In addition to races for the state's top offices, local voters will determine the fate of a Pickerington Local Schools levy, proposed city charter amendments and races for the 7th Congressional and 31st Ohio Senate districts on Nov. 2.

In addition to races for the state's top offices, local voters will determine the fate of a Pickerington Local Schools levy, proposed city charter amendments and races for the 7th Congressional and 31st Ohio Senate districts on Nov. 2.

Chief among the local issues will be a Pickerington Local School District levy.

District officials are seeking the replacement of an 8-mill levy, which originally was approved to collect 8 mills but now collects just 1.158 mills.

Passage would allow the district to begin collecting increased revenue on Jan. 1. According to district officials, it would generate a total of $8.98-million yearly, including $7.586-million in new revenue.

As a result, homeowners annually would pay an additional $209.53 per $100,000 of home valuation, or $17.46 per month.

The levy is opposed by the Pickerington Taxpayers Association, a citizens group of at least five people which maintains a Facebook account, as well as Eye On the Pickerington Local School District, which has a Web site at www.ionplsd.com.

Pickerington residents also will be asked to amend the city's charter.

According to city officials, the changes don't represent any substantive changes to city policies or procedures, but rather would keep Pickerington's governing document up to date with state codes and provide clarification as to the relationships between certain elected officials and city employees.

If passed, the proposed amendments would revise the charter to recognize Pickerington as a "city," as opposed to a "municipality."

Charter review commission members also have said the proposals would more clearly spell out the working relationship between the city's mayor and city manager, as well as the process for appointing an interim city manager in the event the city manager is fired or resigns.

Additionally, the proposed amendments would seek to clarify rules for removing an elected official from office by requiring "at least five council members" to approve such action.

As for candidate races, voters in Clark, Fayette, Fairfield, Greene, Pickaway and Perry counties, including the communities of Springfield, Beavercreek, Circleville, Lancaster, Canal Winchester, Pickerington, New Lexington, Washington Court House and Nelsonville, will help determine the outcome of a four-way race for the 7th U.S. Congressional seat.

Incumbent Republican Steve Austria will seek re-election to a second term on Nov. 2. He will be challenged by Democrat Bill Conner, Libertarian John Anderson and Constitution Party candidate David Easton.

Additionally, incumbent Republican Tim Schaffer will face Democrat Dennis Lupher in a race for the Ohio Senate's 31st district.

Incumbent Fairfield County commissioner Mike Kiger, a Republican, is being challenged by Democrat George C. Hallam for a term starting Jan. 1, 2011.

According to the Fairfield County Board of Elections, polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

nellis@thisweeknews.com

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