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Position papers: Norton City Council, Ward 1 representative

10/10/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer


Rick Rodgers vs. Ted Weinsheimer

Voters living in Norton’s Ward 1 will vote for one candidate for Ward 1 representative on Norton City Council in the Nov. 5 General Election. The race is nonpartisan. The information provided below was submitted by the candidates, with their responses to our questions printed as submitted.


Rick Rodgers

Why are you running for Council?

“After a recent council meeting a current council member made the following statement. “[Norton needs] to catch up with Green and Wadsworth,” regardless of the cost. While, another said, that if the residents of Norton can’t handle the added financial burden of sewers, “maybe they will just need to move.” Comments such as these have energized me for this race.

“I am running for council to try to repair the damage caused by the current administration over the hotly debated sewer issue. Eight out of ten people, that I speak with while campaigning, either do not trust the current administration, think they are corrupt or at best, incompetent. I hope to change that impression by keeping residents’ rights first while working for a measured growth for our city.

“We must find ways to fund our necessary infrastructure needs without increasing the financial burden of our residents. We need to bring in new business to help shore-up our tax base by focusing on the most obvious areas of our city to develop. The current administration’s plan to force the installation of sewers (where there are perfectly good septic systems in place) at a time when residents are struggling with a difficult economy is simply out of touch with reality and shows a total lack of regard for their constituents.”

What would be your top three priorities if you took office? Why?

  1. “Sewer Issue
    “This is currently the most divisive issue our city faces. With falling wages and decreased home values, saddling homeowners with high-dollar assessments is irresponsible. Thorough research, into existing external grants and funding (that will offset or totally relieve the cost) must be a top priority. The current administration has not been diligent in seeking out these available resources.
  2. “Infrastructure
    “Norton roads are in sad shape. We were advised by the current administration that there wasn’t a Road Program in 2012 because the planning was “not done in a timely manner.” The 2013 Road Program’s budget isn’t sufficient to cover the needs of the current year, let alone what didn’t get done in 2012. Norton’s Service Department is operating at 50 percent capacity. Additional people should be hired to provide the needed services; services which have already been paid for by the residents and are long overdue.
  3. “Fiscal Responsibility
    “Elected officials have a legal and moral responsibility as they manage the tax dollars of their constituents. Each and every expenditure needs to be necessary and cost effective.”

Ted Weinsheimer

Why are you running for Council?

“In working with 5 different administrations, the various City departments as well as multiple community organizations, I have an understanding and knowledge of the needs of Norton, both internally and externally. As a previous Norton City employee and as a Norton citizen of 21 years, I want to keep the focus on building good community. This includes the support of our schools, local organizations, Safety Services, and current businesses while remaining fiscally responsible.”

What would be your top three priorities if you took office? Why?

  1. “Continued expansion of sanitary sewer because it is needed for the betterment of the community and for future business growth. We need to be in control of all options to ensure the lowest best cost possible without interference from any outside entity (OEPA, DOES, SCHD).
  2. “Sanitary sewer is always going to be an issue with the City of Norton but that is only one piece of the pie. We have to remember there are other pieces of the pie including Police, Fire, EMS, Building and Zoning, Community Development, Engineering, Finance, Administration, Roads, and Parks. We need to protect the entire pie while being fiscally responsible as a city!
  3. “Continued collaboration linking the city with our schools and local organizations. In order to build good community, the city needs to be accessible and willing to work with the citizens of Norton.”
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