Voter Guide

The counties included in the voters guide for the Nov. 5, 2019 elections are: Montgomery, Warren, Miami, Greene, Clark, Champaign, and Butler.

NOTE: Not all communities have issues or candidates on the ballot. Guide does not include uncontested races.

Vandalia Council {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Vote for 3

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  • Bob Ahlers

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    Corey Follick

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    Brent Forrest Jackson

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    Amber Aivalotis Weaver

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    Constance R Woods

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Biographical Information

What are the biggest problems facing the community? What do you propose doing to tackle these challenges?

What makes you qualified for this job? What experience do you have to make good and informed decisions?

What can you do if elected to help grow the local economy and add jobs? What ideas do you have for attracting new jobs and investment?

What would you do if elected to make life better for residents?

What other information do you want voters to have about you?

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Experience 24+ years working in local governments, primarily in the areas of police services and parks and recreation. Volunteer service to Vandalia includes: Planning Commission (2012-present), Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee (2019), Planning/Zoning Code Steering Committee (2017-2018), Charter Review Committee (2015), and Public Art in Vandalia (2009-2012). Former City of Vandalia employee.
Education Master of Public Administration, University of Dayton; Bachelor in Recreation Administration, Bowling Green State University; Butler High School graduate
The biggest challenges facing Vandalia include an aging housing stock and infrastructure (parks, streets, utility systems), a "downtown" that lacks identity and in need of redevelopment, and the impact of development that is occurring on/around airport property. City Council, while balancing the desire to continue providing responsive city services, will need to plan and prioritize investing in capital improvement projects that focus on improving our infrastructure and encouraging the redevelopment of both existing neighborhoods and new housing opportunities. Primed for redevelopment, through recent changes adopted in the planning/zoning code and the vision and concepts being identified in the new comprehensive plan, I would support the City's use of public funds to spur and leverage development in "downtown" Vandalia. Lastly, although Vandalia can't stop or control the development near the airport, we need to have a seat at the table and work to minimize its negative effects.
I possess the combination of both advanced education (graduate degree in public/city management) and over 24 years of frontline, supervisory and management experience with four city governments, including Vandalia. As part of a family of public servants, I have dedicated my career to improving the quality of life for the residents I serve. Whether it be through providing recreation facilities and programs at the beginning of my career, or providing police protection and services for the last 20+ years, I take great pride in serving the community. I have a comprehensive understanding of how our local government operates and the City Council's responsibilities. Additionally, as noted previously, I have over 11 years of volunteer service to Vandalia, including my current role as Chairperson of the Planning Commission. Throughout my career I have many experiences including split-second life and death decisions, to the routine and "big picture" decisions.
Vandalia has a history of economic development success! One needs to look no further than the city's budget, the high level of services residents receive, and the city's share of your property tax (just over 5%). The lion's share of the city's revenue is generated through income tax collection from those employed within the city. A healthy, growing local economy and business community is vital to the city's financial stability. I would continue to support the city's targeted use of tax incentives, state/county/local development grants, and collaboration with the state, county and our neighboring jurisdictions to both retain and grow our existing businesses, while attracting new investment to both Vandalia and northern Montgomery County. Additionally, I support the strategic investment of public dollars to leverage smart, long-term, low impact development within the city. Vandalia's development success is linked to the growth and prosperity of the region.
I believe that Vandalia's high level of city services (police, fire/EMS, street maintenance, parks and recreation) are one of its greatest attributes, and I am devoted to maintaining and growing these services. I am committed to protecting and enhancing our property values. I believe we can improve our collaboration and communication with our residents, businesses, the school district and township. Although we are separate political subdivisions, I think there are opportunities for us to work together to strengthen the larger Vandalia-Butler community, while maintaining our unique identities. After graduating from Bowling Green, there were many reasons I chose to return home to begin my public service career, purchase my first home and continue to live and serve in this community. Vandalia has a lot going for it, and although there is room for improvement, we have a great community because of the dedication and effective management of previous Councils and city staff.
