ERIE — Residents on Tuesday opted to put a recreation center in the middle of town and to return two incumbents to the Board of Trustees.
Trustee Glenn Massarotti, who was appointed to the board in 2005 to fill a vacancy, won the most votes with 1,785.
“I was very happy to see that,” Massarotti said. “We worked really hard on this campaign.”
Tina Harris came in second place, with 1,627 votes. Incumbent Harry Pink, who was elected in 2002, received 1,196 votes for third place.
Cheryl Hauger finished fourth, with 986 votes. She will serve a two-year term on the board to finish a term that was left uncompleted when Trustee Lisa Novak resigned last year.
Mayor Andrew Moore, who was elected in 2004, ran unopposed this year.
Voters approved the recreation center by almost a 10 percent margin, with 1,839 votes for and 1,527 votes against the proposal.
The Board of Trustees unanimously decided in February to ask voters for a tax increase to build a 60,000-square-foot recreation center at East County Line Road and Leon Wurl Parkway. With the passage of Ballot Issue A, each homeowner in Erie will pay an additional annual property tax of $60 for every $100,000 of residential valuation.
“I’m very excited,” said Trustee Tom Van Lone, who has supported the rec center. The board has to finish the design elements and hopes to start construction this year.
Moore said he hopes the library and recreation center will be built at the same time.
“I’m excited that we’re bringing a full-service amenity to this town,” Moore said. “The first raquetball game I’m having is with Trustee Van Lone.”
Trustees attributed this year’s higher voter turnout — 3,366 ballots were cast on Issue A — to both the recreation center question and the convenience of mail ballots. More than twice as many people voted this year than in the 2004 municipal election.
“That was the issue they were passionate about,” said Trustee Greg McCallum, who did not seek re-election after one term.
Trustees chose to conduct the election via mail, even though it was more expensive than a polling-place election, to increase turnout. An estimated 40 percent of registered voters cast ballots in this election. Of active voters, more than 44 percent voted.
“That’s why we did it. We wanted more involvement,” McCallum said.
“It shows people prefer mail-in ballots,” Moore said.
Victoria Camron can be reached at 303-684-5226, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Erie Rec Center
Feeley III 540