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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Will redistricting leave Lake County with three Ohio House districts?

Editor's note: Here is a sneak peek at the political notes column authored by John Arthur Hutchison that will appear in the Comment Section in Sunday's print edition of The News-Herald:

Not only does Ohio have to shrink down from 18 congressional districts to 16, but the boundaries of the 99 Ohio House of Representatives districts and 33 Ohio Senate districts will likely change as well.

Ohio’s population was 11,536,504 for 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and that’s an average of 116,530 per state House district. In 2000, Ohio’s population was 11,353,140; an average of 114,678 per district.

Census figures by Ohio county aren’t available yet, but estimates are from 2009.

Lake County currently has two House Districts — the 62nd, consisting of western Lake County and Concord Township, and the 63rd, consisting of Mentor and eastern Lake County.

The county’s population in 2000 was 227,511 and the estimated population for 2009 grew 9,624 to 236,775.

When the redistricting maps are drawn, Lake County could end up with two state House districts and share a third with Ashtabula County because of Lake County’s population gain and Ashtabula County’s population loss. Perhaps the Madison area joins with Ashtabula County?

The 99th House District currently is composed of Ashtabula County plus four townships and part of Mesopotamia Township in northern Trumbull County. Perhaps the Trumbull territory is absorbed by House District 64 to the south?

The 99th House district had a population of 109,349 in 2000, but Ashtabula County’s estimated population has declined by 1,961, down to 100,767 from 102,728; and Trumbull County’s estimated population declined in 2009 by 14,957, down to 210,157 from 225,114 in 2000.

With Trumbull County’s population declining and Lake County’s population growing, from which county will the 99th House District get the territory it needs? More on the Senate redistricting later.

In order
The order in which questions and issues are listed on a ballot rotates as part of a four-year cycle based on state law passed in 1996.

The idea was proposed because trends showed that as voters made their way down ballots they were less likely to approve issues and questions, so rotating their order seemed in order.

State issues always appear first, and will be followed this year and in 2015 by townships, school and other districts, county, and municipal. In 2010, and in 2014, the order is school and other districts, county, municipal, then townships. Next year, and in 2016, it is municipal, townships, school and other districts, then county. In 2009 and in 2013, it is county, municipal, townships, then school and other districts.

An issue with issues
Lake County commissioners, citing costs, were unhappy Feb. 3 to see a handful of schools and a library filed to have issues voted upon for a May 3 special election.

The office of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is required to certify ballot language by Feb. 22 and entities could withdraw their requests at no cost until then.

After that time, entities could withdraw their issues until the day before the first absentee ballots for an election are issued, but the longer the wait, the more costs for which the requesting entity would be responsible.

For example, poll worker training schedules have to be completed by boards of elections by March 4, and absentee ballots become available March 19 for voters who are military or civilian overseas.

Tyler announces
Kirtland Mayor Mark Tyler announced he plans to seek re-election for a four-year term. Filing deadline is Aug. 10.

n Lyndhurst Municipal Court Judge Mary Kaye Bozza: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights. Bozza also is endorsed by Pipe Fitters Local Union 120.

n Willoughby Hills Mayor Robert M. Weger: 5 to 7:30 p.m., Feb. 23 at Willoughby Hills Community Center for “Envision the Future” pasta dinner. See Tom Lobe, Gloria Majeski or Darleen Weger.

n Karen Kowall, candidate for Willoughby Municipal Court judge: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 3 at Pine Ridge Country Club, Wickliffe. See Marisa Cornachio or Dana Lutz.

n Lake Commissioner Dan Troy: Mardi Gras Party, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 8 at Holiday Inn Express LaMalfa Centre in Mentor. See Kip Molenaar.

n Jamie Callender, candidate for Ohio Senate, will host a Mardi Gras party from 6 to 8 p.m. March 8, at the Quail Hollow Inn in Concord Township. See Jamie or Heidi Callender.

John Arthur Hutchison’s column appears Sunday in The News-Herald.
Twitter: @newsheraldjah


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