SP village police levy unofficially passes

Published 12:49 am Wednesday, November 5, 2014

SOUTH POINT — The police levy that was on the ballot for voters in South Point unofficially passed Tuesday night.

“It is fantastic,” Mary Cogan, South Point village council member, said. “I was a little bit iffy about it before I went to the polls, but the longer I was there and the more people I talked to that said we needed it, I felt a lot better about the levy’s chances of passing.”

At 9:06 p.m. on Tuesday, 129 out of 227 votes for a total of 56.83 percent were for the levy, while 98 votes were against it for 43.17 percent of the vote.

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“It just validated that it was the right thing to do for our village,” she said.

At 9:53 p.m., the total votes in support of the levy reached 633 out of a total of 1,143 votes for 55.38 percent of the vote. There were 510 votes against it for 44.62 percent of the vote. There are 156 provisional votes yet to be counted.

“This was a levy that was very well needed,” Ron West, South Point Mayor, said. “I feel good about the people of South Point backing this.”

South Point Police Chief Chris Mahjer feels the same way about the levy passing.

“Here at the police department, we are completely up in joy,” he said. “It is a great day for us as well as a great day for the people of South Point.”

This levy was on the ballot in South Point three other times and did not pass.

“Most of us here at the police department didn’t have high hopes for this levy passing,” Mahjer said. “What you are seeing now is that the people of South Point see what is going on. The crime increase was starting to slap us right in the face. Our officers are extremely happy right now.”

The levy will get more police officers in South Point as well as give all of them full-time work with benefits.

“I am happy to see the voters of South Point made the right decision,” Chris Smith, South Point village councilman, said. “With all of the problems with crime that were building here, there is a definite need for additional officers. I am beyond thrilled that it passed. There will be some good things done for the village with the money generated.”

The money generated by the levy will likely start making its impact somewhere between April and June, and will take about a year to get into full stride.

“In this day and age, it’s easy to get the feeling that people aren’t supporting the police,” Mahjer said. “But it is great to see that the people are supporting us now.”