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.

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

Vote for 3

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  • Candidate picture

    Ernie Havens

  • Darryl McGill

  • Candidate picture

    Elaine Middlestetter

  • Donna Seger-Lawson

  • Candidate picture

    Tim Taylor

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Biographical Information

What are the two biggest challenges facing the city and how will you deal with them?

It’s a multi-million project, estimates for which exceed the city’s annual budget. How will the city pay to fix Little Sugarcreek Road so that the bedrock underneath stops slipping away?

Bellbrook is one of only a few cities in the state without an income tax. Would you support changing how the city is funded by implementing an income tax?

What is the best way to manage a city where the residential population all around it is increasing significantly?

What else do you want voters to know about you?

Experience Navy Submarine Veteran, 20 years engineering and business development experience, 10 years executive experience, 4 years business ownership, owner/publisher of Bellbrook Sugarcreek Neighbors and Cuda Composites llc, inventor - 18 patents, former Industry board member for Ohio Third Frontier, former corporate board member, former Scoutmaster, twice Invited international speaker Cincinnati Ohio and Paris France, significant exposure to various cultures and cities in North America, Europe, and Asia
Education Bachelors of Science Engineering Physics Wright State University
Twitter @erniehavens
The two greatest challenges are lack of unified vision and passive leadership. As your City Councilman, I promise to support the revitalization efforts that our City Manager has begun and work with her to Renew Bellbrook’s Charm. My mission is to make our downtown area better than it has ever been. For years the excuse for allowing downtown to rust away has been “the city doesn’t receive more tax revenue from businesses, so the city cannot spend money to improve the downtown area”. While that is somewhat true, it is not a valid excuse to do nothing. It doesn’t take more tax revenue, it takes positive attitude, creative planning, proactive execution. These are skills of an entrepreneur and I offer them to my city because they are needed in our city government. I will work with the residents to develop a master plan for downtown business. I will personally seek out, qualify, and invite these types of businesses to set up shop in Bellbrook to help us Renew Bellbrook’s Charm.
The bedrock is not slipping away. The study found the ground adjacent to bedrock 11+ feet below the road is wet and slipping. No root cause was determined. Water runoff on the west side of the road is broadly thought to be the cause of this erosion but was not studied. Currently the road is safe, but the guardrail is inadequate to stop a vehicle travelling at 25 mph at one spot. Recommendations include a $1M solution to repair the small section of road recently effected and a $7M solution to protect the entire 2600 feet of roadway. There is no immediate need to start work on the $1M solution, but priorities of the current spending plan should be reassessed, and some action should be taken to execute $1M solution in the next year or two. In the meantime, we should continue to restrict truck traffic and lower the speed limit to 15mph where the guardrail is compromised. Before implementing the added $6M solution we should determine and address the root cause.
No
The residential population in and around Bellbrook is not increasing significantly. Population increase in Bellbrook and Sugarcreek twp. is a little over 2%. Although there was significant increases a couple decades ago, the local residential growth rate is currently low. Regardless, it is important to always manage the peoples’ tax money with respect, not entitlement. Save, spend frugally and with transparency, and invest wisely. The city should be run like a business. If significant increases in population occur again in the future the same principles apply. Adding residential population to a community will increase the need accommodate more traffic and city infrastructure. Under such circumstances good forecasting and wise spending is critical.
I am a positive, creative, and driven guy. I always thought downtown Bellbrook must have once been a fabulous place. Currently we have many empty store fronts downtown. I often wonder if the city is just going to let it rust away. I believe the best way to honor Bellbrook’s heritage is to bring the downtown area back to life. I want to position downtown to attract high-quality local independently owned businesses to cater to our needs and tastes. Examples may include a clothing boutique, wine bar, brew pub, art gallery, handmade suit tailor, coffee shop, antique shop, gift, furniture store, artisan sandwich shop, restaurants with outdoor dining, high-end apartments, bed and breakfasts, and more. How do we do this? We become proactive by developing a master plan of what businesses we want in our town, and we seek them out, qualify them, and attract them to open for business in Bellbrook. As your city councilman, I will commit my efforts to “Renew Bellbrook’s Charm” in this way!
Experience Member of Council since 2016. Deputy Mayor. Involved in city government since 2010. Charter review committee, Planning Board, Chairman Board Zoning Appeals, 35 years Industrial Relations /Human Resources Director.
Education Graduate Ohio University BFA/ BSEd. Graduate degree MBA Lake Erie College.
We operate on limited revenues derived from property taxation. We are one of four cities in Ohio who do not have a municipal income tax. So the first challenge is sustaining city services, police and fire as costs for employee salaries and benefits continue to rise over time . The second challenge is managing the projects identified in the city ‘s Comprehensive Plan with the resources available to us. This challenge requires cooperation among the city. Business leaders, and how we market Bellbrook to the communities around us to attract new business and people to the area.
The total cost associated with this project is estimated around $7.2 million dollars, which is well outside our budget appropriations identified for operating the city annually. To fix the immediate area of concern for the roadway is abut $1.1 million. First, we need to identify if public grants for emergency repair of roadways exists though Federal or State transportation departments exists . Most recently Gov. DeWine declared emergency funding for highways roads and bridges in several Ohio counties which Greene was one. We should start our search for project monies here. Ultimately we may need to go to the voters with a bond issue for these repairs.
No I am not in favor of an income tax at this time. Approximately two years ago, the city commissioned a survey of registered voters on whether or not an income tax was supportable of the voters. Voters told us no they would not support an income tax. I have walked all precincts in the city for this campaign and the majority of voters I have interacted with do not support an income tax.
Currently We do a good job of managing the city . We have a new city manager whose ideas are progressive to managing issues within available resources.

