Levies and a tax increase failed during the May 2 election for both Springfield Township and the village of Lakemore.

Springfield had two levies on the ballot. The first was a 3-mill renewal levy with a 1.5-mill additional levy added for the police department. The second was a 1.8-mill for the parks and recreation department.

The village did not have a levy on the ballot but presented a 0.25 percent raise in the income tax to take it from 2.0 percent to 2.25 percent.

All were defeated and turnout was small in both communities.

Lakemore Mayor Rick Justice said that village officials are going to regroup and figure out how they presented the information to the voters, "or if we didn't get our message out clearly."

He would like to put it to a vote again and he hopes council members feel the same way.

"I think this was the fairest most equitable thing to do for our residents to get revenue to put toward our roads," Justice said.

Justice said part of the reason the increased failed was that "maybe the road part was not explained well enough." He also would like to simplify the language on the ballot. 

"Maybe we need to make the language at the pole a little clearer," Justice said. "We need to get the message out to the people before the election. We need to make it clear that it will mainly be used for roads."

The monies collected from a 0.25 percent increase would be for upgrading roads and would also be used to updated old equipment needed to perform the upgrades. Justice said the village has to have some money to upgrade old equipment.

"If we don't, we won't have much to fix the roads with," he said. 

All the money from the increase would go into the Capital Improvement Fund.

Springfield levies

In Springfield, trustees have approved a resolution to request the Summit County Fiscal Office certify totals for tax valuations and revenue that would be generated by additional and renewal levies. The first two requests were for the same levies that were defeated earlier this month: an additional 1.8-mill levy for the Parks and Recreation Department and a 3-mill renewal with 1.5 additional mills for the Police Department. The other requests were for the 3-mill renewal and the 1.8-mill additonal Police Department levies to be placed seperately.

Trustee Deborah Davis said officials are having the auditor certify the amounts to see what would work best and choose what to place on the ballot for the voters approval.

Trustee Dean Young said they are still evaluating which way to go because the need still exists due to a shortfall in revenue.

"We are trying to think of how to better present the education to the community," he said. "With such a low turnout, it is hard to say that the people don't want what we are purposing when only 15 percent of the registered voters came to the poll. One of the levies that was out for the first time, only 9 percent voted against it." 

Young said trustees want to get more information to the people in the community.

"How can we better present the case and feel confident this is what they want?" he said.

Officials in both communities say they want to present the information in a better way to residents in hope that thbey will have a better understanding of the need and the way that the dollars would be used and why they are needed to maintain the level of services.