Board Member - Keep Middletown Beautiful
Vice President - Middletown Parades Committee
Former Senior Director of Governmental Affairs for the student body at The Ohio State University
Bachelor of Arts Political Science - The Ohio State University
I am running because Middletown has always been my home and I want to help make it a better place. I am a 5th generation Middletonian and am proud to call it home. Service to others and to community is something I have always been passionate about. We need a council member that works for the people of this town, not for themselves or some business interest that they have in the city. With me, that's what you will get. I have no other agenda than serving people well. That is why our campaign slogan is "A Voice for The People" Because that is what we need!
1) Public Safety is a top priority for me. I will work directly with our police and our firefighters to make sure that they have the tools that they need to effectively perform their jobs. One of these tools is the Middletown Jail. Our jail needs to stay open. Our officer's time is best spent fighting crime on our streets, not driving to Hamilton and back.
2) Street pavement. This will be the highest priority for me when looking at our budget. Middletown needs to look hard at it's budget and cut unnecessary spending to free money up for roads.
3) Middletown needs robust business development right off of I-75, on the south end of town, and across the city as a whole. It's wonderful what we're doing on Central Avenue and downtown, but if we want effective economic development, we need to focus on developing business right off of our highway to attract more people into Middletown to spend their money. We need to bring good salary jobs, not just new minimum wage opportunities.
Funding for these issues will come from two sources. If we focus on the business development I've outlined we will see our tax base go up, increasing revenue for the city. If you combine that increase with trims in our spending, we can get our budget back on track prioritizing the most important things to our citizens.
No. Middletown is taxed enough. If we make pavement a priority when looking at the budget, and increase our tax base by attracting new businesses and jobs, I am confident we can find the money for street pavement. As far as which streets would have priority, I would say we need to look at which of our roads are in the worst shape, and of those, find the ones that see the most traffic. There are a few main roads that are in rough shape, but in my experience, residential roads have been in much worse shape than our main roads.
Our public safety employees need all of their tools to effectively do their job. Good quality fire stations are part of that tool kit. The city needs to look into grant funding to help offset this cost and needs to prioritize public safety when looking at the budget.
I do not believe we have enough police officers, and that's because the Chief himself has said it. Middletown currently has 70 officers compared to Hamilton's 115. As long as our call volume remains where it is, we need to see a gradual increase in the number of officers on our street. Our call level is about the same as it was in the 1990's when we ran around 90 officers, over time that's what we need to shoot for.
First and foremost, the City of Middletown needs to get out of the business of land and property ownership. I've chatted with far too many members of this community that have inquired about development only to be told that the City is holding onto a parcel for future use. I've read in the paper about times where two private entities come to a deal, only for the city to step in and stop it. This is absolutely unacceptable. City government should never be in the business of owning property. One key difference between Middletown and somewhere like Liberty Township or West Chester is that these townships largely have blank slates to work with when developing projects. Middletown, like any other established city, needs to work with existing infrastructure when developing. If the city would loosen its grip on the land that it owns, we would see more plots available, lowering the premium on land for future development.
Parks and Recreation improvement is something that would be important for me, and something I will prioritize after taking care of our roads and public safety first. Middletown is lacking in activities for teenagers and children in town and that is a shame. Middletown should look into grant funding and any possible private donation opportunities for these sorts of projects. Community improvements will be a priority for me, but less of a focus until after we have a workable plan for our roads in place.
The Airport is absolutely an asset to this community. We've already seen success with recreational and private use through various events like Hops in the Hangar and private fundraisers. With how close we are to Butler Tech and numerous Universities, our airport has potential for education and research. I'm not sure how feasible commercial activity or maintenance would be in the area. Most importantly, I think a city council member should be having conversations with the stakeholders at the airport and include them in any decisions that would affect their livelihoods. City council, our Mayor, and city administration needs to include stakeholders in all decision making.