I love this city! The city’s staff continues to amaze me with how we manage projects. I want the voters to know that i am responsive to their issues/needs. I try and be receptive to all sides on an issues before I form an opinion. I have learned so much about the current and historical issues facing the city by serving on many volunteer boards before taking on this role of Council Member. I would appreciate you vote.
Experience Retired small business owner; City Council for 8 years; served on planning board; currently on museum board; Family Violence Prevention Center Board; Bellbrook Garden Club-various leadership positions; Financial Secretary for Bellbrook United Methodist Church; volunteer for various school & community events; married 56 years with 2 adult children who graduated from Bellbrook; born and raised in Greene County; lived in Bellbrook since 1980.
Education Graduate of Fairborn High School with Associate of Business Degree from Miami Jacobs College
Finances and Little Sugarcreek Road erosion.

Finances are the perennial problem for all governments and there is a limit to how much tax our citizens can be expected to pay. Alternate sources have dried up in recent years, but I believe the county and state governments need to return to the revenue sharing that helped even out the imbalances between affluent and less affluent jurisdictions. Grants are helpful and available for special projects and we will continue to search those out. In the end, however, it's the residents who have to decide what kind of city they want and how much they are willing to pay for it.

As for the erosion on Little Sugarcreek Road, we are in the process of determining the full extent of the problem. When the expected cost to repair it exceeds our total annual budget, there is no other choice but to find alternate revenue sources, which we are beginning to research. I believe it will have to be a mix; no one source is sufficient for that kind of expense.
Actually, it's the soil on top of the bedrock that is slipping at the bedrock level and the situation is aggravated by underground water and heavy rains. See above response.
Not unless there is a tectonic shift in the attitude of the residents. Per our charter we cannot impose any type of income tax. Income tax is levied at the place of employment first, with residency coming in second if there is anything left over. I don't see any neighboring jurisdictions being willing to share a portion of income tax even if our residents would vote for one. And, additionally, there are very few jobs in the city limits, so the amount generated would be fairly small.
Be the city center for community, which is how most of the residents I've spoken with view the relationship between Bellbrook and Sugarcreek Twp. The community-wide interest in the revitalization efforts currently in progress underlines that attitude. The citizen input was from both city and township residents, which strongly indicates community-wide interest and support for seeing the city prosper and improve.
I love Bellbrook and want to help keep it a great to live for those who follow me. In addition to the primary job of being responsible for providing basic services for the residents in a fiscally responsible manner, my focus is mostly centered on quality-of-life issues - environmental health, including water quality - both from the faucet and in our streams and rivers; property maintenance standards to help create both a positive impression and to maintain property values; a focus on our rich history by supporting our historical museum and fostering its growth and improvement of services and displays; and supporting events for people to come together as a community and enjoy each other's company.
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Experience I'm an Honorably Discharged Veteran of the United States Marine Corps; A former Fayette County, Ohio, C.S.E.A. Investigator; A Retired City of Dayton Firefighter, Fire Inspector/Fire Safety Public-Educator, and member of the City of Dayton, USE Nuisance and Structural Nuisance Appellate Boards, Safe-Kids Greater Dayton Coalition, Montgomery County Council on Aging, City of Dayton, Preferred Property Manager Program Committee, and designee to the Abolition Ohio, Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition.
Education I attended Sinclair Community College, and the University of Hawaii (KCC), and I have received numerous professional certifications.
I share a common concern that downtown Bellbrook is seemingly rusting away. My goal, when elected, will be to help revitalize downtown. To work toward a reduction in the number of vacant buildings. To encourage more patron-centric type businesses to call Bellbrook home. To return more of the small town charm of Bellbrook's past. To make it more of a destination, and less of just a place potential visitors drive through on their way to get somewhere else.
The earth between the road surface and the bedrock is eroding (slipping away) and causing the increasing instances of road decay following long periods of rain and/or snow. The proposal is to shore up the east side of Little Sugarcreek Road, by installing concrete pylon type structures along the section of affected roadway. These structures would be driven down into the bedrock and spaced out to provide necessary support to the road, and reportedly eliminate further soil erosion/road damage. However, the conducted survey did not include the west side of the road, nor did it examine or address the water run off/drainage on the west side which arguably lends itself to the earth moving at bedrock levels beneath the road. Before a project of this size is adopted, I believe a more thorough study may be warranted. Thereafter, Bellbrook's citizenry should vote on such a financially impactful project, and be made aware if there are other viable options to consider.
No.
Not to overly simplify my response, but growth in a community is not new. It happens all the time. Towns grow. Budgetary expenditures increase with every new development, but so does the tax base contributing to the overall budget. City resources then utilize that increase to keep pace with population growth. Capitalize on the growth. Make the downtown more inviting to the increasing population. A significant population increase should be reflected in downtown business growth, and the desire for new businesses to hang their sign. There should not be any vacant buildings in downtown Bellbrook.
I have lived in Bellbrook for 10 years with my wife Katie and family. I retired from the Dayton Fire Department this past Spring and, as someone who has lived a life of service, I'm simply looking to continue that service within my community.

While employed with the DFD, I was a recipient of the following professional recognitions: The City of Dayton, Joseph T. Cline Award; The City of Dayton, "Dayton Delivers" Certificate of Excellence; The Dayton Fire Department, Command Chief's Award for Excellence; and the Free Masons of Ohio-Dayton Lodge147 Community Service Award; as well as a Dayton Fire Department Certificate of Commendation.

Please Vote on November 5th, and together let's "Renew Bellbrook's Charm".