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Ironton income tax measure fails

City council will have three new members

Members of the Ironton City Council have spent the better part of 2019 telling voters that something had to be done to make sure the city’s general fund didn’t go into the negative.

After several forums about various plans to raise funds, the council put a measure on the Nov. 5 ballot asking city voters if they were in favor of or against a 1 3/4 percent income tax.

The answer came back as a resounding “no,” with 74 percent of the voters voting against it.

The total count was 2,172 against and 701 votes for an additional income tax.

The voters also chose three new candidates to be on the council starting in 2020.

With a total of 7,507 votes cast in the race, challenger Chris Haney got 25 percent of the votes with 2,226, Mike Pierce got 19 percent of the vote with 1,695 and Jacob Hock got 21 percent of the votes with 1,870.

Incumbent Chuck O’Leary got 10 percent of the vote, with 895, and incumbent Jim Tordiff, who was appointed in April 2017 to fill the unexpired term of the late Dave Frazer, got 9 percent of the vote with 821. O’Leary has been on the council three times and Tordiff has been councilman three times, as well as Ironton mayor and city finance director.

The city will also have a new mayor with Sam Cramblit II winning over incumbent mayor Katrina Keith with 70 percent of the vote, 2,055 to 816.

The city council will be facing a number of issues over the next few years, including the EPA-mandated separation of the city’s wastewater and sewer lines which is going to cost the city $11 million and starts in 2020, $600,000 to fix the water treatment plant as well as other infrastructure that needs work like the sewer plant and the roads.