Passage of renewal levies will retain services in Brunswick and Brunswick Hills

BRUNSWICK, Ohio — The passage of two renewal levies Nov. 7 will enable road repairs in Brunswick and fire service in Brunswick Hills to continue uninterrupted. Meanwhile, election night proved to be a boon for challengers in several other races as some long-time incumbents lost their reelection bids.

“This 5.2 mills is our number one source of funding for our department, so now we can continue to fund services and different projects,” Brunswick Hills Township Fire Chief Anthony Strazzo said following voters’ passage of a the department’s 5.2 mill renewal operating levy.

The renewal will to continue bringing $1.3 million per year into the fire department, Strazzo said. He added that, along with a 1 mill, five-year operating levy passed by voters in May, this latest renewal also gives the department’s full-time employees a better sense of job security.

“That helps us with retention and [the vote margin] speaks volumes of what this community thinks of the department – and we thank them for their support,” Strazzo said. Issue 3 passed by a 2,638-to-1,524 vote margin, based upon unofficial results from the Medina County Board of Elections.

Strazzo said in addition to the daily fire and EMS service township residents have come to expect, the department will also be able continue a number of fire-prevention activities that he said “are not huge capital projects, but do have an impact on the effectiveness of the service we provide.”

Passage of Issue 16, the city of Brunswick’s renewal of its 10-year, 1.2 mill road levy, will allow the city to continue investing $852,000 per year on neighborhood street paving and repair, according to City Manager Carl DeForest. The road levy was first passed by voters in May 2014 and DeForest said it has resulted in major street improvements over the past decade.

“I appreciate the support from the community. This renewal gives us the opportunity to invest in improving the residential streets and demonstrates confidence in, and appreciation for all the hard work, planning and investments we have made in infrastructure improvements in the past decade,” DeForest said following the unofficial 7,467-to-4,573 vote levy passage. “Service Director Paul Barnett has done great job leveraging these funds to improve our roadways, and all the credit for this success goes to him and his staff. We will continue to do our best to make good things happen with these much needed dollars.”

Incumbent Brunswick Ward 4 Councilman Keith Kuzcma also retained his seat against challenger John Welker by an unofficial 1,406-to-822 vote margin, but incumbents in some other races did not fare as well.

In Brunswick Hills, sitting trustee John Witthuhn was defeated by challenger Ryan Nixon 1,718 to 1,445 votes, based upon unofficial results; Hinckley Township trustee Melissa Augustine lost her seat to challenger Cindy Engleman by an unofficial 1,920 to 1,641 vote margin; and Brunswick City Schools Board member Nancy Zelei was bested by Laura Mullen and Alison Hanudel by an unofficial count of 5,924, 7,016 and 6,409 votes respectively and two seats to be filled.

Brunswick Hills and Hinckley fiscal officers Linda Kuenzer and Martha Catherwood ran unopposed, as did Brunswick City Council members Michael Abella Jr. (Ward 1), Nicholas Hanek (Ward 2) and Brandon Lambert (Ward 3).

Read more news from the Brunswick Sun.

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