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Akron -- Commas are important.
Just ask Grandma when someone says, "Let's eat Grandma," but means to say, "Let's eat, Grandma."
The issue of a missing comma came up during the Aug. 11 meeting of the Summit County Board of Elections when the body was asked to consider a change to the ballot language of an issue in Munroe Falls.
Voters in Munroe Falls will be asked on Nov. 8 to consider a 0.25 percent increase in the city income tax rate. Initially, the ballot language proposed the following:
"Shall the ordinance providing for a 0.25 percent increase in the city of Munroe Falls income tax rate from 2.0 percent to a 2.25 percent levy on income for the purpose of general municipal operations, maintenance, new equipment services, facilities, and capital improvements, effective January 1, 2017, be passed?"
Paula A. Sauter, deputy director of the Board of Elections, said Munroe Falls informed board staff that a comma was needed between "new equipment" and "services."
Sauter said the board could vote to approve the language with the addition of that one comma "instead of having them rewrite their language entirely."
Board member Bryan C. Williams noted, "This raises the question, 'What's in a comma?' We dialogued about this before the board meeting / I get it."
Prior to the start of the meeting, Williams recalled a joke he heard Jerry Lewis tell during one of his MDA telethons in which a group of boys were going to take a dip in a pond when one noticed a sign that said, "No swimming is allowed."
One of the boys, a budding artist who carried paints and markers with him everywhere, quickly added a comma after the first word so the message read, "No, swimming is allowed."
Munroe Falls' ballot comma was unanimously approved by the board.