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98-97: Every vote counts

Andy Ouriel • Nov 7, 2013 at 7:50 AM

Tell that to Bay View resident Mary Blatnik, whose vote in Tuesday’s election may have tipped the scales in favor of a crucial levy.

The village’s police levy eked out the narrowest of election victories, winning 98-97, according to unofficial results.

Since the margin is so close — 50.26 percent “yes” votes and 49.74 percent “no” votes — state law mandates Erie County elections officials must inspect and recount each ballot.

A final decision as to whether the levy is approved or rejected should come by Nov. 20, said Chris Marinko, an Erie County Board of Elections member.

But, as of today, Blatnik’s proud of herself for partaking in her civic patriotic duty, which seemingly clinched an important victory for area police operations.

“It must have been my vote,” said Blatnik, upon realizing the results Wednesday. “That is great. The Bay View Police Department is always here to help me, and they do a good job.”

While some are happy, others are a bit worried about the vote squeaking by as of right now.    “I’m a little nervous,” Bay View police Chief Helen Prosowski said. “I’m really hoping to see it pass. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”

Prosowski, along with other village officials, vigorously campaigned this fall to create new income for police operations.

A door-to-door effort focused on convincing voters to approve an issue generating new money.

The police department operates today with about $45,000 a year.

The levy, if approved, would inject an extra $51,000 into police coffers each year.

“Our main goal with this levy is to increase our hours to pretty much be 24/7,” Prosowski said.

The department’s officers are volunteer or part-time.

New money would also ensure the community remains a safe place to live, Prosowski said.

“We are fortunate out here with the crime rate,” Prosowski said. “It doesn’t compare with other places, but we don’t want it to get to that point, and we don’t want our crime rate to go up.”

Bay View police

• WHAT: 4-mill, continuing additional levy to fund the police department and related services.

• COST: Owner of a $100,000 home will pay $122 a year.

FOR: 98


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