Greenville City Council candidates make ‘final pitch’ to voters


Five running for 2 seats on council

By Erik Martin - emartin@dailyadvocate.com



Schmidt


Wright


House


Cross


Whitaker


GREENVILLE — Five candidates are running to fill two at-large seats on Greenville City Council with terms beginning January 2018. The Daily Advocate contacted each one with a series of questions, giving each the opportunity to give his or her “final pitch” to Greenville voters prior to next Tuesday’s election. Below, in no particular order, are their responses:

Sue House (Democrat)

Sue House, listed on the ballot as “C. Sue House,” is 66 years old, and a resident of Greenville for 34 years. She has an Associate’s degree from Sinclair in both Information Technology and Accounting. She has worked in dietary food service for five years, then in information technology for 38 years and started working a part-time job in accounting in August of this year.

Based on your education, life experiences and background, what gives you a special qualification(s) as a potential council member?

“I understand financing, and budgeting, etc. I believe Greenville is a great city to live in and working together we can make it the best city it has ever been. I believe the citizens of Greenville needs council members that want to serve and represent the citizens of Greenville. I have served on Greenville City Council for one previous term on the following committees: Law Committee – 3 years – Vice Chairman Miscellaneous Affairs and Priority Needs Committee – 3 years, (2 years as Chairman, and 1 year as a member of the committee) Issues of Zoning, Planning and Governmental Relations Committee – 2 years – Member Personnel and Public Relations Committee – 1 year – Chairman. I have the following experience in community service/involvement: Downtown Greenville Inc. Served on the Organization Committee – 1 year, GPAT Board – Served on the GPAT board for two years. Darke County Animal Shelter – Volunteer Working with socializing the dogs and giving them playtime, Member of Greenville Grace Brethren Church, Member of the friends of the Darke County Animal Shelter.”

What do you see as the top three (3) issues that need to be addressed by council in 2018?

“Better communication between the City Council and the Citizens, better cooperation between the city, county and community-based organizations such as Darke County Visitors Bureau and Main Street Greenville, and better cooperation with businesses wanting to come to Greenville and Darke County.”

Based upon what council has done in the past year, what, if anything, would you have liked to have seen done differently, and why?

“The Erwin Brothers situation, the City could have worked better with them to resolve the issue, and could have communicated better with the Citizens about what was happening. The bike racks they were up for a year or more before it was ever a problem and all removing them temporarily did was cause issues between the City Council and the citizens of Greenville. It was so wrong to even start the issue. The council at times takes action after an executive session knowing no one from the public will be there and think they can hide things from the citizens, it is technically legal because the action is taken in open session, but it is morally wrong.”

Additional thoughts?

“My promise to the citizens of Greenville: If elected I promise to do my best to represent each citizen of the City of Greenville fairly and honestly. I want to hear from the citizens of Greenville. I want to know how you feel about issues that the Council must look at and make decisions on. If you do not communicate your feelings to me, how can I know how to best represent you? When you come to me with questions or opinions, I promise to treat you with respect and listen to what you are saying. I know I cannot vote everyone’s opinion all the time because on every issue there are two opinions and I only have one vote. But I will do my best to vote the way that I feel the majority of the people want me to vote.”

Jeff Whitaker (Republican)

Jeff Whitaker, age 61, has been a resident of Greenville for four years. He has more than 16 years of County Government experience in St. Clair County in Illinois, just east of St. Louis. In the position of assistant to the County Treasurer, I managed the investment, on a day-to-day basis, of more than $100,000,000 in County funds. I have over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and advertising, and possess a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honors, in Political Science from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois. I am currently employed as an Inventory Integrity Analyst at Whirlpool Corporation’s Kitchen Aid Small Appliance facility here in Greenville.

Based on your education, life experiences and background, what gives you a special qualification(s) as a potential council member?

“Based upon my previous professional work experience, I understand the workings of local government, and the importance of taking the time to realize the needs of the community. The key ingredient…communication. It’s very important to create working relationships with those running the city on a daily basis, and understanding the scope and nature of the services provided. I’ve also had many years of experience communicating personally with business owners in finding out what is important to them. All of this experience will benefit me in effectively serving on City Council.”

What do you see as the top three (3) issues that need to be addressed by council in 2018?

“The first immediate concern of City Council is making sure the MARCS countywide emergency communications system is properly funded. The most basic role of local government is protecting its citizens, and this system will play a key role in doing so. We need to have the peace of mind in knowing any and all emergency communications calls are answered promptly, and without fail. Secondly, everyone doing business in Greenville, and anyone wanting to bring a business to Greenville, needs to know that City Council will encourage them, and support their efforts. Their success is our success. More of a tax base will result when new business succeeds. We need to see more of that. On that note, I propose that the time allotted for downtown parking be extended from 90 minutes to 3 hours. I have seen this in many different areas of the country in which I’ve lived. This enables those wanting to shop, go out to eat downtown, or to take care of business matters, such as meeting with a loan officer at a bank for example, to have ample time without having to move their vehicle and re-park their car somewhere else to avoid a ticket. Thirdly, the drug/opioid epidemic is tremendously out of hand, and needs to be brought to the forefront. A suggestion would be to hold open, public forums, featuring speakers from the law enforcement field, as well as experts from the medical field and drug treatment. Open discussion is healthy when dealing with problems. There are FAR too many overdoses and drug arrests in this area. For this city to flourish, and for our citizens to feel safe, this has to be severely curtailed.”

Based upon what council has done in the past year, what, if anything, would you have liked to have seen done differently, and why?

