Valerie Jackson vs. Russel Neal Jr. (incumbent)
Gary Hagen vs. Marilyn Keith (incumbent)
Voters living in Akron’s Ward 8 will vote for one candidate for Akron City Council Ward 8 representative on the Nov. 5 General Election ballot. The information provided below was submitted by a candidate, with her responses to our questions printed as submitted. Republican Gary Hagen did not respond to our request for information by the state deadline.
Marilyn Keith (incumbent)
Political affiliation: Democrat
Why are you running for Council?
“I am running for the Ward 8 Council position because I have always been responsible and dedicated to the community. I promised when I initially ran in 2010 that if elected I would retire from my career as an elementary teacher and give this position my full attention. I am retired now and make it a priority to be available to my constituents’ in a variety of ways. I have monthly ward meetings, attend the numerous block watch meetings in the ward, sponsor monthly coffee’s at the Northwest Family Recreation Center, communicate with our community officers and sector captain on a regular bases, attend PTA meetings to support our schools and meet monthly with City of Akron departments and community partners to address neighborhood concerns.
“I have always lived in Ward 8 even with redistricting. I went to school in the ward, shared a business in the ward and taught school in the ward. I feel that my experience gives me the advantage of knowing my ward and its’ challenges. I am not afraid of hard work and prefer to be part of the solution rather than to stand back and complain. I am not looking to advance in the political arena but rather to do the job at hand and make a difference in the community that I know and love.”
What would be your top three priorities if you were re-elected? Why?
“The unfunded mandated CSO Project, with a price tag of $870 million, is the biggest challenge facing all of us. Continued petitioning to the government for money or some relief and finding a way to fund this unfunded mandate so as to minimize the impact on all residents especially fixed income households.
“I would continue the A.C.E. (A Community Effort) initiative which I spearheaded back in 2012 to address neighborhood concerns and quality of life issues that are specific to Ward 8 residents. This initiative gathers collaboration from community entities, city resources, and individual residents to bring about a change. It has been supported by block watches and draws its strength when concerned parties become part of the solution.
“Another area that I would continue to address is the foreclosure dilemma that we have facing the entire city.
“The negative effects of foreclosure have touched every part of the city. The message must continue to be ‘Stay in your home until the Sheriff tells you that you must vacate’. A vacant home brings down a neighborhood and attracts crime as well as a hit to property values. We need to continue to provide accurate information to homeowners that are facing foreclosure in a timely fashion with as much support as we can grandeur so that foreclosure may be avoided.
“The banks or other institutions need to be more accountable to the property that they own, not allowing it to bring down the neighborhood by the condition in which it is …” [Exceeded stated word limit.]
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