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.

Riverside Mayor

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  • Mike Denning

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    Sara Lommatzsch

  • Shirley Reynolds

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    Pete Williams

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Biographical Information

If the roads levy fails, would you push for putting more funds toward repairing them? If yes, how would you do so?

What are the biggest challenges facing the city?

Some parts of Riverside were impacted by the Memorial Day tornadoes. How do you think the city responded? What needs to be done in the future?

What else do you want voters to know about you?

Experience Council Member for 10 years, with 100% Attendance at all council meetings. Riverside Deputy Mayor 2013 & 2019. 40 year resident of Riverside Greater Mad River Twp Assoc. President 3 years. Committee to pass merger. Parks & Rec. Commission 8 years. Parks and Rec. Commission Chairperson 6 years. Stebbins Career Tech Advisory Committee 5 years.
Education Bachelor's Degree in Technical Management
No, at this time there is no way to fund the residential roads without taking away from our basic services such as fire, police and services departments. We can apply for grants for main roads such as Airway, Woodman, Springfield Streets but not for residential roadways.
Economic development, with K-Mart leaving we have another large vacant property. We must work with developers to bring businesses that complement our community and brings jobs. We need to be proactive verses reactive with developers and market our City for all of the great assets we have. We need to be a city that welcomes and works with new developers so they want to be part of our community.
I am not sure we did a very good job. We really were not prepared, we were not organized. We need to put an emergency plan for situations such as natural disasters together. We did not use our community resources to the best of our ability. We need to work with the organizations within our community during these times and really all of the time. They have between them all 100's of years of experience. They were trying to mobilize and working together but I do not feel the city worked with them or tried to draw on their expertise. These organizations help our residents every day year around when families are in need. They bring resources and man power so we need to put a disaster plan together that includes them, our fire, police and services department to make sure we are better prepared if something like this were to happen again. With a plan we will know where our resources are, be proactive and be able to assist our residents in a more efficient way.
I continue to stay very involved in our community even after being elected to council. I feel that in order to have the pulse of the city a good leader does not just lead, they know how to be the worker bee as well. I enjoy having the opportunity to work side by side with my fellow residents from picking up trash in our neighborhoods, helping with property maintenance for those who need help, helping provide and delivering food basket and toys to families at the holidays, to cooking hot dogs at the bike rodeos and so many more community events. This is one way I like to see and hear about the needs in our community. The things I learn when working side by side with residents is some of the best information, to know how to lead in my role as a city councilmen. Serving our community is not just something I do but is is what I do and what I love because I love and believe in our community and truly believe Riverside is the BEST place to live, work and play.
Experience Current council member and former Deputy Mayor; former Mad River school board member; former pre-school director; former member of Montgomery County Rural Zoning Commission and Riverside Planning Commission; Board member of Riverside Area Chamber of Commerce, and board member of Miami Valley Military Affairs Association. Recognized by Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission with Regional Leadership award. Active in church and youth programs and numerous other community organizations.
Education Teaching degree, East Carolina University; various professional workshops and seminars.
There is no additional money available in other parts of the budget to add to the money currently being spent on street paving and maintenance. The additional money from the state gas tax has already been added to the mix and there is still not enough for the level of street work that is needed.

