Nov. 5 general election
Columbus residents face full slate of issues, candidates
Columbus city and school district voters will be presented with a full slate of candidates and ballot issues in the general election Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Three incumbent Democrats -- A. Troy Miller, Priscilla Tyson and Eileen Paley -- will defend their City Council seats against Republicans Greg Lawson and Brian Bainbridge and independent Nick Schneider.
Independent Igor Ternovsky will face Hugh Dorrian, an incumbent Democrat, in the race for city auditor.
Meanwhile, the city will seek four separate bond issues totaling $842 million that will help fund a variety of capital improvement projects.
* Issue 1 -- Safety and Health ($53 million) for police and fire facilities, vehicles and equipment.
* Issue 2 -- Recreation and Parks ($124 million) for rec centers, bike paths, pools, parks, playgrounds and equipment.
* Issue 3 -- Public Service ($220 million) for resurfacing, sidewalks, roadways, bikeways, refuse vehicles and containers, street department equipment and other neighborhood improvements.
* Issue 4 -- Public Utilities ($445 million) for water system improvements, storm-water improvements and street lighting.
Officials say approval will not result in a tax increase. Rather, the vote will allow the city to secure low-interest loans to pay for projects.
Voter approval also would give City Council the authority to raise property taxes if income-tax revenues did not cover the interest from those bonds.
"Columbus is recognized today as the best city for jobs in the entire Midwest because of the investments we've made in our infrastructure, our core neighborhood services and our overall quality of life," said Dan Williamson, spokesman for Mayor Michael B. Coleman.
"These investments were made possible because citizens have supported our recent voted bond packages, allowing us to maximize our investments without raising taxes," Williamson said.
"Approval of the 2013 voted bond package will keep Columbus on the path of prosperity."
In another citywide race, City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer, the incumbent Democrat, is running unopposed.
Columbus City Schools will seek a 9.01-mill combination operating levy/bond issue on Tuesday's ballot. Issue 50 would raise $515 million over the course of five years -- $340 million for levy and $175 million for the bond issue.
It would cost homeowners about $315 annually per $100,000 in property value.
A related measure, Issue 51, would create an independent auditor at the school district level. The person who fills the post would operate independently of the school board and oversee district finances.