Voters say overwhelming no to Sylvania rec center levy

Mayor Craig Stough cannot remember a levy ever losing by as wide a margin.
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 6:32 AM EDT
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SYLVANIA, Ohio (WTVG) - Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough cannot remember a levy ever losing by as wide a margin as the Sylvania community center on Tuesday’s ballot.

Voters in Sylvania voted down the levy, with 82 percent voting against it. The numbers showed that the people of Sylvania were united across party lines against the measure.

Bowling Green State University professor Melissa Miller said such a spectacular loss is nearly unheard of in today’s climate of extremely polarized politics. She said it’s much easier to pass a levy for something that already exists.

However, a package as big as the community center was a lot for voters to commit to without ever experiencing it before. The levy was for $90 per year per $100,000 home value, a steep price tag for voters still feeling the economic pinch of the pandemic, according to Miller.

“It’s not often that voters speak with such a resounding voice, that there’s 80% of voters agree on anything, so I think a real message was sent that this was too big, it was going to have too big of a financial impact on voters, and it wasn’t the right time,” Miller said.

Miller said when levies like these fail, it’s common for smaller packages to be presented later on. Stough said that’s what might happen, but it’s still too early to tell.

Stough said some parts of the community center are necessary for the community, but the city will have to consult with the YMCA and other partners to ensure that services aren’t duplicated across projects before proceeding.

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