The city has long been operating on a bare-bones budget and operates with minimum staffing. As inflation has driven up costs over the years, the growth in revenue has not kept pace. Two basic examples are healthcare premium costs for employees and gasoline prices for police, fire and street maintenance vehicles as increased costs. Coupled with the large state reductions in local government payments to cities, the city has in some years operated at a small deficit and has drawn on its reserves. That is why money has been limited for street paving and maintenance.
Economic development and enhancing service delivery to the community are always the two major challenges facing every city, including Riverside. The city is in a structural financial challenge in that there is an insufficient tax base for generating income tax revenue to fund a higher level of services. To improve services to a higher level would require (1) an almost doubling of the number of businesses and jobs that generate additional income tax revenues, and/or (2) a significant increase in population at a higher average household income level than currently exists in the community. Neither of those situations will happen in a short time horizon. There are no simple cure-all solutions. If there were, the city would have done those things already. The city will need to continue its business retention activities and its business recruitment efforts in order to generate new revenue, and must continue to work efficiently in stretching the financial resources it has available.
The city had limited storm damage compared to other communities and responded well. The city provided emergency services where needed and provided debris removal to help citizens and businesses in need. The city continues to serve as an information clearinghouse to let citizens and businesses know of help agencies available to them for assistance. For the future, the city should review its preparedness and learn from other communities as to what programs worked well elsewhere, and work those best practices into the city's plans and practices.
My background is steeped in service --service to my customers at my employment and service to the citizens and businesses of our community. I am a former Air Force spouse who traveled around the country and around the world while our family provided service to our country. I'm experienced in delivering quality educational programs to students and parents, and in delivering quality municipal services to the community. I know what good service looks like and I know the expectations of our community. All candidates promise voters the same things, and I can deliver on all those promises, too. But above everything else, I will see that the city delivers good service to you, that city employees will continue to deliver great service to you! Citizens and businesses can count on me because I conduct myself under the following beliefs: (1) You put citizens before self; (2) You must support every neighborhood; (3) You operate with common sense; (4) You should be honest and trustful.
Experience I served 12 years on the Riverside City Council
Education Graduate of Stebbins High School Class of 1965
As important as our roadway projects may be, as a candidate for Mayor, I must consider what happens should the levy fail. I need to assess why the levy was rejected. Did the voters believe that the 8 mils proposed was too great an amount, or was it a personal financial decision? As Mayor I would look at all options. There may be a need to look for a combination of revenue and other funding sources, and, I believe it would be wise to consider a lower millage, and combined the lower millage with a sunset clause. Including a sunset clause to the road levy may demonstrate to the residents that the city is willing to prove that they are good stewards of their tax dollars. Allowing the voter to decide periodically to renew a road levy may instill both higher levels of service and raise resident confidence in their city government. In the meantime it would be my goal to divert every available dollar toward current road projects and continue improving our community street by street
1. Services to residents 2. Financial stability and balanced budget 3. Improve day to day operations 4. Economic stability and growth.
I hope that the City staff and legislative body assessed their performance as quickly as possible after the tornado. And, if deficiencies were found, that everyone immediately implemented procedures to address our weak areas of service. Performance assessments are the best path to building a better plan of action, realize our limitations, and build on our strengths. Performance assessments will be an important metrics to measure success.
My priority as Mayor will be to work diligently toward the financial well being of the City of Riverside. Having a stable financial future allows the City to be proactive, and a good community for residents and businesses.
Experience I am a Certified Development Professional with 15 years’ experience in economic development. I have served on the Boards of Dayton Defense, The Wright-Patt Community Partnership Initiative, & JobsOhio West. I have worked with a wide range of organizations promoting work-force development including advisory boards at Sinclair, the Dayton Regional Manufacturing Association, the County Career Center, & Clark State Community College. I have worked extensively in leadership roles with businesses.
Education Carroll High School Graduate University of Dayton Bachelors Degree -2003 University of Dayton Masters Degree in Public Administration -2007 University of Dayton Post-Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems -2010. National Development Council - Economic Development Finance Professional Certificate -2012 American Planning Association - Certified City Planner 2013
I would certainly push for more funding to repair our roads because proper infrastructure is essential to a vibrant community. I find it disappointing that the City Council of Riverside keeps asking the same people to foot the bill. Our property tax payers are increasingly looked to more & more when this funding is needed. Before taxing our citizens more, I would fully engage agencies at the Regional & State level to layer funding for these projects & ensure that Riverside is receiving its fair share of these resources. A great example is the JobsOhio 629 Program which provides road & infrastructure funding for projects that create or retain jobs & primarily involve technology, research & development. This is tailor made for opportunities along Springfield Street, Airway Road, & the Woodman/Harshman Corridor near Wright-Patt. This Program has been successfully used in our neighboring cities around Wright-Patt, why not ours? As Mayor Riverside will be fully engaged with state partners.
The biggest challenges facing the City of Riverside stem from our diminished economic position under the status quo. While we see neighboring cities take advantage of the expanding economy with growing business corridors, well maintained infrastructure, & revived commercial districts; here in Riverside we see more empty office buildings & vacant storefronts every year. We are told that the poor condition of our roads is “as good as we can do” and that “we just don’t have the budget” to reconstruct our busiest thoroughfares & our neighborhood streets. First & foremost, a well thought out & fully executed economic development plan to increase the number of businesses we attract, retain & expand in our City is vital. The level of Income Tax revenue collected (or not collected) from people working in the City of Riverside has a direct effect on our ability to maintain roads & keep a suitable maintenance schedule before the roads are beyond repair. The same old approach won't work.
As someone who calls home the area of Riverside impacted by the Memorial Day tornadoes, I think the City staff - especially our First Responders & Service Staff - went above & beyond the call of duty during the event & in the weeks to follow. When I look to what needs to be done in the future, as Mayor I would ensure that Riverside is as well positioned as possible to deal with adversity through strong partnerships to serve our citizens. City Government should be a Service Provider & a Resource Connector in times of need more than ever. Specifically, City Government should be a one-stop-shop for State Agencies, Local Charities, & FEMA to all serve the citizens affected by the tornados. As a citizen leader I was proud to be a part of a local Chamber of Commerce that served as a FEMA field office after the tornados & a part of my Parish Festival at St. Helen Church that donated thousands to tornado relief. The City can play a role in coordinating these efforts for us all.
We need a Mayor with the experience & network to bring growth to the City. I am a Certified Development Finance Professional with 15 years experience in economic development. I have a proven track record of successful business growth & am an effective coalition builder with local development partners & area chambers of commerce. I have led multiple projects supporting job growth & economic expansion in the State of Ohio in health care, aerospace, & logistics. I have served on the Boards of Dayton Defense, The Wright-Patt Community Partnership Initiative, & JobsOhio West. My wife and I are proud to raise our three sons in Riverside. As Mayor, I will prioritize our development efforts working directly with State & regional partners to improve the quality of life for our Citizens & leverage the assets, location, & people that make Riverside great. I will work for Riverside first & put Riverside first. The choice this November is simple, more of the same for Riverside, or a New Direction.