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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.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Will issues fire up voters in Nov.?

If they each get enough signatures to be on the ballot, two potential statewide issues are likely to fire up voters for the Nov. 8 election.

One issue, Senate Bill 5, is a law that changes and restricts collective bargaining for public employees. A referendum drive to repeal the law is under way with many groups working to collect enough valid signatures.

Another potential issue is a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that is spearheaded by a grassroots organization called the Ohio Project.

Proponents say the Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment aims to prohibit the state government from giving penalties or fines to people who choose not to purchase or belong in a health insurance plan.

Conservative Republicans, many of whom dub the federal health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama as “Obamacare,” are generally behind the potential state Constitutional Amendment.

Typically, the November election in the year between a gubernatorial and presidential elections is not one with high voter turnout, says Scott E. Daisher, Lake County Elections Board deputy director.

But this year might be different — especially with two potential statewide issues that would draw interest from both Democrats and Republicans.

Along with races for local mayors, councils and township trustees, many local levy and issue requests will likely draw interest on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Lake County Auditor Edward H. Zupancic said last week that he is already aware of at least 11 potential issues from entities inquiring about appearing.

Other entities considering levies or tax issues might wait to see exactly how the state’s biennial budget shapes out before going forward with a request as there are likely to be cuts in state funding.

Hero lost

The words of Geauga County Common Pleas Court Judge Forrest W. Burt rang true last week when he talked about the loss of Charles “Chip” Henry.

“We have lost a hero,” Burt said. “We will carry on but it will never be the same without him.”

For a generation, Henry was Geauga County’s Probate/Juvenile Court judge as he served after he was appointed in 1993 and then won election to three six-year terms on the bench. Henry will be missed by many.

Who will replace Henry? That’s a column for another day. But we do know that Gov. John Kasich will make an appointment after he accepts recommendations from the Geauga County Republican Party.

Candidate filing

Gabe Cicconetti announced he has filed petitions with the Lake County Elections Board to run for Painesville Township trustee.

He is owner and president of Cicconetti Insurance and Financial in Painesville and a member of the Painesville Community Improvement Corporation (past trustee), on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Painesville Organization and co-chairman for the Painesville Party in the Park.

Cicconetti also is the grandson of current Trustee Angelo Cicconetti, who recently announced he would not seek re-election in November.


* Lake County Sheriff Daniel A. Dunlap, 19th annual golf outing. Shotgun start at 10:30 a.m. June 10, Painesville Country Club. See Frank Leonbruno or Sheryl DePledge.

* Councilman Doug Davidson, who is running for Kirtland mayor, will host a hotdog roast from 6 to 8 p.m. June 13 at the Kirtland Community Center Pavilion. See Jim Yarborough or Gina Davidson.

* Gabe Cicconetti will host a fundraiser at Harry Buffalo in Painesville Township from 5:30 to 8 p.m. June 21. Special guest, former Cleveland Indian Len Barker. See Thomas Hill.

* Euclid Mayor Bill Cervenik, annual golf classic: Shotgun start at 1 p.m. June 24 at Briardale Greens Golf Course in Euclid. See Beth Cervenik.

* Fundraiser for Madison Township Trustee Pete Wayman: 5 to 7:30 p.m. June 27 at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Madison Township. See Tim Gorka.

* Desirea Thompson, a candidate for Mentor-on-the-Lake Council, hosts a spaghetti dinner 5 to 9 p.m. July 16 at the Stadium Grill in Mentor. See John Thompson.
Twitter: newsheraldjah


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