Busy Election Needs Your Vote


Like a number of longtime citizens, Sheila Odesky, George Seney and Rose Tarsha are among our Sylvania neighbors who never miss getting out to vote. This means that during their adult lifetimes they have consistently cast ballots since the 1960s.
These Sylvania residents all agree on some variation of a theme: voting is both a privilege and a duty as American citizens. “My late husband was passionate about voting, so we’d always go to the polls together. Now, it still seems second nature,” said Sheila.
“It’s the only time you’re asked about how affairs are being conducted,” added George. “If you don’t get out there for ten minutes and vote, then your voice is never going to be heard.”
If it seems like there is a lot to decide in the upcoming Sylvania election … there is! Our voters face the first contested mayoral race in more than 40 years, larger-than-normal fields of candidates for city council and the board of education, and several challengers for township trustee.
Veteran city council member and political activist Doug Haynam said that there are reasons for the large field of candidates …but different reasons for each race.
“Clearly, there is an interest in bringing new blood and new thinking to the school board,” he said. “A number of experienced people have stepped away from the board in recent years, and there is a heightened interest in the schools in light of our experiences during COVID.”

“In terms of the council race, residents see Sylvania as a ‘hot market’ today. There’s a lot going on here, and people want to be a part of that. It helps that there will be a vacant seat on council (Katie Cappelleni is running for mayor). But, notwithstanding that, the council candidates are all good people who just want to find a way to serve the community in that post.”
In addition to candidate races, the ballot will list five tax levy propositions to consider—county-wide renewals for the Zoo, Imagination Station, and 911, plus a new sales tax for TARTA. It also includes Issue 11, a high-profile measure from the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District to build a new multigenerational community center and make improvements to existing facilities.
Off-year elections generally reflect much lower voter turnout than the presidential election and races for senate or governor … as low as 25 percent of registered voters and usually around 40 percent. Local campaign consultant B.J. Fischer noted, “The lack of participation is ironic because local races more directly affect issues that have the greatest impact on people’s daily lives. Also, voting in a lower-turnout election gives each individual a proportionately greater voice about the outcome.”
Fischer said that lighter absentee balloting and in-person activity at the Early Voting Center forecast a lower turnout in Lucas County this year than in previous mid-term elections. But Mr. Haynam has an explanation for that dynamic in Sylvania that may forecast a surge in voting before Election Day.
“Because of the crowded field of candidates, the slow early voting may simply reflect an interest by many people to be as knowledgeable as they can about who they will vote for. They are hoping to get more information and learn more,” he said. “Plus, the high degree of interest in the SJARD levy is real. People are talking about it; it’s all over social media. Look at the number of signs that are out. Pro or con, it’s an important issue for our community that deserves the voter’s attention.”
In short, this once-in-decades election creates a personal challenge for every registered voter in the township and the city. It is important that each of us learn about the levy issues, find out what each candidate stands for, make up our minds, and get to the polls on Nov. 2. In this busy election year, in particular, your vote really does count.

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