This election Vandalia voters are presented an opportunity that hasn't presented itself in many years, there will be a new Mayor and at least two new City Council members elected. I will bring an experienced voice to City Council with over 24 years of local government work experience, the majority of that time in supervisory or management positions. Although I have a strong familiarity with Vandalia government, I offer a unique and fresh perspective to City Council, having worked for three other cities (Englewood, Kettering and Mason) and bring best practices and experiences from those organizations to the table. I believe I am a strong communicator that is committed to open, honest and fiscally responsible local government. I have spent the last 42 years in Vandalia and I am dedicated to our community and its future. I hope to earn your vote for Vandalia City Council!
Experience - Vandalia Small Business Owner - 10 Years in the financial sector - 2 years in technology businesses
Education - Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Cedarville University - Also studied Business Information Systems at Sinclair Community College
As I have spoken to residents, the two concerns that I hear the most are related to 1.) the increased commercial/industrial truck traffic through town and 2.) the type of development that is being allowed or pursued and its impact on the character of our downtown. These problems require a long-term visionary approach rather than a quick-fix mentality. A long-term, strategic plan may include the following actions: • Building relationships and open lines of communication with the transport companies and the commercial facilities around us about our preferences for their routing. • Exploring with the Ohio Department of Transportation what our options may be for creation of alternate truck routes. • Building relationships with developers and businesses in order to influence their decisions about what to build or open in Vandalia. • Providing a regulatory environment that is friendly to the types of hometown, start-up businesses that we want to see be able to thrive in our community.
As a homeowner who has the spent the past three years fixing up a previously delinquent property, a father of three young children, and the owner of a financial business in Vandalia, I think it’s fair to say I have a pretty heavy vested interest in seeing our city be successful. I am thinking not only of what will happen during the next four-year term, but what is coming many years down the road for my family and my business. I have experience managing tens of millions of dollars of client assets, even as I am managing the affairs of my own business with offices in Vandalia and Grand Rapids, MI. I also serve as an elder at my church, First Grace on Stonequarry Road, which involves spiritual as well as administrative, decision-making and oversight responsibilities.
Vandalia has such a vibrant business sector and a great chamber of commerce. We are so fortunate! But that’s no reason to be complacent. As I look around our community, I see plenty of commercial space available for rent and land available for development. As I mentioned in an earlier answer, I think it’s of critical importance for the city’s leaders to be building relationships with developers, making development recommendations, and actively soliciting the businesses that we want to have here. I addition, I would love to see more one-of-a-kind, hometown, local businesses be able to spring up in our community. That may mean lightening the regulatory requirements on such ventures, providing tax incentives, or even establishing a grant program or entrepreneurship incubator.
The most important role that the city plays in quality of life for residents is maintaining the quality of our city services: police, fire, roads and utilities, parks and recreation. I would intend to oversee a continued high level of excellent performance across all of these areas. Beyond that, I think quality of life can be enhanced by close proximity to desirable shopping, dining, and entertainment options, which I have discussed quite a bit already in the context of influencing development.
My grandfather spent nearly 20 years as a pastor in this community, making connections and ministering to people. Now I have this opportunity to serve as well, and I intend to be just as faithful with the responsibility that is given to me. If you have any thoughts, I would love to hear them. I am excited about the future of Vandalia, and I hope I can win your support!
Experience I am the Operations Manager of my family’s third generation automotive shop, Davidson Garage, I serve on the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, Oktoberfest Steering Committee and the City of Vandalia Fire Department Strategic Plan Steering Committee. I attended the meetings for the Planning and Zoning code rewrite for the City. I also am a member of the Vandalia Butler Chamber of Commerce and I volunteer with several community service organizations.
Education Miami Valley Communications Council Training: Foundation of Planning: Land Use Law Essentials, Running Productive Board Meetings and Interpreting Site Plans to Make Decisions, Attend Automotive Management Institute, ASE Certified Service Consultant
The truck traffic and communication to citizens. As the city of Dayton continues to build more warehouses at the Airport, truck traffic increases. I have sat in on meetings with our State Representative asking for him to help us to find ways we can limit the use of State Route 40. I feel educating and increasing knowledge to truck drivers of the routes they can take and are encouraged to take would be a great starting point. We do have a concentrated effort from our police force to crack down on trucks making illegal turns and putting our residents at risk, but it is time to start writing more tickets and fewer warnings. As for Communication, we have a lot of wonderful community events and amenities going on every day and often it is hard to get the word out. Whether it is an event, roadwork or closure or important city issue, if you are not on social media it can be a struggle to get the information. A weekly email with the next weeks Community and City events would be very helpful.
