NEW FRANKLIN  Voters in New Franklin will elect a new mayor and decide on three council at-large seats. Voters in the Manchester School District will also elect three school board members and decide on a school levy renewal.

SCHOOL BOARD AND RENEWAL LEVY

Voters in the Manchester School District will decide on Issue 34. The issue is a 5.99-mill, five-year renewal levy. This issue is not a new tax and represents about $1.4 million each year of the operating budget.

Manchester Schools Superintendent Jim Robinson said this issue brings in the same amount that it did when it was first passed due to state requirements set forth in HB 920 that came about in 1976.

"Our school system is a big focus for our community and we always strive to give the community the very best possible," Robinson said. "We have been good stewards of the money supplied to us by the community over the last five-year period of the original levy and we are not asking for anything more but a continuation of that trust for our students."

Robinson said those in the district are proud of the students who go through the district.

"Manchester has always been known for its athletic programs in the area no matter what the sport but as a small school we are also very proud of our fine arts," Robinson said. "Our band currently has over 75 members and our vocal music program and drama programs are outstanding. We set aside a day each spring that no other activity other than fine arts can take place to recognize our very gifted students."

Academically, according to state data, this last year Manchester saw 99 percent of the district’s students graduate in four years and the district has more than 70 percent of graduates go onto post-secondary education to many different colleges and universities, Robinson said.

"We had our elementary school (Nolley) earn the coveted National Blue Ribbon for Academic Excellence," Robinson said. "Only nine schools in Ohio attained that national award this year and only 342 schools out of many thousands across the country received the award. As a school system, we want to carry on our proud traditions but also embrace the future. This renewal levy, Issue 34, is essential to keep our students moving forward."

An interesting race is shaping up for the Manchester Board of Education, which has three seats open and only two candidates on the ballot, current board member Richard Sponseller and Joseph Hercules. However, four write-in candidates have emerged. They are Neal Broida, Jason Jividen, Nela Lucey and Debra Ann Miller.

"As a lifelong Panther with kids currently in each of the Manchester Schools, I believe I have a greater understanding of our community, both historically and currently," Hercules said. "I believe school board members should be active community members, and easily approachable, so that community concerns can be resolved as quickly and smoothly as possible. I am very thankful to the district I am a part of and hope to repay it through my service."

MAYOR AND COUNCIL RACE

This year’s mayoral race is uncontested as Mayor Al Bollas decided not to run for another term. The only candidate on the ballot is Paul Adamson, a former city councilman.

For council at-large, five candidates are running for three seats. Current at-large candidates Harry Gehm, Judy Jones and Andrea Norris are all seeking re-election. They are being challenged by Andrew Ford and Tony Hawk.