Senior staff writer
Registered voters can go to the polls Tuesday and cast their ballots to determine party candidates for the Nov. 3 general election.
Those primary races alone would not be enough to expect a moderate or high voter turnout. However, voters in Beech Grove and Perry Township school districts will determine the status of multimillion dollar referendums to fund school operations and construction.
Polls will be open from 6 a.m.-6 p.m.
Here are the top 10 reasons to vote:
10) It’s your duty. Voter turnout in the 2014 general election was stunningly low. A good turnout is expected in Perry Township and Beech Grove because of the referendums.
9) Southport GOP race: Recently appointed Councilor Bill McKinney faces opposition from Kenneth Winslow in the Republican race for District 2. McKinney was appointed to succeed Nick Schmoll, who resigned because he moved out of Southport.
8) Beech Grove Democratic race: A three-way race will decide two at-large candidates on the Nov. 3 ballot. The choices are former Councilor Bud Templin, Jimmy Blice and James Brooks.
7) Homecroft: Although all five members of the Town Hall are unopposed, voters should cast a ballot for the referendums in Perry Township.
6) Indianapolis GOP mayoral race: There’s a long line of candidates seeking to succeed Mayor Greg Ballard, who is not running for another term. The Marion County GOP has slated Chuck Brewer, a 23-year Marine who served twice in combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The field also includes Jocelyn Tandy Adande, Terry Michael, Darrell Morris and Lawrence Shouse. The GOP winner will square off against Democrat Joe Hogsett.
5) Greenwood GOP City Council races: Six at-large candidates are competing to advance to three spots on the November ballot.
The crowded field features incumbents Mike Campbell and Brent Corey, former Councilor Ron Deer, Redevelopment Commission member Bryan Harris, Economic Development Commission member Chuck Landon and former city and county candidate Brian Moore.
The district races feature: District 1 – incumbent Linda Gibson seeks third term against challenger Drew Sager, a counselor at Center Grove Middle School; District 3 – three-term incumbent Bruce Armstrong vs. engineer Greg Hill; and District 6 – incumbent Thom Hord vs. attorney and CPA David Leske.
4) Greenwood Republican clerk race – Incumbent Jeannine Myers, who has served for 12 years, and challenger Nick Schwab, a school board member and city parks employee, seek election.
Myers helped guide the city to Second Class status, which created the office of clerk and abolished the clerk-treasurer position for an appointed city controller in 2011. She is married and has two grown daughters.
Schwab has served on the Central Nine Career Center governing board and is vice president of the Greenwood High School Alumni Association. He is married and has two children.
3) Southport Republican clerk-treasurer race – Incumbent Diana Bossingham faces a challenge from Marion County GOP-slated Shara Hostetler.
Bossingham has served since 2012 and has worked diligently to improve the municipality’s financial and record keeping process from the previous administration. She also serves as clerk for the Board of Public Works and Safety and treasurer of the Redevelopment Commission. She owns a small business and is a 17-year resident of Southport.
Hostetler, a former combat medic with the Indiana Army National Guard, has lived in Southport for five years. She is an emergency medical technician and a certified nursing and medical assistant. She serves as administrative secretary for the warden of the Marion County Jail II.
2) Beech Grove’s referendums – The district seeks two referendums: (1) a “tax neutral” transportation referendum to continue the current property tax rate of $0.35 per $100 assessed valuation for seven more years; and (2) raise $8.8 million for heating, venting and air-conditioning improvements at four schools, to expand performing arts classrooms at Beech Grove High School and renovate the Mike McMorrow Auditorium at a tax rate of $0.15 per $100 assessed valuation.
The average homeowner with an assessed valuation of $83,200 would pay $32.75 more yearly in increased taxes. School administrators point out that the overall rate will still be lower in 2016 than it was in 2007 before property tax caps were approved by the legislature.
1) Perry Township’s referendums – The state’s sixth largest school district is seeking: (1) $3 million annually for additional transportation and building maintenance costs; and (2) $50 million to build 60 classrooms in four kindergarten centers and 29 permanent elementary school classrooms to eliminate trailer classrooms, create individual classrooms from the open-area concept at Winchester Village Elementary, more classroom space for instrumental music at Southport middle and high schools and finance transportation and capital projects.
The first referendum carries a property tax rate of $0.4212 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The second referendum calls for a rate of $0.1346 per $100 of valuation. For an average home valued at $122,700, the tax increase would be $9.81 per month.
The district’s enrollment is projected to be 16,930 in 2019, an increase of 1,600 students.
Three years ago voters supported a multimillion dollar referendum that added classrooms, replaced boilers and roofs and renovated two high school swimming pools.