“From what I understand, making it simpler to start a business within the city, without so much “red tape,” is a concern. I will say that City Council does a great job in allowing citizens to come before them and address their concerns with any particular issue. Citizens need to get involved and do more of this. Local government has the capacity to more effectively meet our needs more than that of any other level.”

Additional thoughts?

“I’d be honored to represent the people of Greenville on City Council. Many of you are friends and neighbors. Many of you are co-workers, and many more I know from attending church. I want to represent you by bringing a fresh prospective and ideas, all the while watching out for your tax dollars as a fiscal conservative. I’d appreciate you vote. Thank you.”

Danny L. Cross (Write-In Candidate)

Danny L. Cross, age 65, is originally from Paragould, Arkansas, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering. His family moved to the Greenville area in 1986 with his job. In 1997, my career moved them to the Dallas, Texas and Madison, Alabama areas, then moving back to Greenville in 2000. He is a Lead Technician, employed by TXI, INC.

Based on your education, life experiences and background, what gives you a special qualification(s) as a potential council member?

“My work has given me the opportunity to travel extensively, working with various personalities. This has given me the opportunity to meet people with different views, new ideas, and come to a mutual agreement that benefited everyone. Through these experiences, I have established budgets, negotiated contracts, dealt with both union and staff personnel. Several years ago, I attended a Council meeting regarding matters in our neighborhood. That got me interested in the workings of our City Council. Since that time, I have regularity attended meetings. For the last few months, I have been serving on the Zoning and Planning committee.”

What do you see as the top three (3) issues that need to be addressed by council in 2018?

“First, opening up better communications with local organizations, businesses, and citizens to get their input on what is important to them to grow our community. Secondly, working toward new opportunities. With 300+ local jobs that are not filled, we need to attract people to the area. This will help our existing businesses to grow and hopefully, bring in other new businesses to our area. Finally, be more proactive. Review our local ordinances, updating as necessary to be in tune with Greenville’s needs.”

Based upon what council has done in the past year, what, if anything, would you have liked to have seen done differently, and why?

“There should be better communication between the Greenville City and other local entities to help and assist new business coming into our area, allowing existing businesses to grow.”

Additional thoughts?

“When I decided to run for Greenville City Council, after the primaries were over, we knew it would be a challenge, asking people to come to the polls, asking people to write my name in, but I believe that I would be an asset to the citizens of Greenville serving for them, to represent them on the Greenville City Council.”

Doug Schmidt (Republican, Incumbent)

Doug Schmidt was born and raised here in Greenville. Graduated from Greenville High School. His daughter currently attends Greenville schools and is in the marching band and is on the track team. He worked at GTI for 17 years mostly in the injection molding department. Currently he works at Fram here in Greenville as a Millwright apprentice for the maintenance group. He has worked at Fram for the past six years. A former varsity assistant football coach for Greenville, he would like to get back into coaching someday if his schedule allows it.

Based on your education, life experiences and background, what gives you a special qualification(s) as a potential council member?

“Have served on the city council for fourteen years. Former member of the Downtown Greenville Board (now called Mainstreet). Served on the architectural review board. Been member of the finance committee and Chairman of the Law Law Committee. “

What do you see as the top three (3) issues that need to be addressed by council in 2018?

“I feel that it is important to continue to replace our infrastructure and continue to repair and repave our streets and replace and repair our curbs and sidewalks. The city has done a nice job of obtaining grant money to help with some of these projects. This effort needs to continue.”

Douglas Wright (Republican)

Douglas Wright, 66, has lived in Greenville for nine years. He graduated from Mississinawa Valley High School in 1970. He worked at a family owned business in Union City, Ohio, until it was sold 38 years ago. He was also a member of the Union City, Ohio, Fire Department for 38 years and was on the Union City, Ohio, village council for 12 years. He currently runs with the Liberty Twp. Fire Department where he is the Assistant Fire Chief. Wright was President of the Darke County Fire Chief’s Association for two years and President of the Central Western Firemans Association for one year. He’s attended several fire schools in Darke County and in the State of Ohio and has trained with different fire departments in the United States. Wright participated in a vehicle auto extrication competition in Ontario, Canada, with different fire departments from throughout the world. He’s currently employed at Cheeseman Transport in Fort Recovery doing general maintenance.

Based on your education, life experiences and background, what gives you a special qualification(s) as a potential council member?

“I have been a council member in Union City an enjoyed working with the citizens and businesses on a daily basis. Have worked with the different departments in the village to improve the village and the services they provide.”

What do you see as the top three (3) issues that need to be addressed by council in 2018?

“To work with the citizens of the city to improve the service that is provided to them, work with businesses and industry to help improve their needs and try to bring new business and industry to the city, and try to help fight the drug problem in our city.”

Based upon what council has done in the past year, what, if anything, would you have liked to have seen done differently, and why?

“The house on West Main Street that has all the wood on the front porch and in the yard, is a unsightly matter to the neighborhood. This property needs cleaned up. The bike racks on Broadway should have never been taken down. They made the downtown stand out more.”

Schmidt
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/11/web1_Doug-Schmidt.jpgSchmidt

Wright
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/11/web1_Wright-7959-mug-PRINT.jpgWright

House
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/11/web1_House-7853-mug-PRINT.jpgHouse

Cross
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/11/web1_Dan-Cross-MUG-PRINT.jpgCross

Whitaker
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/11/web1_Jeff-Whitaker-MUG-PRINT.jpgWhitaker
Five running for 2 seats on council

By Erik Martin

emartin@dailyadvocate.com

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com