Upper Arlington residents will have just one major local issue to decide when they cast their votes on Nov. 4.

Upper Arlington residents will have just one major local issue to decide when they cast their votes on Nov. 4.

While much attention has been paid to the hotly-contested presidential race between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, the Tremont Road rezoning (Issue 51) has generated just about as much buzz locally.

Issue 51 is a referendum on the rezoning from residential to commercial at 3371 and 3381 Tremont Road for a proposed medical office building.

Issue 51 proponents say the development will boost the city's tax base, bringing an estimated 36 new jobs with an average annual salary of $60,000, generating approximately $43,200 in income taxes and $34,768 annually in real estate taxes.

Issue 51 opponents say the development will cause a decline in property values in surrounding neighborhoods, increase traffic congestion and set a dangerous precedent in which commercial development would encroach on residential communities.

Also of local interest, in the Ohio legislature race for the 24th House District seat, Upper Arlington voters will choose to reelect Democrat Ted Celeste or select Republican challenger and former Upper Arlington City Council member Tim Rankin.

In the race for the 16th District Ohio Senate seat, voters will choose between state Rep. Jim Hughes, R-Clintonville, who is currently representing the 22nd Ohio House District, and Democrat Danielle Blue, a trial attorney with the Columbus firm Gallagher, Gams, Pryor, Tallan and Littrell.

Local voters will also vote for a representative to the U.S. Congress 15th district, choosing between Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, Republican Steve Stivers, Libertarian Mark Noble and Independent Don Elihan Eckhart.

There are two races for Franklin County commissioner, one pitting Democrat Paula Brooks against Republican Angel Rhodes and the other, Republican Jeffrey J. Miller against Democrat John O'Grady.

Local liquor options include Issues 53A and 53B, which would allow weekday and Sunday alcohol sales, respectively, at the City Café Arlington, 1750 W. Lane Ave.

An issue that local voters will not have to decide is Issue 52, the solid waste initiative, which has been removed from the ballot by the Ohio Supreme Court. The court issued an Oct. 2 ruling ordering Issue 52 removed from the ballot after the city of Upper Arlington appealed the Franklin County Board of Elections' Sept. 12 decision to allow the issue to remain on the ballot.

Passage of Issue 52 would have overturned Upper Arlington City Council's decision last December to dismantle the city's solid waste division and contract with a private company, Texas-based Inland Service Corp., for trash and recycling collection.

cbournea@thisweeknews.com