Middletown needs to focus on growing these efforts right off of I-75. With the success of places like The Liberty Center, Monroe Premium Outlets, and Union Center, Middletown needs to grow their business presence somewhere where we can attract out of town people to come and spend their money. We have wonderful potential with the Town Mall property and areas surrounding it, but it seems we aren't tapping into that potential as well as we could.
This money should go towards public safety, if it were to come. Our first responders are the front lines on the fight against the opioid epidemic, and are doing a great job, but there is still more work to be done. A windfall like this could help police and fire continue to fight this battle even more effectively.
The housing development council has been working on is a much needed improvement in the types of housing Middletown has to offer. We need to expand on the work council has been doing to not only bring new housing in to the area, but to focus on promoting home ownership. The amount of people renter their home rather than owning it is very high in Middletown compared to other areas. Middletown needs to bring in more good paying jobs to the area in order to help more people afford to buy their homes rather than renting.
For me, this would depend on the specific projects. Middletown needs to find out what our biggest need in housing is and focus on those sorts of projects, rather than handing TIF's out to just any project here in town.
The city of Middletown needs a change in course of the direction it is going, I feel under the current town council the needs of the city is being neglected, the opinions of the citizens is not being heard and it needs to change. My experience as a Navy Veteran, a Police Veteran, President of the Fraternal Order of Police Associates, has given me a good knowledge of how to address different situations.
New business, first responders, and homelessness.
We need a new approach to draw in new business, I feel under the current leadership the city has gotten a reputation that large new business is not given the same friendliness as the small business. This is one item I would address by talking to them and letting them know things are changing. Police and Fire Departments are not getting the support they need. In some cases it seems they are being pitted against each other, the City Jail needs to stay open and we need more personnel, equipment and training. Last the homelessness situation is out of control. We do need to help people and I am not advocating that we stop that but other cities need to take care of their people and not expect us to take care of all. We need to reach out and work with each other on this issue.
My honest answer is that I don't know at this point. I am not a politician but a patriot and being new to this I will have to learn how certain things work. I can say that I am not in favor of more taxes we have enough of that as it is. I hope that if we can get more large businesses in then the additional revenue of that will greatly help.
I say I would be willing to listen to such but would have to have a lot more information on how much, who would it effect, and to be sure the money would not be used for ;anything else before I could say I would be in favor.
It is my understanding that funds are available for a new station to be built and if so again I need to see where we could get additional money for upgrades and such. First responders are a high priority to me.
No the city is under strength for police officers. I would start by looking at if there is anything that is a low priority that we could do at a later time. See if there are items that the city is just wasting money on that would be better to stop and use the money elsewhere.
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The airport direction I feel should be towards the recreational/skydiving/private aviation, commercial/aircraft maintenance facility, both of these are money producers that would greatly help bring in business.
This is one direction the city has been good at and I thing should continue doing what has been working.
Hire more police officers to be able to confront the dealers and get them off the streets. I would also like to help out the fire department because of the huge costs of responding to so many overdoses.
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Absolutely none as a politician! I have built several multi-million dollar corporations from nothing, creating hundreds of careers for others. I know how to bring businesses that will create jobs to Middletown!
University of Cincinnati
Hundreds of Middletown residents have asked me to help put our city on a path of prosperity. After evaluating all these conversations I realized that their concerns were my concerns. I have owned a business in Middletown for 11 years and have seen first-hand how poor leadership is causing our City to miss out on growth opportunities. I will bring creative thinking to City Hall, the kind that involves everyone and makes a positive difference in the lives of our citizens. I will hold our City Manager and Department Heads to higher standards and bring oversight back to City Council. Most people are unaware of the change made to our City Charter that gave to much power to the City Managers and made the Middletown elected officials virtual bobbleheads. I will vote to reverse these changes so the constituent is once again properly represented.
Education: It is the foundation of success for every community! I will work diligently to develop a cohesive relationship between City Hall and the School Board. I will engage our business community to create mentorship programs for our youth, programs that will teach them to become future leaders. I want our youth to be proud of where they are from, to wake up each morning and aspire to greatness.
Economic Development does not exist in Middletown, we are not business friendly and must change how we attract businesses. I want to develop business incubators in Middletown that encourage entrepreneurs to locate here. Middletown is on the corridor of the largest concentration of aerospace companies in the United States, hundreds operate between Cincinnati and Dayton, only one operates in Middletown. I will focus on bringing these opportunities to Middletown.
Infrastructure: Our streets and sewers are collapsing, with an increase in economic growth we can rebuild our infrastructure
Education: There is no cost to empowering our local businesses to partner with our youth if we engage them properly. So much can be accomplished by instilling hope within our youth.
Economic Development: Middletown wastes money on hiring consultants that tell them what they want to hear. We need to build an Economic Development Department that thinks outside of the box and is capable of producing results without consultants. I would recommend a fresh start and replace the Economic Development leadership with vibrate, energetic personalities that see all the good Middletown has to offer and have the skillsets to sell why they should locate in Middletown
Infrastructure: The reality is without an increase in tax revenue the streets and sewers will continue to decline. We must create new business opportunities that will create this revenue or place a levy on the ballot to pay for these repairs.
I would not oppose a levy that would require the citizens to vote upon. I believe with an effective Economic Development Department seeking new business opportunities we could raise enough tax revenue to pave our streets and rebuild our public safety departments without a levy.
Our Streets, Sewers, Jail, Fire Stations, etc. all need replaced or repaired. There is no magic pill! Everything revolves around Economic Development, it revolves around a City Council that has the courage to do what's best for its citizens instead of personal projects. I want to build new firehouses but the reality is that the tax revenue is not there to support it. Rather than tax our residents I want to focus on creating new business opportunities that will increase our tax revenue.
No! We need an additional four officers per shift to properly protect our community. I will review our budgets and make recommendations as I see them. Again, this falls on Economic Development, without new business opportunities we can't increase our tax revenues.
You can't create more land so we must focus on attracting more Main Street businesses. We really need to focus on the shop local and shop small growth model by creating an environment for businesses producing $100,000.00 to $1,000,000.00 to succeed in Middletown. The few large plots of land designated industrial or commercial that remain in Middletown should be used to attract large employee based opportunities. The other option is annexation of which I am not a proponent of.
I believe we have great parks and would not spend additional funds over what is currently budgeted on them until our streets and sewers have been repaired.
My business (Start Skydiving) has been located at the Airport for eleven years. I have run the FBO for the past nine years and understand the importance of the airport as an economic engine for Middletown. Our business brings more than 40,000 people to Middletown each year, people that would have no reason for ever visiting. These people eat at our restaurants, drink at our bars, stay in our hotels and shop at our stores. The airport will never be a corporate aircraft destination because we are to far from the interstate and lack corporate HQ's here. I would focus on becoming a powerful partner with Wright Patterson Air Force base and bringing Aero Space businesses to Middletown locating them at the airport. I would also focus on bringing Department of Defense Research and Development contracts to Middletown. The current model of becoming an aviation maintenance education airport and thinking businesses will locate here because we have student mechanics will not work.
I live blocks from downtown and love seeing the transformation that has occurred. I would encourage the creation of business incubators where entrepreneurs can enjoy a collaborative work environment with invaluable mentoring and networking opportunities, funding support and shared equipment. In short, the City will offer fledgling young companies a warm, safe place to grow and prosper. Our Economic Development in Middletown is non-existent, every community around us is growing while we miss out on opportunities. These businesses are struggling to survive with the increase in transient homeless people downtown. I will introduce city ordinances that make it a crime to randomly drop off the homeless in our City. Our Economic Development Department currently does nothing to help small businesses succeed. I would recommend the replacement of the current Economic Development Director and her assistant, hiring someone with a passion to execute the goals established by City Council.
Put more Police Officers on the streets!
I agree with building more three and four bedroom homes in Middletown. I oppose using Tax Increment Financing (TIF) because it effectively bypasses the public budget process and lacks complete transparency. We must not allow public sector dollars to be re-routed into a different task, away from general purpose funds, and once a TIF is created the operation of a TIF receives less scrutiny than other spending. We have a create community, homebuilders can develop here at there expense, not the taxpayers!
NO! Creating TIF Districts is a path to failure, they don't work and set a poor precedent.
Middletown City Council 2016-Present. Middletown Vice Mayor 2018-Present
Bachelor of Arts - Miami University Class of 2004.
Graduate - Middletown High School Class of 2000.
I love Middletown. It’s been home to six generations of my family and it’s where my wife and I have chosen to raise our children. I want to leave Middletown better than I found it. I’m committed to making this a community of ample opportunities for future generations, not only more prosperous, but a city with a stronger sense of community, where neighbors look out for one another, and there’s greater civic engagement and pride. As a local business owner at Moon & Adrion Insurance, I understand how to effectively manage people, meet payroll and understand the needs of the public. As your current City Councilman and Vice Mayor I’ve done the job for the last 3.5 years, so I have a working knowledge of our local government and relationships that work across the region to position Middletown for future growth and prosperity.
Issue #1: Roads. In 2020 we should have nearly $1.8M more to invest in our roads because of the increase in the state gas tax as well as the city paying off a large bond. I’ll be fighting to see this money added to what we already do every year on local street paving.
Issue #2: Jobs. In order to grow our local economy and tax revenues, we need more jobs. We help create them by offering tax incentives as appropriate, collaborating with educational institutions to build a pipeline of employees for businesses, and leveraging our Federal Opportunity Zone to spur development. This approach both works with the challenges of the changing economy and positions Middletown for the future.
Issue #3: Housing. The new City Housing plan needs implemented, not left on the shelf. This is going to take collaboration and accountability, and I’m all in for both.
Street Paving – The state gas tax and the city paying off a large bond will yield nearly $1.8M more to invest in our local roads in 2020. Long term, I believe we should look at committing a percentage of income tax revenue to our infrastructure needs annually.
Job Creation – In almost all cases any economic development incentives are abating future revenue the city does not currently receive. The City Manager and Economic Development staff already serve as a facilitator and intermediary between the business community and educational institutions, so these would not add additional cost.
Housing - The City Housing plan will involve cost neutral acquisitions, Federal grant money, some money from the city general fund and investment from the private market.
I believe the plan I have laid out makes road repair possible in the short and long term without such a levy. I appreciate and relate to the frustration our residents feel about the state of our roads - I dodge the same potholes every day. As Middletown already has the highest effective property tax rate in Butler or Warren County, an increase in the income tax rate would hurt our competitive position in retaining and recruiting new families as well as new businesses to Middletown.
New fire stations are important to the health and safety of our firefighters and those of us they protect, so they are important to me. I believe local governments can be collaborative to meet the needs of their communities and that we would be wise to work with a neighboring community to build on donated land that is geographically positioned to serve both.
The proposed 2020 budget will add two traffic officers to the street and I’m pleased to see this as it frees up the other officers to focus on the other calls for service. While our financial picture has improved, we are still limited compared to many of our neighbors, but as revenues allow Public Safety will be among the first things discussed.
First we must maximize the developable land we have remaining with a long-term perspective, advancing and recruiting projects that position Middletown for long term gain, while also diversifying our employment base. Second, we need to explore Joint Economic Development Agreements (JED’s), a mutually beneficial relationship between two communities who share the income tax revenues generated in exchange for providing services such as water and sewer or public safety. Finally, we have to use some of our older industrial and unused space like the former STM Wren site, Middletown Paperboard, former Vail Middle School, Lincoln School and First National Bank Building.
As a father of two young sons, I was happy to support brining back public recreation programing for the first time since the recession this year. As the budget allows, I’d suggest we work with our local YMCAs on new programming during the summer and year-round.
I personally, don’t see a reason that recreational activities, education and commercial repair and maintenance can’t all be aspects of a strong and thriving airport. I think ultimately the market will dictate which direction the airport goes.
In addition to filling vacant and partially empty buildings, we need to make wise choices regarding cornerstone properties owned by the city in downtown such as the STM Wren site, First National Bank building, Transit Site and others with tremendous potential for development. Our community improvement corporation Middletown Moving Forward can help with gap financing and of course there are tax incentive tools.
Ultimately the only way out of the cycle of addiction is through treatment. While we don’t know how much it could be, it would be wise to invest in programming for those facing addiction.
I voted for this plan because I believe it is a step in the right direction to address the degradation of our neighborhoods. For the empty, abandoned and tax-delinquent homes, it allows us to acquire property at next to no cost through the Land Bank, then transfer the homes (at no cost) to a contractor for rehabilitation and sale to an owner that must occupy the property as their primary residence. I would propose that instead of transferring those properties for free we put a small flat sales price on each home, then use these funds to help those homes that are already owner-occupied become code compliant.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF’s) have been overused throughout the state. They are one tool in the development tool belt that should be seldom-used.
Third Generation Small Business Owner in Downtown Middletown - Board of Directors for Downtown Middletown, Inc. (DMI) and Design Committee Chair - Former Board Member for the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA)
Speech Communication Degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio
Fenwick High School Class of 2004
As a small business owner in a downtown community, I am experienced in making tough decisions for my business while also looking out for the greater good. Thinking about how our actions impact others is crucial to landing on with sound solutions. Transparency and communication can help us earn the trust of our neighbors and allow them to be a partner in our success. I want to be a member of city council so that I can be a shoulder-to-shoulder leader for our community.
The number one issue facing the city is its ability to attract and retain residents. New residents have the ability to boost our city’s economy and operating budget. The new Housing Plan and Downtown Master Plan are valuable tools that can help us continue moving the needle.
Secondly, the future of our city jail is in our hands and we need to hold on tight. Impact studies and on-the-ground experience have informed us of its vital importance to public safety.
Finally, everyone’s favorite topic of conversation, our crumbling road system. There is no easy solution for paving all of the roads in Middletown and figuring out how to pay for it all. It has already been identified by city council as a top priority in the budget for many years to come, but our best efforts to solve the problem can come from a balanced budget and surplus dollars that result from smart spending.
Improving our housing stock, prioritizing initiatives in the budget, and utilizing grant funding opportunities are all great ways to start growing our operating budget. I am not opposed to inviting the public to vote on bonds and levies, but if we can generate additional funding for projects by streamlining our spending then we should always make our best effort to limit additional taxation.
The voters should be given an opportunity to vote on a bond levy to pay for the improvement of our roads. If such a levy were to pass, I believe the priority of paving should be split between the roads most travelled and the roads in most need. We can’t forget about our neighborhoods and the streets where we live. We should also focus energy into maintenance so that we don’t get into the same state of disrepair down the proverbial road.
It has been made clear that the city needs to address our aging fire houses. We will need to identify the most valuable locations for a new house and discuss how we will fund the construction of one or more new stations in the years to come. Creative ideas have been presented which would potentially develop a new station as part of a larger mixed-use public/private partnership. We have already committed to pay for design work in the 2020 budget, so I would like to see this mixed use design presented as an option for consideration.
Our men and women in uniform are one of our greatest assets as a city. It is important that we give them the support they need to serve us. Increasing the size of our force would be a great way to better serve our residents, but we struggle to attract and recruit because of the particular challenges our officers face on a daily basis.
In a city of our size and age, available land for development is a non-renewable resource. With this being said, we have to be very choiceful about how we use the land and how that decided use will impact our residents. Quality of life is important to attracting a new generation of Middletonians and also for retaining the spending dollars of our current population.
Parks and recreational opportunities are important to attracting new residents and visitors. The city’s budget for programs and maintenance was severely strained by the recession. We had to close our city pools and cut spending. Middletown parks rely heavily on volunteers and philanthropic organizations for assistance, and probably always will, but to make a greater impact we will need to seek out greater opportunities. Utilizing our river connection, relationship with MetroParks, and available grants from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), we can re-commit to the development of our parks and programs.
Middletown’s airport is truly a gem. It should be a diversified asset that is capable of providing educational training, private and commercial aviation services, as well as skydiving and entertainment. Boasting nearly 550 acres and the longest non-towered airport runway in Southwest Ohio, the possibilities for use and future development make it a valuable tool for the revitalization of Middletown as a regional gateway.
Our downtown is experiencing more than just an upswing, we have seen sustainable growth. Economic Development needs to secure public/private partners who recognize our value and are ready to roll up their sleeves. We also need our current property owners to comply with minimum standards of upkeep and begin to join the redevelop efforts of our historic downtown. We still have a lot of work to do and can’t afford to wait. Middletown’s future is happening now.
If Middletown were to receive money from an opioid settlement, plain and simple, it should be spent on drug prevention and addiction treatment services. The dollars can never make up for the lives lost to the crisis, or those they left behind, but we should try to make them as impactful as possible.
The value of our housing stock in Middletown has been in slow decline for decades, but is finally rising again. We have a demand for diverse housing options and an opportunity to identify vacant properties and take a hard stance against tax delinquencies in our city. By identifying historically significant neighborhoods, like the Oaklands which is downtown adjacent, we can provide incentives for home ownership and rehabilitation.
Compassion is important when we are talking about our neighbors’ homes. Working with social advocacy groups to help people who just need a leg up to stay where they are is great. But, when we talk about displacing people who reside in buffer zones around AK, or even those who just can’t afford to pay their property taxes and water bills and have let their homes fall into disrepair, I believe we must also have a plan to provide some form of assistance for relocation. This is something that I believe is missing from the presented plan and should be addressed.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) can sometimes be used within defined districts that include residential development to pay for infrastructure expenditures. Utilizing these funds is a best practice in many communities like ours, but must be used with discretion and responsibility.
Board of Directors Art Central Foundation, Executive Committee The Ohio Challenge, First Vice President Middletown NAACP,
MHS, Ohio University,
I have been involved with several groups that make Middletown a better place to live, work and play. I have served on the Board of Directors of the Art Central Foundation the Executive Committee of the Ohio Challenge, and served as the Secretary and the First Vice President of the NAACP. I am not running because I have political ambition or for personal gain. Frankly it’s due to the direction I have seen our city going. Throughout my career, whether as a boat builder, a marine surveyor, a trainer for insurance companies, or currently as a Quality, Environmental, and Hazardous Materials Coordinator, what I enjoy most is finding solutions to problems. I have had the opportunity to dig in to situations and study how they work, why they are done in a certain way, and then find innovative ways to change course to maximize outcomes. I will do the same on Council, and look forward to finding solutions that will make our town a place we can all be proud to call home.
Transparency & Accountability– Council must stop over using Executive Sessions, make all decisions and hold discussions in public, so citizens can understand what is happening in their City. Council needs to proactively involve the public. I feel the best outcomes are realized when many voices are at the table.
Infrastructure/Growth - Our City has a new Opportunity Zone driven by investment tax breaks. We only have one shot at getting it right. We need to assure the best use of this resource. City Council must lead a discussion with citizens to make our streets better and it has to be a priority.
Building Community - Middletonians have heart, grit, and determination. I believe the people of Middletown are our greatest asset. The more we unite as a community, the better we will solve problems and find solutions. People here work to make life better for others every day. Our enthusiasm, big hearts, and work ethic will draw others to join us to make our town the best it can be.
More transparency costs us nothing. In fact if better choices are made due to an open discussion, those decisions could actually save money by increasing efficiencies, reducing overlapping services, and by driving better outcomes. In other words getting it right the first time.
The opportunity zone must be developed to increase revenues for the city. Initial costs if any must be minimized in the process. Tackling the condition of our streets is currently being addressed, but people all across town are tired of driving over potholes and cracks. I believe this issue should be voted on by the citizens of Middletown. If they want to fund a more aggressive program, then they should. Citizens should be involved in this decision.
Building our community bonds will cost us nothing. We are like no other town or city in the region and we don't want to be! Our unity and pride in our accomplishments will go a long way to draw other new like-minded people to join us.
Yes. Almost everyone I know in Middletown is aware of the condition of our streets, I hear it all the time. I believe that with an issue of such importance, citizens should have a voice in the decision. If the bond passes, great, we will have better roads more quickly. If it does not, we will continue at the pace we can currently afford. Either way the people will make the decision.
I completely support our fire fighters and believe they need to have the necessary equipment and stations to adequately protect our citizens. I do not believe the city has yet drawn up a comprehensive plan that includes all of the details that are necessary to make these decisions. I believe this is overdue and hope to move forward as quickly and as economically as we can.
I believe that MPD is doing the very best they can with what they have. Our officers deal in a very stressful position and more officers would only enhance protection of our families and property, while at the same time relieving some of the load they have been carrying. I fully support the men and women of MPD and am thankful we have them doing such a great job.
I would like to take steps to add an additional ramp to I 75, making development more attractive on the east end. Some of our most valuable land is not easily accessible. In addition we have other areas and facilities that are under-utilized. These may be areas where future development can happen. I think the process for opening the doors to future development in Middletown will require new thinking and a new approach. We have been falling behind other nearby communities. It is time for that to change
Middletown has many needs to be addressed and limited number of resources. The involvement of community organizations such as Keep Middletown Beautiful, Downtown Middletown, Inc & the Community Building Institute, as well as local schools and churches, can provide valuable resources toward addressing basics in quality of life areas. The City should continue to strengthen the relationships with these groups, value their contributions and offer support to their efforts when needed. I would like to involve local student voices in this conversation to further clarify needs in this
area. This will give them a sense of ownership in their city, after all City Council works for them as well.
The City is proposing a plan that includes a heavy emphasis on commercial activity. It calls for building new hangars to store aircraft, however it seems unlikely that corporations who do not have offices in Middletown will use these. The plan also aims to partner with local educational programs to train a workforce to provide services which could be a great addition to the airport.
The City has recently developed the attitude that they will determine the direction that the airport will take, and that all other interests should get out of the way. I believe that our City should instead be supporting those services, businesses, and events that bring us tens of thousands of visitors a year. The airport can be used for many purposes at the same time, solutions are not always black and white.
Our City should provide help to the businesses and groups that are driving change, instead it has a history of attempting to control the real estate market downtown. That history is less than perfect. It should support, not dictate outcomes. Our City should offer professional assistance and work collaboratively, not issue citations and levy fines.
Recently our Chief of Police posted the fact that other Cities have been transporting dropping their homeless and mentally disturbed citizens here. It has become a serious issue, with downtown businesses losing customers and money. It can’t continue. Council must immediately take steps and put these other Cities on notice.
We will need to take a look at all aspects that have been and are still being used to fight the effects opioids have had on our city. Additional addiction services make sense if needed. We need to look at the costs that we paid over the years of the epidemic and determine how that impacted our first responders, and our Courts. Were needed equipment purchases delayed? If the City receives a part of the settlement we must carefully review how the epidemic affected and still affects us. Only then can we move forward and determine the best use of a settlement.
Reconfiguring our housing stock is a necessity; many of our older homes are nearing the end of their useful life and do not offer viable options for current home buyers. The City will use newly revised code enforcement ordinances, delinquent tax status, and vacancy to start the process of eradicating homes. Our City should also be aware these actions may be forcing some residents out of their homes and onto the streets. They should realize that fixing a leaking roof is more important than peeling paint, looking at
each situation individually. The City has plans to demolish neighborhoods, and construct a buffer zone around industrial sights. They must also realize the human cost, and include plans to make the transition as harmless as possible.
Tiffs are one of the best tax deferments. Taxes may be deferred to pay for the extension of non- existent services such as water and sewer service. While taxes are deferred to cover those costs over a limited time, taxes are still collected as a smaller percentage, and school taxes can still be collected at the normal rate. We must use all the tools in our tool box to bring progress to Middletown.