Voter Guide Questions
Below are answers to the three voter guide questions I received from the Columbus Dispatch - These were limited to 1000 characters including spaces.
What are the major issues facing your township, and what will you do about them if elected?
Over the last year our residents have been fighting to preserve the level of fire and EMS services they voted for in 2017. I’m proud of how the community has banded together to push back and attempt to be heard. As the only trustee candidate who has earned the trust and endorsement of the Liberty Township fire fighters, I will end the drama and chaos by presenting a resolution which will limit the Board’s ability to defund the LTFD simply by bringing it up under “other business.” If any changes need to be made the public deserves complete transparency and to be a part of the discussion. I am against any move to defund the department.
As a City Planner I’ve seen the results of communities not being prepared for the pace in which our world is changing. We need forward-looking discussions with residents to prepare for our future. Working with Powell on zoning, development, and revenue sharing options is a start. It’s time to focus on securing a vibrant future for our township.
Why are you the best-qualified candidate for township trustee?
I am the most qualified candidate because, as a Certified City and Regional Planner, I do this job for Ohio taxpayers and other communities on a daily basis. My background in architecture, city planning and transportation engineering is what we need now more than ever. We are at a crossroads and the path we choose will lock us in to our future. We need to make well thought out, data driven decisions about the path we choose. For the past 4 years I have been involved in shaping our township through our comprehensive plan update and my role as chair of the Board of Zoning Appeals. Through my professional work and my BZA role I have formed relationships and built trust with many of the area’s community and county leaders that we need to work with to move Liberty Twp forward. I have also earned the trust of the fire fighters who serve us every day and I hope the voters will see in me what they do: a hard worker with the experience to help stabilize our community and build a vibrant future.
What else would you like to say to voters?
As a Certified City and Regional Planner, I work with communities to solve transportation and land use issues and create plans for the future. Over the years I have managed millions of taxpayer dollars, including finding creative cost saving and funding options. I will use my professional experience to find ways to keep taxes low, yet still maintain the high level of services residents expect and deserve. I am committed to changing the entire way we communicate with residents, both in and out of meetings. We are a digital-based society and need to provide residents easy access to information, which promotes trust and transparency. This includes upgrading the functionality of the township website and adding the capability to live stream and record all trustee meetings. My service to the community started 3.5 years ago as a member of the Liberty Township BZA. I attended 61 meetings and voted over 170 times. If elected, I will bring that same level of dedication to the office of Trustee.
1. What is the biggest issue facing Liberty Township right now, and how would you resolve it?
Over the last year our residents have been fighting to preserve the level of fire and EMS services they voted for in 2017. I’m proud of how the community has banded together to push back and attempt to be heard. As the only trustee candidate who has earned the trust and endorsement of the Liberty Township fire fighters, I will end the drama and chaos by presenting a resolution which will limit the Board’s ability to defund the LTFD simply by bringing it up under “other business.” If any changes need to be made the public deserves complete transparency and to be a part of the discussion. I grew up in a family of fire fighters so I know from experience that we should be relying on the Fire Chief’s expertise in bringing forth budgets and setting department priorities. As a trustee I will encourage open and transparent discussions of the Chief’s recommendations amongst the Board and the residents. This includes the need to recognize the department’s continued success in bringing in grant money. I believe strongly in the residents’ right to understand how, and why, their money is being spent.
2. How do you feel about the current board of Trustees actions regarding the township’s EMS?
It’s reprehensible and embarrassing for our community. The two elected officials who have put us in this position have manufactured this crisis so they can “fix” it and then take credit for saving taxpayer money. When you have a fire levy pass by 75%, it is crystal clear that voters know what level of service they want, and they are willing to pay for it. Our fire department has been understaffed since the failure of the 2012 fire levy. We currently don’t even meet national staffing standards. There are days we have nine firefighters/paramedics covering 33 square miles and 30,000+ people. That is unacceptable. My approach to appropriating tax dollars for the fire department will be to consult with the Fire Chief and his staff and invite residents to be a part of roundtable meetings so that there is complete transparency as to how, and why, their money is being spent. Our community is full of highly educated residents who have chosen to raise their families here. To ignore their voices and step on their rights has been status quo for far too long and as Trustee I will end the chaos and drama surrounding this issue.
3. Do you think the tumult among trustees over the last year has damaged public trust in the board? If so, how can it be repaired?
Not only is it the trust between the public and the Board that’s been decimated, but our leadership has also alienated us from partners who help us govern better and more efficiently. Trust has eroded with the City of Powell and with officials at the county level. We need to make a concerted effort through our actions as a Board to show we want to be partners again and end the “our way or the highway” mentality two of the three trustees have been projecting the last 2 years. We are a township. We have none of the powers of a city or county. To solve the complicated suburban issues we face we must collaborate with the government entities around us. We can’t treat them like second class officials. Respect is received when it is given, and our elected officials haven’t been giving much to our residents or our partners lately. We need to start acting with respect toward each other, listening and discussing ideas like the highly educated community we are. Being open and accessible, we will be able to rebuild the trust that has been lost.