YELLOW SPRINGS — The Village of Yellow Springs will soon elect a new mayor as current mayor David Foubert is ending his 26-year run in local politics. Citizens must select one individual out of the four who are vying for the seat. The elected individual will serve a two-year term.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7.
The mayor is responsible for holding Mayor’s Court twice per month, which addresses happenings that take place in the Yellow Springs Police Department jurisdiction such as misdemeanor offenses as well as items such as zoning, animal and tax-related cases, assault and passing bad checks.
This newspaper sent each candidate questionnaires relating to their experience and what they see as the most important issue facing the village as election day draws nearer. Questionaire was not returned by Laura Curliss. The following candidates returned the questionnaires were returned:
Question 1 – Why are you the right candidate for this seat?
“My knowledge of the village—its history, government and social mores—runs deep. In addition to being a 42-year public school and collegiate educator (the bulk of which was done in Yellow Springs), I have held numerous leadership positions within many groups in the village. I’ve learned the importance of truly listening, have the ability to see both sides of the coin, and can make the difficult decisions when necessary. In Yellow Springs, one job of the mayor is to run Mayor’s Court. My temperament and personality lend themselves to the even-handed dispensation of local justice required in such a village court. A second aspect of the job is to perform the ceremonial duties expected of a mayor. I would look forward with gusto to such an opportunity to represent Yellow Springs, a village that values social justice, diversity, fair-mindedness, and self-expression. I will also be increasing the educational potential of the position, through visiting our local classrooms to engage the students in discussions on local government—who does what, how it works and how they can become involved as citizens in our democracy.”
Question 2 – What is the most important issue facing this office going forward and what solutions do you have to offer voters for this issue?
“The mayor’s position in Yellow Springs is primarily twofold: ceremonial and judicial. The mayor runs the local Mayor’s Court. We have a local Justice System Task Force that has been in operation for over a year. This JSTF has been looking at ways to address residents concerns on issues of local policing, making sure that village values and concerns are being reflected in the actions of our police department. One of these recommendations calls for expanded use of Mayor’s Court for violations that can legally be heard there. I support this recommendation as I am in favor of local solutions for local problems. Yellow Springs is fortunate to be able to have our own local village court for handling most misdemeanor and traffic offenses, and I would like to see it used effectively, efficiently, and fairly. I also favor use of restorative approaches and techniques within the court when appropriate.”
Q1 – “I am a long time resident of Yellow Springs, immersed in community for 23 years. The personal feeling of living here is what I came for and what I give in exchange. I support justice that is compassionate and restorative, and believe that the manner in which we behold others in any process is key.
My life experience has given me a measure of discernment of mind and heart to guide the duties of Mayor – I have a diverse repertoire from which to draw: pharmacist, health educator, pain researcher, mother of three children, completion of mentorships in meditation and ontology as well as several alternative health modalities, plus plenty of life experience at ordinary living.”
Q2 – “Currently there is an effort to increase the use of the court system here in Yellow Springs for qualified cases. I hope to see that continue. The local court provides easy access in familiar surroundings, is less intimidating, and there is less travel time for police officers who are required to attend. Moreover, in a smaller personal local court the justice dispensed could include a tailored form of contemplative exercise in addition to any required fines.
For instance, what if the defendant would put his heart and mind into the matter at hand as a part of the justice, perhaps write an essay about the experience as a form of understanding the offense and making amends? Someone mindlessly speeding may come to understand the danger which is posed to neighbors and residents through that negligence, or someone cited for failure to control a pet may become respectful of the danger to their pet as well as to others. Sometimes a fine alone may not get to the heart of the matter. To some degree, punishments without understanding can set off a contentious atmosphere: a “cops and robbers” reactivity in which the focus goes towards eluding detection rather than sensible action.”
Q1 – “I understand the responsibilities of elected officials. Having been elected to two terms (eight years) on the school board and two terms (6 years) on village council, demonstrates that I have earned the respect of the community and they trust my judgement. I listen closely to their concerns, utilizing patient in I make clear decisions. I think about the whole community and show compassion and fairness. I deal directly with the issues. As mayor you must be an advocate for the entire village enterprise thinking globally but acting locally.
During my tenure as a public servant, I have volunteered on the Children’s Center Board, Community Foundation Review Committee, Visioning Process, Human relations Commission, youth soccer and volunteer assistant High School football coach, YS boosters Club, girl scout leader, CBE Board and the 365 Project – co-founder of Young People of Color (YPOC) group, shows that community involvement and dedication are prerequisites for becoming Mayor. I have also acquired additional prospective of how the village operates by working on the last Charter Review Committee.”
Q2 – “To function adequately as Mayor of Yellow Springs, I recommend the village council hire a prosecutor which will allow the office of the mayor to care out responsibilities accordingly.”
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.