Recount shows Brimfield police levy won by a hair, giving the department a $352,000 raise

Brimfield Police Department. Ben Wolford/The Portager

The official count is in, and Brimfield Township’s police levy has passed by eight votes following a recount of the May 3 primary election results.

On election night, county officials announced that the levy had failed by a single vote, 920-921. But those unofficial results did not include absentee and provisional ballots, and the narrow margin triggered a recount.

The final, official result is 936 in favor and 928 against, said Theresa Nielsen, deputy director of the Portage County Board of Elections.

Issue 9, a 3.02-mil replacement levy will replace a 2.7-mil levy voters approved in 2006. Prior to the election, Brimfield Police Chief Roy Mosley said levy proceeds will add up to just over $1 million a year, a $352,000 increase over what the department had been realizing from the 2006 levy.

Mosley could not be reached for comment, but Trustee Mike Kostensky called the official results “a good thing.”

“Our staff is nowhere where it needs to be, but this is a step forward,” Kostensky said. “It shows Brimfield supports their police department. They do a great job.”

Levy proceeds will cover five years of operational costs, including keeping the Brimfield Police Department’s lights on, paying for employees’ health insurance and salaries, covering fuel and equipment costs, and servicing the department’s building loan, Mosley had said.

Had the levy failed, he said they would have considered cutting police personnel, including the department’s school resource officers.

The absentee ballots had to be proper in all aspects, and had to be received within 10 days of the May 3 primary, Nielsen said. Provisional ballots could be cast in early balloting or on Election Day, but each one had to be scrutinized before the official vote could be tallied.

“We count every single ballot that we are legally able to count, whether it’s provisional or absentee or at the polls on election day,” Nielsen said.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.