Position paper: Green mayoral candidates
Dave Lauby vs. Dick Norton vs.
Andy Padrutt vs. Susan Ridgeway vs. Christopher Slates
Voters living in Green will vote
for one candidate for Green mayor in the Sept. 11 Primary
Election, according to the city of Green. The top two
vote getters will square off in the Nov. 6 General Election.
Races in Green are nonpartisan.
Editor’s note: The answers to the following questions are printed as submitted.
Why do you think you are the better candidate?
Lauby: With 27 years of experience working as a public servant with Summit County and the City of Green I have an extensive knowledge of the inner workings of the Service Department. Using this knowledge I know what needs to be improved to provide better service to the residents of Green. I have the ambition, drive and know how to implement these changes. For these reasons I believe I am the best candidate.
Norton: In assessing the needs of our city, it is critical that voters carefully weigh the qualifications of the next mayor. I have extensive experience in financial planning and budgeting, employee relations, business development and team building. I also have a long history of community involvement serving on civic boards. Some of these include, Akron General Medical Center Foundation, Green Schools Foundation, Green Community Improvement Corporation and United Way Campaign Chair, among many others. I have the ability to bring fresh, new and experienced leadership as I have no personal political agenda and owe no political favors. Finally, my experience and nurturing style should aid in helping members of the city council work more effectively to create the kind of legislation that meets the needs of our citizens. Green has a bright future but will require experienced, proven leadership to maintain the quality of life Green residents desire.
Padrutt: I am running for Mayor based on my eight years of experience and leadership on City Council, my lifetime of dedication to the community, and my vision for our City’s future.
As the veteran member of our City Council, I have more years of elected experience than all other candidates, combined. I have participated in the adoption of eight budgets, and am acutely aware of all aspects of how our City runs. I will utilize my extensive experience in Green’s government to “hit the ground running” my first day in office.
I have also shown a level of community involvement and dedication to Green that is second to none. My mother is a retired Green elementary school teacher and my father was a Green Township firefighter. I know and love this community, and am a proud homeowner here. I will work tirelessly to make it the best it can be.
Ridgeway: I am the only candidate with a college education, a bachelor of arts degree in Art History, a Graduate Elementary Education Credential with a CLAD emphasis, and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. I am a U.S. Navy veteran, a former public school teacher in California and Ohio schools, a former librarian with the Ohio Department of Youth Services, a former member of the Green Historic Preservation Commission and I am currently the Ward 3 Representative for Green City Council. I have an understanding of the link between school districts and municipalities and the need to work together to find alternative funding sources for our schools to prevent our property taxes from rising. I was born and raised in Green and am married to the owner of Phabilous Phil’s who is also a Green High School graduate. I have raised three accomplished children and have been a homeowner for 25 years.
What do you think are the three most important issues facing Green and how would you address them?
Lauby: The traffic problems are very important. Construction is a large contributor to the traffic problems. There should be contracts that include incentives for the completion of a job ahead of schedule and penalties for not completing job on schedule. We need to have bonds that last as long as possible to ensure that quality work and materials are used to fix our roads. This would help our roads last longer. Lastly there needs to be better scheduling of construction for main roads so that no two are closed in the same direction at the same time.
The construction and employees of a third fire Station in the Northeast section of the City are needed to better serve our community.
Increase staffing in all city departments and upgrade equipment to provide the best service possible to the residents of the City of Green.
Norton: I believe it is time for fresh, new, experienced leadership in The City of Green. I am running for mayor to place the concerns of the residents first.
I believe the three major important issues facing Green include working together with Green Schools to make students the first priority by being accessible to school officials and to be a mediator and facilitator when appropriate. Traffic remains a concern and will be improved by getting ahead of development and scheduling so no two main highways or intersections are down at the same time. Finally, it will be critical to responsibly manage growth and development. I will do this by pursuing community involvement in the planning process and using effective zoning and planning.
My wife, Louise, and I have lived in Green for 25 years and have observed that these three issues remain as priorities for our citizens.
Padrutt: I believe it is imperative for the next Mayor to make proper city planning the priority it must be to control growth and protect the City from sprawl and overdevelopment. The only way we can control the growth that is going to occur in Green is to plan for it. We need a proactive and comprehensive approach to this most critical issue.
Secondly, I believe that we should concentrate growth into a centralized, walkable downtown area. Imagine shops, restaurants, and cafes below offices, condos, and apartments — all fronting tree-lined streets and anchored by another grocery store. This pedestrian-oriented area would enhance the character and quality of life of the community.
Finally, I believe the next Mayor must keep our finances strong and manage tax dollars responsibly. I have pledged not to increase property taxes to fund city services, and believe we can enhance our bottom-line through economic development opportunities.
Ridgeway: The infrastructure in our city is in dire need of upgrading. Our roads are poorly maintained. They are unsafe and severely lacking pedestrian walkways and trails. Our city equipment is aging and inadequate to perform routine maintenance. Secondly, we need to provide services such as affordable sewer and water access to businesses and homeowners who need it or desire it and another fire station in ward one for improved fire and medical response time. The third most important issue is the management of the city’s income over the long term. We need to use Tax Increment Financing with caution and careful consideration. The unique attribute of TIF is not that it creates new revenues by imposing a new tax, it actually creates new debt — TIF bonds that will need to be financed and retired. We also need to reign in unnecessary spending on such items as tree farms.
Editor’s note: Candidate Christopher Slates did not submit answers to the above questions by presstime.