YELLOW SPRINGS — Six individuals are vying for three seats on Yellow Springs Village Council this election season. Voters will cast their ballots Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Chrissy Cruz, Brian K. Housh, Lisa Kreeger, Taki Manolakos, Kevin D. Stokes and David L. Turner are on the ballot.
Members serve for a four-year term, conducting village council meetings on the first and third Mondays of each month. Candidate Brian Housh is a current council member and is aiming to retain his seat. Meanwhile, council member Gerald Simms is making a run for village mayor.
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. The following candidates returned the questionnaires. These are their answers. Questionaires were not returned by Chrissy Cruz, Lisa Kreeger, Taki Manolakos and David L. Turner.
Brian K. Housh
Why are you the right candidate for this seat?
“I have learned that ‘it takes a village’ to maintain and sustain a thriving and vibrant community, especially given a constantly changing world that requires elected officials to be vigilant, dynamic and nimble. I will continue to listen carefully to all citizens’ concerns and make decisions that balance those interests as much as possible. I will remain open-minded and committed to rational decision making aligned with Village Values.
A former public assistance lawyer and small business owner, I have become closely engaged with the Yellow Springs community through working with the Arts Council and Little Art Theatre, leading the YS-Opoly initiative, and being Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Midwest Policy Manager. I have served the Village of Yellow Springs as a Council Member for nearly 4 years, appointed Vice President in 2015. The knowledge and skills I developed as an attorney, managing director and leadership communications consultant help me to be a more effective and collaborative local elected official. My Council Liaison roles with the Economic Sustainability, Arts & Culture and Human Relations Commissions and the Community Access Panel have improved my ability to address critical community issues. I appreciate your vote on Nov. 7.”
What is the most important issue facing this office going forward and what solutions do you have to offer voters for this issue?
“Making the village more affordable, delivering on our commitment to being a “welcoming” and inclusive community, is critical. A Glass Farm Master Plan and beginning construction of a diverse offering of housing choices are key to an overall strategy to improve affordability in Yellow Springs; I am also committed to facilitating the growth of existing businesses and attracting new sustainable businesses aligned with village values.
Re-establishing the Revolving Loan Fund (financed by grants, not taxpayer dollars) and a comprehensive economic sustainability plan, fully contemplating best land use and generating good local jobs, are important to promote healthy economic activity. Community development is another important aspect of achieving affordability – continuously investing to enhance our quality of life will engage new community members who want to live and work in our Village. I continue to support a broadband solution and am committed to other projects that address parking, support our local educational institutions and improve walkability. A primary reason I am seeking a second term is we have important projects in process, and I am confident we can complete them in the next 4 years; my institutional knowledge, experience and determination add significant value in continuing to move forward as a community.”
Kevin D. Stokes
Q1 – “I am the right candidate for Yellow Springs Village Council because I bring to the race a fresh and unique perspective and set of experiences. I serve as the Director of Information Technology at Antioch College, and am a member of The Little Art Theatre Board of Trustees. I hold a BS in Computer Information Systems from Ohio State University, and an MS in Education from The University of Dayton.
I have served as the District Specialist for Adult/Career and Technical Education Assessment for Orange County Schools, Florida, and am a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). While working in these capacities I have been responsible for leading large staff groups, managing large budgets, establishing business units, and bringing projects to completion with quality products and processes, on time, and on budget. I have led the business operations for a faith-based community center in Orlando, and have developed leadership-training programs at local area schools. I’ve shown in my personal and professional life that I can listen to issues and equitably resolve differences between individuals and organizations. I believe these experiences have helped prepare me to be the servant-leader needed at this time.”
Q2 – “My campaign will focus on advocating for discussion and legislative action across three broad themes: Economic Development and affordability; social justice and cultural competence; and the relationship between Antioch College and The Village of Yellow Springs. These areas of concern play a part in determining the quality of life for the residents of Yellow Springs. Economic Development and Affordability is the most critical of these issues as it has the most immediate impact on the most number of people and is key to the very viability of the village as it is today.
I will advocate for expanded use of the land designated as the Center for Business and Education as an area where we can attract new business, expand existing businesses and develop entrepreneurial enterprises, while maintaining the core of the downtown area as a hub for specialty shops, restaurants and entertainment venues that cater to residents and tourists. I will sponsor legislation that supports the use of proven Smart Growth strategies designed specifically to guide small town facility growth and investment in available resources. These strategies will support business, support workers, and support the quality of life that Village residents have come to enjoy.”
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.