Below are the questions and my response to the election questionnaire request from the Findlay/Hancock County Chamber of Commerce. Please note that the response to each question was limited to 175 words.
What are the motivating factors in your decision to run for public office?
Over four year ago, I recall a single incident that brought clarity to my anxiety about the professionalism and competency of our city government. Findlay was threatened by severe weather. I was shocked and disappointed in our city’s confused response to the safety of my family and our City.
I believe that the high number of uncontested elections in our community has led to an “if no one wants the job, I guess I will do it” political class. Because so many of our local elections are resolved the in the Republican primary, large numbers of our citizens are effectively unable to exercise their franchise.
It is my feeling that this lack of a competitive two party system in our community has led to a disinterested electorate and to a complacent and caretaker political establishment. I feel that an active two party system would lead to a more engaging debate and discussion of the issues facing our community.
I fundamentally believe that competition, in the political arena, will make Findlay a stronger community.
What are the important priorities that you feel need to be set, should you win in November?
Solving the flooding issues in Findlay will be my number one priority. All other priorities hinge on our ability to fix Findlay’s flooding problem. To date, our community’s response to this issue has been disjointed and meagerly effective. No one in our community seems willing or able to take the bull by the horns and see this project through to completion.
Findlay faces many challenges; the budget, economic development, the pressure that changes at the state level will place on our criminal justice system. Findlay is a great city and I know that we can meet all these challenges, but it will take real determination and a laser focus on the flood mitigation.
We cannot afford to put our efforts to build a strong community on hold until the flood controls are in place. So we must “sell around” our flooding problem, by articulating a clear and engaged plan to fix once and for all Findlay’s flooding issues. I truly believe this will be the make or break issue of our lifetime.
Of those priorities, what would you recommend we do-as a community-to address them?
If we want to prevent a flood disaster on the level of Findlay’s 2007 event, we can settle for nothing less than a comprehensive flood plan executed and funded by the US Army Corp of Engineers. Half measures will only produce half results and divert our attention and resources away from the ultimate goal of comprehensive flood control.
We cannot accept the conventional wisdom that the current political and economic climate precludes Federal funding for flood controls. Any plan to “go it alone” with only local funding will create tax burdens that will leave Findlay with a crippling competitive disadvantage in terms of our economic development. As a community, we need to lean hard on our elected representatives, at all levels of government, to secure Federal funding. If our current elected representatives are unwilling or unable to secure that Federal funding, we need to elect officials who can make Federal funding happen.
I will not rest until we have secured the Federal funding for flood control in Findlay. The future of Findlay depends on us.