Apple for the treasurer’s post being vacated by Dr. John Conrad, an Independent who decided not to seek re-election.

For city council, the three Council At Large seats are up for grabs, with all three Republican incumbents requesting voters keep them and one Independent seeking to snag one of the spots. The candidates include Councilmen Brian Whitehill and Roy Paparodis, who are seeking re-election, appointed Councilman Andrew Null, who wants his own four-year term, and newcomer Sal Salvino, who’s running for his first political office.

City voters also need to choose the odd person out when they select 15 charter commission members out of 16 candidates. The list of candidates includes Gregory Arcuri, Jock Buta, Meta Cramer, Kyle Cranmer, Thomas Eddinger, Mark Flake, Karl Getzinger, Virginia Grilli, Richard Lutsch, DeEllen McFarland, Audrey Null, George Spack Jr., Eloise Traina, Dennis Weaver, Frank Zamarelli and Ronald Zellers.

Whether those chosen as commission members get to serve or not depends on whether voters decide they want the commission formed in the first place. If voters say no like they did last fall, the chosen ones won’t serve. If voters say yes this time, the commission members will explore the idea of Salem adopting a charter form of government. They’ll write up a proposed charter for how the city government will operate and then they’ll put the charter before voters, likely in the fall of 2018. The decision on whether the city goes through with the charter at that time rests with the voters.

For now, they just have to say yes or no to the formation of the charter commission.

On the township side, Perry Township voters (including those in the city) will choose two trustees to represent them. No matter the outcome, the township is guaranteed at least one new trustee for next year since current Trustee Don Kendrick opted against seeking re-election. Fellow Trustree Don Rudibaugh is seeking re-election and will be joined on the ballot by James Armeni Sr., who previously served on city council and as city auditor, and by Joe Colian, Austin French Jr., and Melissa Jakubisn. There are two seats available.

Both city and township voters will decide who fills two Salem city school board slots. Incumbents Ted Bricker and Howard Rohleder will be joined on the ballot by Carol Hrvatin. Appointed school board member LuAnn Haddad is running unopposed for an unexpired term. When she was appointed, there was more than half of the term left to serve, requiring an election for the unexpired term, which ends Dec. 31, 2019.

The ballot includes a few money issues, too. Perry Township voters (only those in the unincorporated area) will decide whether to renew a 1.5-mill safety forces levy which generates $127,300 annually. School district voters are also looking at a renewal, for a 2-mill permanent improvement levy generating $315,300 annually.

City residents will consider a parks levy that renews 1 mill and adds an additional a 0.3 mills, meaning if they approve, they’ll be paying a little bit more for park operations.

More detailed stories about the candidates and issues will be coming as part of the Salem News pre-election coverage as the election season ramps up this fall.

For residents who aren’t registered to vote, the deadline is Oct. 10. To vote in Ohio, a person must register at least 30 days before the election, must be a citizen of the United States, be at least 18 years old on or before the next general election and must be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days before the election.

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