XENIA — Candidates for Xenia City Council and Xenia Township Board of Trustees pitched their ideas to voters at Meet the Candidates, hosted by the Greene County Tea Party, Oct. 11 at the Xenia Senior Center.
Seven candidates are vying for two positions in the city council race, while three residents are on the ballot to claim two spots in the trustees race.
Xenia City Council
Billie Carrico said she supports businesses and children. As a business leader, coach and mentor, Carrico said her goals include forming a committee to help small businesses, finding more scholarships for local students and improving extra-curricular offerings, like sports, for kids.
“My passion is to get every door downtown filled with a business. There’s no reason we can’t,” Carrico said. “We need to back these businesses. We need to back these children and we need to back our council. I’m an independent thinker and I work for the citizens.”
Dr. Edward Council said his management of environmental work at WPAFB has lent him the experience of dealing with large, multi-dimensional operations and problems. When he’s elected, he said, he’ll work on Xenia’s problems, like the worsening roads. Council also wants to bring higher-paying jobs to the city.
“We’re in a community where it just seems like every year we’re going backwards … There are so many empty businesses. I’ve worked all over the country and seen what happened when cities get hollowed out. Change has to be made or it is going to get worse,” he said.
Levi Dean, one of 10 children and involved in his family’s four Xenia businesses, said creating jobs is his top priority. Dean said he is committed to opposing tax increases and poor annexation attempts. He wants to promote safer streets, improving neighborhoods, offering alternatives for revenue, and keeping governmental transparency.
“I believe I have the commitment and fiscal discipline necessary to serve you well. Together we can make Xenia a great place to live, work and raise a family,” Dean said.
Dennis Propes, who has served on city council in the past, said his experience will help him, particularly his ability to get along with people.
“The key to getting things done here in Xenia is working together with council, with the other council members. I do that well, I’ve always done that, and I will do that when you elect me here on November 7th,” he said.
Propes is currently health commissioner of a neighboring county and is the chair of the county’s heroin coalition. He said he’s accomplished creating a quick response task force and he’d like to bring similar projects to Xenia.
Phillip Shaw, an army veteran with a conservative background, said his 29 years in the transportation industry has taught him how to how to manage and work with people. Xenia’s growth is his priority.
“Xenia’s growth has been stagnant for 40 years. I also believe we have not done enough to keep businesses and we have failed in recruiting businesses to come to Xenia. We need to bring something to do to Xenia,” Shaw said.
Shaw stated that without a strong school system, Xenia cannot grow, which is why he would work with both the schools and the chamber and would push to adopt ordinances to fight the drug problem.
Wesley Smith, who has served for eight years on council, said there has been great progress in Xenia — like re-opening the fire station, adding EMS personnel, restoring the police department, improving parks and opening the Splash Pad. Smith said the city has new elementary schools and $3.5 million has been invested into streets and improved over 100 roads. He said he would like to work to add a DARE officer to Warner Middle School and continue the planning of Towne Square’s development.
“It’s not just about being a Republican or a Democrat, it’s about being a Xenian and I’m really proud of our community,” Smith said.
Dr. Eric Winston was unable to attend the event, but asked Xenians in a letter to return him to the city council, where he once served for 14 years. He said he would call for joint meetings between the city, the chamber and the school board to address community issues. Winston said he has also seen how other communities have addressed their issues and would use those lessons to better the city.
“Our community’s population is stagnant. We need more jobs paying a living wage and we need to much improve our cultural and recreational offerings,” Winston wrote.
Xenia Township Trustees
Roy Colbrunn, who has a military background and also 40 years of fire fighter service, said his problem solving skills give him an edge.
“That’s what I want to bring to the citizens of Xenia Township. I want to make sure that they know that this guy is wanting to solve their problems. Not trying to put them off, not delaying action on their request, but solving the problem and making it right,” Colbrunn said.
He also said he has experience reviewing FEMA grants, and aims to encourage leaders to file for more grants.
Scott Miller, who was elected as a trustee in 2004, said his 29 years of experience in the fire service helps him in the position. Miller said he has been involved in emergency disaster training for state parks and counties, works on the Ohio Public Works Commission for Greene County and on a hazmat team, and is vice president of his engineering business.
“Everything I’ve ever done is to try to find the best resources we have and pull it together, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be from our own township, we’re pulling from other places as well,” Miller said.
Susan Spradlin, a former nurse, paramedic and volunteer firefighter, said she is used to dealing with emergencies and as a current trustee, she knows how to manage finances. Most importantly, she said, she is going to consider what residents want, and support farmers and the agricultural community.
“I carefully review the bills, I study the accounts and budget, I question any discrepancies routinely. I continually look for savings and I also volunteer time to help out so we can cut costs,” Spradlin said.
The Xenia mayoral race and the Xenia Board of Education positions are uncontested, although the latter race does have one write-in candidate, Jeff Zweber. Sarah Mays is running for mayor. Robert Dillaplain, Cheryl Marcus and Jennifer Marietta are running for three spots on the Board of Education.
Two issues are also on the ballot: the Crime Victim Rights Initiative (Marsy’s Law) and the Drug Price Standards Initiative.
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.