I have been attending City Council study sessions, meetings and annual budget reviews for the past several years. I attended the Planning and Zoning Code updates for the city so I could stay informed on the changes. I sit on the City’s Strategic Plan Steering Committee for the Fire Department and the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee and am on the Board of Zoning appeals. I am a member of the Vandalia Butler Chamber of Commerce and volunteer with them at several community events. I try to attend many community functions to interact with members of our residents to hear what is important to them several times a week. Staying in tune to how processes work and the community’s desires is what puts me in a position to make decisions that are good for our City. I truly love and care about our city.
There are two areas I think we really need to look at for helping our local economy. Redeveloping the Benchwood area, especially since the tornado hit, is the perfect time to revamp the area. This is an opportune location to attract new business that is both aesthetically pleasing and would inspire a boost in the economy. A second area we as a community should look at is the Comprehensive Plan that is looking at moving the center focus of the city to Dixie South of National. Vandalia should be looking into building up the area and updating it into an area that is attractive to new businesses. Vandalia was once known for its locally owned businesses and I think we can be known for it again. If we as a city can make it a more pleasing atmosphere and encourage it to be more business friendly we can attract some small businesses to come and invest in our wonderful city
I have been attending City Council study sessions, meetings and annual budget reviews for the past several years. I attended the Planning and Zoning Code updates for the city so I could stay informed on the changes. I sit on the City’s Strategic Plan Steering Committee for the Fire Department and the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee and am on the Board of Zoning appeals. I am a member of the Vandalia Butler Chamber of Commerce and volunteer with them at several community events. I try to attend many community functions to interact with members of our residents to hear what is important to them several times a week. Staying in tune to how processes work and the community’s desires is what puts me in a position to make decisions that are good for our City. I truly love and care about our city.
There are two areas I think we really need to look at for helping our local economy. Redeveloping the Benchwood area, especially since the tornado hit, is the perfect time to revamp the area. This is an opportune location to attract new business that is both aesthetically pleasing and would inspire a boost in the economy. A second area we as a community should look at is the Comprehensive Plan that is looking at moving the center focus of the city to Dixie South of National. Vandalia should be looking into building up the area and updating it into an area that is attractive to new businesses. Vandalia was once known for its locally owned businesses and I think we can be known for it again. If we as a city can make it a more pleasing atmosphere and encourage it to be more business friendly we can attract some small businesses to come and invest in our wonderful city.
Experience PARTNER, WOODS & WOODS ASSOCIATES, LTD CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS 1983-PRESENT
Education BACHELOR OF SCIENCE OTTERBEIN UNIVERSITY MASTERS OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON
AS I SPEAK WITH BOTH RESIDENTS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS, I HEAR THE SAME COMPLAINT; THAT VANDALIA HAS NO IDENTITY AND APPEARS TO HAVE STAGNANT GROWTH. AS A MEMBER OF THE VANDALIA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION I AM AWARE THAT WE HAVE NEW BUSINESSES LOCATING IN OUR CITY, BUT MANY OF THESE ARE MANUFACTURING AND DISTRIBUTION FACILITIES. THE DISTRIBUTION FACILITIES ARE CREATING ISSUES FOR THE RESIDENTS WITH INCREASED TRUCK TRAFFIC AND THE ASSOCIATED PROBLEMS. THE RESIDENTS DO NOT SEE ANY NEW RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITIES APPEARING OR ANY NEW RETAIL OR SERVICE BUSINESSES. HOPEFULLY, WE CAN TAKE STEPS TO INCREASE VIABILITY FOR ALL TYPES OF BUSINESSES TO LOOK TOWARD VANDALIA IN THE FUTURE AND TAKE ACTION TO MITIGATE THE EXISTING PROBLEMS.
I HAVE OWNED AND OPERATED A SMALL BUSINESS IN THIS COMMUNITY FOR THE PAST 36 YEARS. I HAVE ADVISED A PLETHORA OF SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS ON HOW TO RESOLVE BUSINESS ISSUES. IN ADDITION TO MY CPA CERTIFICATE I HOLD A CGMA CERTIFICATION (CHARTERED GLOBAL MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANT), A PFS DESIGNATION (PERSONAL FINANCIAL SPECIALIST) ISSUED BY THE AICPA AND MBA. I HAVE ALSO LIVED IN THIS COMMUNITY FOR THE PAST 35 YEARS AND UNDERSTAND THE RESIDENTS CONCERNS.
I WOULD SUGGEST WE EXPAND OUR OUTREACH TO A VARIETY OF BUSINESS TYPES. WE HAVE SEVERAL PROGRAMS IN PLACE TO ATTACT AND PROVIDE INCENTIVES BUT I FEEL WE NEED TO EXPAND THESE PROGRAMS AND LOOK TOWARD A VARIETY OF OPTIONS. AT TIMES THE CITY LOOKS TOWARD THE BUSINESS THAT IS GOING TO BRING THE HIGHEST AMOUNT OF TAX DOLLARS TO OUR COFFERS AND DIMINISHES THE VALUE OF RETAIL AND SERVICE BUSINESSES TO EXISTING AND POTENTIAL RESIDENTS.
AS A CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT WHO HAS WORKED TIRELESSLY FOR THE PAST 20+ YEARS TO HELP CREATE A UNIFORM MUNICIPAL TAX CODE, I FEEL THE RESIDENTS SHOULD BE TREATED FAIRLY BY THE CITY AND HAVE THE CHANCE TO VOTE ON TAX INCREASES, NOT HAVE DEDUCTIONS AND CREDIT TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM IN ORDER TO INCREASE REVENUES. BY VOLUNTEERING WITH THE OHIO SOCIETY OF CPA'S AND THEIR LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS WE HAVE MANAGED TO ENCOURAGE THE LAWMAKERS TO PASS LEGISLATION THAT WOULD HELP WORK TOWARD THIS GOAL. THE ABILITY TO KEEP TAXES AT BAY AND REDUCE REGULATIONS IS ONE OF MY CONTINUING GOALS.
I HAVE SERVED MY COMMUNITY IN MANY ASPECTS AS A VOLUNTEER WITH THE CITY OF VANDALIA PUBLIC ART AND CULTURAL ART COMMITTEES, VANDALIA DEVELOPMENT CORP, TREASURER, BOARD OF TAX APPEALS, ROTARY CLUB OF VANDALIA, PAST PRESIDENT AND TREASURER, VANDALIA BUTLER FOUNDATION PAST PRESIDENT, WOODLAND MEADOWS HOMEOWNERS ASSN, TREASURER, THE ACCOUNTANCY BOARD OF OHIO, PAST CHAIR, CURRENT CHAIR OF INVESTMENT COMMITTEE FOR VANDALIA UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, AND MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES.