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.

Monroe Council

Vote for 2

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  • Tom Callahan

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    Dan Clark

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    Jason Frentzel

  • Keith Funk

  • Brett kahny

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    Christina McElfresh

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Biographical Information

Why are you running for this office and what skills, knowledge and experience will you be bringing if elected?

Name three issues facing the city in the next term and what would you propose to resolve them?

In those top three issues, how do you propose to pay for them?

If the city should get funding from an opioid settlement, how should the city use these funds?

In last several months, there have been issues arising on what development should be pursued in the city, particularly along the Interstate 75 corridor running through Monroe. Some on council feel the city has too much warehousing/E-commerce facilities, even though developers are ready to move forward on some projects. Others say the premium of developable land should be focused on high-tech jobs. What are your thoughts on this issue on city development?

What projects should the city offer economic development incentives and what should this be based on?

What infrastructure improvement are needed in the city?

Experience Business owner in Middletown for 30 years. Donated to area charities and sport teams. Currently volunteer at Wright Patterson AFB.
Education High School Graduate
I was asked to run by other candidates to bring ideas into Monroe. I bring business skill and knowledge of running a business.
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Possibly open a Mental Health and Addiction Service program in the area.
High Tech jobs are needed more than more warehouses. Lots of complaints going around about the large warehouses and nobody in them. Jobs are in immediate need.
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Todhunter Road will probably need to be addressed in the near future since a new subdivision is in the works.
Experience Monroe City Council, 2014 - Present (Vice Mayor 2018 - Present)
Education B.S., University of Cincinnati, 1995 J.D., University of Cincinnati, 1998
I am running for re-election to the Monroe City Council in order to continue the good work that Council is doing and to further improve the services the city offers to its residents. Monroe is a great place to live and by working together we can make it even better. I believe that my prior experience as a councilman and my two decades of experience in the legal/insurance field will continue to assist me in working with the rest of Council to make Monroe the best it can be.
-1- Smart development. Monroe has seen rapid growth over the past 10 – 15 years. This has been good for our community in many ways, but there are consequences as well. We must continue to grow, but it should be in areas where it most benefits the city and its residents. -2- Public Safety. As a consequence of our growth, our public safety services have seen an increase in demand. I have worked closely with the other members of the Public Safety Committee to ensure that our police and fire services have the resources needed to perform their duties, including the new police station which will be located on the site of the old IGA building. -3- Infrastructure. In addition to public safety, our growth as a community has put new demands on our city’s infrastructure. As a city we must continue to engage in long term planning in regard to our road repairs so that our community has a safe and efficient means of travel.
The positive side to our growth is the additional funding that these projects bring to our city. The city has done an excellent job of using that funding and other mechanisms to pay for the public safety and infrastructure projects that we have planned. The financial state of the city is excellent, and as a Council we have an obligation to maintain that. I will continue to work with the rest of the Council to ensure that we are fiscally responsible.
Any funds received from an opioid settlement should be directed to services and programs designed to assist those citizens in Monroe who have been affected by the opioid crisis.
It is the obligation of Council to ensure that the City of Monroe grows in a way that benefits its citizens. Development projects that are supported by the city should be those that create the most revenue and bring a diverse range of opportunities to the people. I have a clear voting record on this point. There is a time and a place for warehousing projects, but we do not want that to be the only type of project we support.
Economic incentives should be reserved for those projects that bring a unique opportunity to the city and its people. I have consistently voted against tax breaks that I believe are too generous or are targeted at projects that will bring little if any benefit to the city. My record on this issue is very strong, and if re-elected I will continue to closely evaluate all proposed tax breaks and only vote for those that give our city excellent employment opportunities.
Our infrastructure continues to face challenges due to our growth. As a council we have created short-term and long-term plans for repairing and expanding our city’s roads. This ensures that we are able to pay for these improvements while also providing this critical service to the community. If re-elected I will continue to work with the Public Works Committee to address the needs of our citizens.
Experience 4 years - Monroe City Council 1 year - Monroe Personnel Board
Education B.S. Mechanical Engineering Technology - University of Dayton
As a longtime resident of Monroe I have always taken an interest in the City and its well-being. After attending council meeting for several years, I decided to play a more active role in the growth and development of the City of Monroe and was elected to council in 2015. Over the last four years I have learned a great deal about how the city operates and the role of council. I feel that my levelheadedness and analytical skills have helped me over my time on council. One of the biggest things that I have learned is that I cannot just take my own views or values into consideration, but I have to think about what is best for the City and all of its residents. I tend not to make snap decisions about issues, but rather will always try to analyze the issue and look at it from multiple point of views before making a decision.
-Continuing to develop our parks – The City has been growing and developing its current parks and developing new parks. Over the next several years, we will need to continue to find outside funding to help develop the parks into something greater. -Improving transportation in the city – The City is already starting to see some challenges with getting around the City. Some of our major City arteries are seeing increased traffic flow with the increase in industrial development in this area. We need to partner with other agencies to help improve this. The City has finally started to make an effort over the past few years to add sidewalks to help connect the City, but we need to look into doing more. -Growing the City without losing its character – This is a tough balancing act because you cannot expand services without having business revenue to pay for it. The creation of more localized industrial zones outside of residential areas will help with this issue.
-Continuing to develop our parks – The City has already started to look or State and Federal grants in order to help pay for improvements to our parks. I think that we also need to consider partnering with businesses in the City to help too, this will not only strengthen our parks but build a better bond with our local businesses. -Improving transportation in the city – Again, we need to partner with the State to especially help improve the major arteries of the city (SR4, SR 63, Cin-Day Road). We also need to look into smartly continue to develop the walkability and bike ability of our city. -Growing the City without losing its character – As mentioned above, I think that we can do this by partnering with our local businesses in order to gain services in the city and build a better relationship with our businesses.
