West Chester Township Trustee - 2017 to present
Southwest Ohio Regional Director for Jim Renacci for US Senate - 2017-2018
VP of Marketing, Butler County Connect 2015-2017
Second Grade Teacher, Hamilton County Math and Science 2013-2014
Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Cincinnati
Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from University of Cincinnati
Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from University of Cincinnati
One of the biggest challenges facing West Chester Township is the maintenance of our roads and infrastructure. 60% of West Chester's residential neighborhoods were built in the late 1990s and early 2000s. We have done an excellent job maintaining those roads, replacing a few each year, but the time is coming when many will need to be rebuilt entirely. The Township will have to be careful with spending in the next few years. The road rebuilds will be an expensive investment but needed.
Another challenge will be to encourage new investment in businesses. Like our roads, some of our commercial buildings are starting to age. Looking for companies to invest in a current building is essential. Having a business-friendly government that will help a new business owner walk through the governmental side of starting a new business is very important and something I have encouraged our team to focus on doing.
It has been my privilege the past several months to work with our Seniors to transition from our current Activity Center to other facilities. The Township has several different ways that we engage with our Seniors. We have a Senior Van service that transports Seniors wherever they need to go, driven by our volunteer drivers. We have the RASKELS program; volunteers who help seniors with outdoor chores. The Activity Center had programs that were provided by Community First, formally Partners in Prime. After the closing of the Activity Center, some of the activities, primarily the fitness classes, that were provided by Community First, will be moving to one of our community partners, Chesterwood Village. The other activities that offer our seniors a social outlet will be hosted temporarily at the Township Hall. The activities will be supported by our current staff but will be organized by a committee of the seniors to maintain the programming that was used at the Activity Center.
I will advocate for the money from the sale of the Activity Center to improve one of our current assets, Mulhauser Barn, to give our community a new and high-quality place to gather. It is an exciting opportunity to make a high performing asset in our community even better.
The completion of the Union Center Divergent Double Diamond will occur next year, improving traffic and safety. This improvement also will improve pedestrian connectivity in our Township, connecting one side of Union Center to the other with a walking trail going down the center of the highway bridge. The exit will also feature beautiful plantings that will present a lush gateway to our community.
Technological improvements in our local government will also make our community better. Our First Responders are in the middle of evaluating a new communication system for our police, fire, and 911 center.
West Chester is one of the most business-friendly communities in Ohio. I am working with our Economic Development team to meet with business, work with our Chamber, and our statewide partner, REDI Cincinnati, to create an opportunity for new companies to come to West Chester and, if they are already here, to expand and retain employees.
The smart use of our Township's Tax Increment Finance (TIF) money is one tool that the Township uses to bring jobs to our community. Last year, I voted to use TIF money to build the roads and the bridge to bring in the West Chester Trade Center on 747. The Center will bring 1,500 high paying jobs to the Township and is continuing to build their final phases.
Traffic is a concern of mine and many residents. With growth, comes traffic, and the Township has grown a great deal in the past 25 years. We still have 15% of our land that isn't developed. One way we manage growth is through the use of our Township Land Use Plan. That plan gives guidance on how a piece of land will be developed in the Township. The use of our Land Use Plan, our Zoning Code, and our Zoning Commission create steps developers have to go through before a piece of land is developed. These steps are how we control growth now and into the future.
After each Trustee meeting, I write an email newsletter detailing spending that our Board voted on and issues that are coming up in our Township — keeping residents informed and giving them the ability to ask questions. You can sign up for the newsletter at www.annbecker.com.
It has been my pleasure to serve as a West Chester Trustee for the past two years. Understanding how our government works has been an enjoyable experience — working with the community to solve problems, evaluating and contributing ideas to improve services, and making decisions that will impact the future of our community.
It would be my pleasure to continue to serve the people of West Chester as Trustee.
I have over 30 years of business experience in IT and project management. A 27 year resident of West Chester, I am active with the Community Foundation, Citizens Police Academy (board member of the alumni association), West Chester Connections Committee, Family Promise, City Gospel Mission (Step Forward, Whiz Kids), church elder, Step Forward (coach and volunteer). I direct trail races in the Cincinnati area that benefit parks.
BS Computer Science, Univ. of Akron
PMP Certification, 2013
I frequently hear from residents that they don’t feel they are getting a good return for their taxes. For years our township leaders have focused on business growth to great success. But we don’t see adequate efforts to improve West Chester amenities. Surrounding communities are out-competing us to provide greater walkability, better park features, and well-maintained roads. This can dissuade new residents from moving here and drive out current residents, lowering property values.
We face other challenges. West Chester’s main cemetery is full, and more space is needed there or elsewhere. The upcoming closing and sale of the Activity Center that provides seniors with programming presents a serious problem while also providing an opportunity to invest the sale's proceeds. Traffic issues and road maintenance will always be a challenge.
Senior programming is important to keeping our long-time residents active, healthy and able to live in their homes longer. We provide van service to appointments and community events using volunteer drivers. Seniors have paid taxes for a long time and the township should support them in return.
When they had a chance several years ago, voters rejected the idea of a community center in West Chester. That leaves the leaders now scrambling to find a replacement for the closing Activity Center. I would like to see a location for a senior center somewhere on Rt. 42, which would be closer to many seniors and would help revitalize that important corridor.
I recently attended a Community Connections event where Lakota students were asked, "What can the community do to attract you back after college?" The consensus was improving walkability and multi-purpose paths. Young people don’t want to drive everywhere within their community; they want to walk, bike, and experience the journey.
Fairfield and Hamilton understand the need for multi-purpose paths for recreation and transportation and have recently taken steps to improve their paths. West Chester must keep up or risk losing new residents, yet my opponent refuses to take up the issue except to offer to raise taxes to pay for paths.
I have plans for multi-purpose paths to be built using grants to keep costs low for our township without raising new taxes. The paths can be built at a steady pace to keep within the budget. Maintenance can be provided by Butler County MetroParks. We need leadership that searches for cost-effective solutions to this growing need, not excuses for inaction.
The West Chester Development Council has done a phenomenal job encouraging and assisting West Chester’s business sector and I will support their work. REDI Cincinnati has been a tool for our township for several years, though I will look closely at our return on investment from that partnership. I will expand my efforts of being a face of the community at Chamber Alliance and community events to continue the business-friendly atmosphere that has been developed in West Chester.
West Chester’s growth has been phenomenal, and I will continue to encourage responsible development. Our Comprehensive Land Use Plan gives us a sustainable model for a 60%/40% split of residential and business tax revenue. Our township is about 80% built out, and I firmly believe the remaining 20% should be developed with the Land Use Plan as our guide to keep taxes well-balanced and keep West Chester a great place to live.
I’ve lived in West Chester for 27 years and am the father of two talented sons who have graduated from Lakota schools. I am an active volunteer and leader in our community and have served as a deacon and elder in my church.
For years I have attended zoning commission and trustee board meetings as well as Lakota school board meetings. This gives me a comprehensive knowledge of the township and its relationship to the schools and surrounding communities.
Finally, I can firmly commit to the trustee position. Unlike my opponent, I have never pursued higher office and do not intend to. I will serve my full term and not exploit the position as a stepping-stone for a political career. If you have met me at your doorstep or a community event, then you will know my passion and drive to represent the 64,000 residents of our proud township. I am running for the right reasons.