"I have always valued citizen input. I believe that in many situations, citizens should have a role in building the solution to a community need. Because of their involvement, they are then more committed to the successful outcome. Most of the time when I become an advocate for an issue, it is because I am approached by a group of citizens and presented a valid community need."
LIST OF ISSUES
MANAGEMENT SELECTION TEAM
As City Manager, Mike Cornell has been a good administrator and manager, however he has already extended his stay by two years. He has announced his plan to leave local government management at the end of 2016. The City Council will define the process for seeking his replacement, from within the current staff, from within the region or state, or via a national search. They will decide the interview committee and selection process. When there is a transition in top leadership, there can be disruptions is relationships with many stakeholders: for example the staff, department heads, business leaders and citizens. I have worked directly with seven city managers as a staff member or consultant or elected official. I have watched and learned much about those relationships. I would like to bring a voice of experience to the decision making table. I would also like to be part of the team that works toward a successful transition in leadership.
STRONG FISCAL MANAGEMENT
As a Beavercreek City Council member, I will want the City budget document to list goals, objectives, and performance standards for each department and provide oversight. The City will benefit with best practice management, enhanced communication, and more accountability. Appropriate fiscal management planning defines specifically what outcomes will be expected during the current year and defines accurate measurements of progress.
The City needs to take a long hard look at the long range financial plan for the City, clearly evaluating long term revenue sources, major expenses, and options for cost savings. Working with Beavercreek Township or other neighboring communities might be an opportunity to meet needs with more efficiently. Municipal resources must be used wisely to ensure adequate funding for the services, public facilities, and infrastructure necessary to meet the community’s present and future needs. Financial management policies serve as the blueprint to achieve the fiscal stability required to meet the City’s goals and objectives. A comprehensive long range financial plan is needed.
STREET REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE
The City of Beavercreek maintains 251 centerline miles of roadway. The streets in my neighborhood and probably yours currently need re-surfacing. The City has been deferring maintenance. Rather than meeting "best practice" needs and recoating every 12 years, the City has waited until they need to be grinded and milled, which is it probably 10 times more expensive. Because Beavercreek got behind, many more streets will now have to be reconstructed due to that lack of maintenance: an increased cost. When reevaluating the maintenance plan, in 2016 and beyond there might also be new composite formulas that incorporate recycled materials that could be considered. The quality of neighborhood streets, storm sewers and drainage is key to preserving neighborhood quality. The maintenance plan for Beavercreek needs to be reanalyzed and policies reevaluated. When considering the cost benefit analysis, is it better to repair only the worst streets sections each year, or implement a routine maintenance plan/schedule for all roadways, bikeways, and storm sewers?
CITY PLANNING TO PROMOTE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Currently 32.6% of Ohioans are obese. Ohio ranks 8th out of 50 states. That is a significant increase since 1990! What is it about the culture and lifestyle in Ohio that leads to these facts, and therefore increased incidences of diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. What can be done? There must be an increase in activity.
Residents of walkable communities are twice as likely to meet physical activity guidelines as those who do not live in walkable neighborhoods.
Children in neighborhoods that lack access to parks, playgrounds and recreation centers have a 20 percent to 45 percent greater risk of becoming overweight.
Source: www.http://stateofobesity.org/states/oh/ RobertWood Johnson Foundation.
As Beavercreek plans for a successful future, I would welcome citizen discussions about bikeways, the Senior Center, and a Recreation Center for families and youth. As an elected official, I would work with Greene County to have them improve Karhol Park situated off Haines Road: a 23 acre park that is basically unused. I would work to develop workable plans for other Beavercreek Parks. Beavercreek citizens do not want to be unhealthy and city planning can be reviewed for other ways to promote a healthy lifestyle.
PRESERVE NEIGHBORHOOD QUALITY & HOUSING
As neighborhood age, more and more routine repairs are needed to home. Beavercreek is now been a city for 35 years. There was a fast growth spurt in the 1990's and those homes are now aging as well. Many neighborhoods have suffered through disposition of foreclosed homes. Others just have properties where deferred maintenance is increasing.
Beavercreek has over 19,000 residential housing units and over 3600 businesses. The City has many zoning and property maintenance rules and regulations to preserve standards. Even though the number of structures has increased significantly since 1990, we only have one property maintenance inspector. I have heard from many residents who care about neighborhood quality. That level of staffing needs to be re-evaluted. There maybe be additional changes that need to be made to keep Beavercreek neighborhoods healthy and attractive.
MAYOR DIRECTLY CHOSEN BY VOTE
For the past 20 years, the every five years a City appointed Ordinance Review Committee has recommended that the City amend its process for selecting a Mayor. Each of those four recommendations has been over-ridden by City Council members, and therefore the topic has not gone to the voters. At each election, all the City Council candidates have a possibility of being mayor. A person could be elected Mayor without having it as their their primary interest, a match for their personal skill base, or a goal. Current policy states that whichever candidate get the most votes at the November General Election is the Mayor of Beavercreek for the first two years of his/her four year term. It is merely a popularity contest, rather than an opportunity for the voters to choose the person they believe would be the best Mayor. I believe it is time for the voters to have an opportunity to revisit this selection process.
I have created a petition that is currently being circulated for signatures. If enough signatures are collected, then the issue will go to the voters of the City of Beavercreek during 2016. As written, the petition does not change the role of the Mayor, it merely lets the voters choose from the candidates the person they believe has the leadership skills and experience to be the Mayor of Beavercreek.