If the city were to get funding from an opioid settlement, I feel that these funds should go towards funding or reimbursing the Fire, Police and other department's efforts to reduce the impact that opioids have on our community.
At the beginning of the year, the City started the process to update its comprehensive plan which will help to guide the direction of the City over the next several years. About the same time, multiple plots of land around the I-75 corridor came before council to change the zoning to light industrial. Although I did voice the concerns that I have received from multiple residents about the abundance of warehouse/E-commerce facilities in the City, my bigger concern was how the new comprehensive plan would potentially affect this land. For that reason I voted against the proposed zoning changes that ultimately were approved. I do feel, that once the comprehensive plan is complete, the better location for these warehouse/E-commerce or any other industrial facilities is closer to I-75 and not near residential areas.
It is hard to say specifically which projects should receive economic development incentives and which ones should not receive them. I prefer to examine each project on a case by case basis and weigh what incentives that they are looking for vs what benefit they will offer the city. I would prefer to see more incentives go to companies that actually need the incentive. If a smaller company is looking to expand their growth to the next level and truly needs some sort of incentive to make that happen, I will look more favorably on that incentive package versus an incentive package to a larger company that is just shopping around for the best deal. All this being said, if an incentive is being considered, I will always ask that the company talk with the school district as well because these incentives impact the schools too.
I would say that the biggest infrastructure improvement that is needed in Monroe are the state routes that run through the City. With all the additional commercial traffic that is occurring on all sides of the City, these roads need to be improved to allow better flow of traffic through the city. I would also like to see better connectivity through our town for those who walk and bike. The addition of a sidewalk on Macready Ave and on Main St. along with the proposed extension of the Great Miami Trail are a great start, but there are still neighborhoods in the City that have no connection to the City. Finally, I would also like to see a push for better assortment of telecommunication options in the City. There are areas of town that have limited options for good quality telecommunication services.
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Experience I was appointed to Monroe City Council to fill a two year term. I have been a Realtor with Sibcy Cline, Inc. for 10 years. Prior to becoming a Realtor, I was Vice President of the AFL-CIO, Community Services. My skills and experience include: high level negotiations, writing contracts, coordination of non-profit services to individuals and families in need during job lay-offs and/or facility/plant closures. I also headed up the Communications Department for UFCW 1099 (now UFCW 75) in Monroe.
I have lived in Monroe for 20 years. I work in Monroe, I live in Monroe, I am a volunteer for numerous Monroe organizations. I live and breathe Monroe. I am running for City Council because I care deeply about my community and the residents who live here. I want to continue to be an advocate for the residents of Monroe. I have many assets and skill sets that I bring to the table, but the most important asset I have is my passion for my community! I believe in our city and in the people who choose to live here. I am a fighter. I will continue to fight for the residents of Monroe.
Issue 1) A growing city vs. a small town feel - I believe one front of mind issue facing Monroe is our growth and the best way for Monroe to continue to grow, but maintain our small town feel. We are currently working on a new, forward thinking, Comprehensive Plan that is taking community input, business input, and staff input to develop a structured plan moving forward. This plan will take into consideration zoning overlays, facilities, parks, future infrastructure needs, business development, and community needs and wellbeing. This will be an inclusive plan of action and every resident has an opportunity to share their thoughts and give input. Issue 2) Park Development - As Monroe grows, so do the needs and desires of the residents. We have a Parks Master Plan and a funding stream to implement the development of our parks, but we will need a parks department to help manage these parks/programs. Issue 3) Diverse Business Development- Monroe needs a more diverse business community.
1) The Comprehensive Plan has already been funded. 2) The development of the parks themselves, management of these parks, and new parks programs will be funded through grant money opportunities and also through the income tax measure voted on by the residents of Monroe. 3) The cost associated with this will be the business development staff needed to bring these new companies to Monroe. We need a more eclectic mix of businesses.
I would say that our amazing first responders would be willing to let Council know where those funds, if received, would be best served. I would hope for some prevention measures of some kind, but I wholly believe in our police officers and firefighters to help in this decision making process!
I, personally, never want to stymy new business development and growth opportunities, but I believe we have more than our fair share of warehouses and E-commerce facilities in Monroe. I would be very receptive to a high-tech company decided to set up shop in Monroe. Or if an office building were to be built. I look at it this way, the price per square foot per employee needs to shrink. A large warehouse building, employing a minimum amount of workers is not enough to bring the sit down restaurants the people of Monroe have been waiting for. Nor do we have enough residential rooftops to compete in the restaurant arena. An office building filled with business men and women and/or a business park might help. The Comprehensive Plan we are working on will help as far as new business locations. A warehouse next to residential neighborhoods, or future residential neighborhoods, is not good. We need to plan this out better and the new Comp Plan will help with this endeavor.
I am not a proponent of economic development incentives. Monroe is the last frontier in many respects. The cities around us are almost built out. What land we have available needs to be used wisely. There is only so much land in Monroe. When it is gone, it’s gone. The only incentive I would be open to offering would be for a business that best fits our city’s growing needs. A business that will bring high paying jobs and not consume acres and acres of real estate with few employees. A company that wants to have their headquarters in Monroe.
The city does an excellent job of maintaining, upgrading, and improving our infrastructure. Our city staff is on top of our infrastructure. I am proud of this fact! The only issues are when it comes to joint roads. One example is Butler-Warren Rd. Is is partly maintained by Monroe, but mostly maintained by either Butler County or Warren County. Monroe cannot do anything about the road that does not belong to us. Our City Manager has been working with all parties to come to some resolve. I would eventually like to see fioptics be available to all of Monroe, but that is a HUGE endeavor.