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.

Urbana Council at large

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  • Candidate picture

    Cassandra Cress
    (I)

  • Patrick Thackery
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

What can elected officials do to necessitate growth in downtown Urbana? What can be done to further that development? What has been lacking in the past in terms of bringing investors and growing preexisting investment in Urbana?

What can be done to usher job growth in the city and in Champaign County? What can be done to keep Urbana residents living in Urbana? What are some of biggest challenges facing Urbana? What can be done to improve student performance at Urbana City Schools?

How important is it to pass an income tax in the city that would help fund emergency services?

What are the biggest challenges facing the city?

What else to you want voters to know about you?

Experience This is my 20th year teaching high school English. I have served on various committees and in leadership positions at Urbana High School. I am currently serving on the charter review board.
Education BA in English from Wittenberg University; MA in Educational Leadership from Wright State University
Twitter @cassie_cress
Elected officials need to be open to growth in downtown and throughout Urbana. I would like to see us consult with a company like Small Nations who has transformed the downtown of Bellefontaine in the last 10 years. From talking to numerous citizens and business owners, I have learned that in the past, for whatever reason, the city has made it unnecessarily difficult for some businesses to come here. The Urbana Wins Team would like to see the city simplify the process businesses have to go through by appointing a Business Coordinator as a single point of contact for both existing businesses and new businesses who want to come here. I also think part of what has been lacking is a vision for our city. The Urbana Wins Team has a clear vision for revitalizing the city at UrbanaWins.com.

Part of what can be done to help with job growth is to attract more businesses to come to Urbana, but we definitely need more people to live in Urbana as well. To entice more people to live here, we need to expand the city limits and create some new housing developments. We also need to upgrade our pool, parks, add to the bike trail, and add more things for people in Urbana to do for entertainment. My dream is to create a Center for Youth to help with some of the issues we have at Urbana City Schools and in our community. Right now, our community is faced with a situation where many students have parents who need to work two or three jobs to make ends meet. With a Community Center for Youth, students would have somewhere to go after school to be involved in tutoring, mentoring programs, and enrichment. Such programs would keep kids out of trouble and create a way that the community can support the schools and parents. We need to work together as a community to make UCS better.
Of course, emergency services are important; those services cannot be sacrificed. However, instead of asking the taxpayers for more taxes, as the current administration has done, the Urbana Wins Team found that at least $500,000 can be cut from the present budget. Specifically, the city could save a substantial amount of money by bargaining collectively with other public entities instead of being self-funded. In addition, we would eliminate duplicate positions and improve efficiency throughout the government.

Right now, we are a stagnant community facing poverty. We need to grow, but the top priority should be doing something about the 1 in 5 people in Urbana living in poverty (according to the US Census Bureau in 2017). The number of people in poverty has doubled since 2000, and our population is declining. In addition, 53% of Urbana students are classified as disadvantaged by the Ohio Department of Education. Fixing these problems will require a multi-pronged approach that includes raising wages for workers and bringing in more businesses to Urbana.
I want voters to know that I love this city and believe that together we can make Urbana even better. I am eager to work with all parts of the city, the council, the administration, government workers, schools, churches, and businesses to help our community prosper and grow.
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