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Athens City Council At-Large 2017 {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Athens City Council At-Large seat - Map of Wards
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Sarah Grace (Dem) Small Business Owner

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    Peter Kotses (Dem) Owner, Athens Bicycle

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    Patrick McGee (I) Attorney

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    Arian Smedley (Dem) Executive Assistant to the Superintendent

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    Noah Trembly Self employed

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Biographical Information

What are your skills, talents and expertise that will help you contribute to the ongoing work of City Council?

What are the most important issues facing the city of Athens in the next two years?

Given that state funds are constantly shrinking, how would you suggest prioritizing the budget? Would you consider raising local revenue and, if so, how would you propose to do that?

Campaign Phone (740) 818-9015
Education and Experience I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio University and am currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree. I worked as a legislative research assistant, so I have experience in both researching and drafting legislation. I am a small business owner, so I understand the benefits and difficulties of that endeavor.
I am a good listener. I want to know the concerns and priorities of people in the city, and have the opportunity to work to address those issues. I believe that those who are elected to be representatives for their communities, must be fully committed to that job, representing their constituents. I have experience working with diverse groups of people who have common goals, but do not know how to achieve them. I am able to help people work through their differences in order get things done.
Supporting everyone included in the diverse population of Athens is always an important issue. Roadway projects that are in progress or in the planning stages, and other infrastructure projects to maintain and improve things like sidewalks and sewer lines are all important. Though it is not an issue for City Council, I believe that the building plan for the Athens City School District is one of the most significant issues that residents of the city will be involved in in the coming years
An important part of the job of a city official is to advocate for their city at both the state and federal levels. That includes working to raise awareness in the city of how state budget decisions impact the availability of funding for local needs. Prioritizing items in a budget is never easy or popular. Items providing for of health and safety of residents must be funded first. I do not believe that it will be necessary to increase local revenue for the city in the next two years.
Campaign Phone (740) 590-8765
Education and Experience Lifelong resident of Athens. Graduate Athens High School (1988) and Ohio University (B. A. History, 1992). Established Athens Bicycle, a small retail business in Athens (1998 to present). Have volunteered time for the Athens Land Conservation Advisory Committee, The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway Committee, Friends of Strouds Run, and the Athens Bicycle Club. 2016 Leadership Athens County graduate. Currently serving my first term on Athens City Council.
Being active in the community for decades, paying attention to the issues our city has faced, I understand the historical context of the city and the initiatives citizens have been working on for years. By bringing my business experience to the government conversation I can help the city encourage prudent business expansion. My customer service background allows me to listen and gain information from every conversation I have with citizens and city staff members. I'm always ready to help.
Keeping city services at the level residents expect, despite a shrinking budget. Spending the rec levy dollars wisely to benefit the most citizens per dollar. We also need to start looking at new facilities for fire and police. Both are in decades-old buildings, but the population and number of service calls are increasing. We pay $50,000 annually to rent parking spaces for APD to make the uptown location work. Saving that expenditure could go a long way toward paying for new buildings.
With city income tax already raised to 1.85% the city is in no position to raise taxes. Running an efficient operation is the best way to make do with less. We could make our buildings more efficient and streamline processes, freeing up labor for other tasks. We need to diversify the types of businesses that locate here. Tourism is a potential growth area too. Working more with ACEDC and the ACCVB could help. Higher education has been great to Athens but we need to expand our portfolio.
Campaign Phone (740) 517-6644
Education and Experience Ohio University; University of Kentucky College of Law (1978); practicing Attorney in Athens since 1980; Managing Attorney with the Center for Student Legal Services since 2003; harpist and piper.
I have insomnia, a sense of humor, and I'm not afraid to ask questions--and I know what questions to ask. I'm also cheap and I don't waste money. I know the law and have helped thousands of clients, so I have heard their stories and understand their problems. First I believe we must "mind the store" and use our money wisely and invest in the future. To do this. we must keep an eye on the Administration, watch the books, and listen to the citizens of Athens.
Ensuring that our citizens have opportunities to prosper and enjoy good lives. That means promoting new businesses, public transportation, neighborhood schools and decent housing. At the same time we must ensure that our environment and quality of life do not suffer. We must encourage the arts and tourism and partner with O.U. to make Athens an attractive destination. We must offer alternatives to alcohol abuse, and deal in a positive manner with the future legalization of pot in Ohio.
After serving a term as a city councilman, I realize that a real issue is wasteful spending. The State dangles its grants to the city if we agree to spend our funds on expensive or unnecessary items. In a city where over half the population lives on minimum wages, we want to give larger salaries to department heads. We can spend more wisely, we can earn dollars by attracting visitors and we can promote excellence rather than mediocrity by rewarding our artists, businesses and crafts folk.
Twitter @ArianSmedley
Education and Experience - Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities - Director of IPAC - Community Relations Coordinator with Athens County Job & Family Services - Former journalist with The Associated Press and The Athens Messenger - Bachelor's Degree in Journalism & Spanish from Ohio University - Graduate of Athens High School
I have a sensitivity to those who are most vulnerable in our community. As a staff member of the Athens County Board of DD, I’ve gained a new appreciation for what our neighbors are capable of with the right amount of support. As a former employee of Athens County JFS, I’ve learned of some of the challenges those in poverty face every day. Through these experiences, I’ve developed a compassion for meeting people where they are, understanding their perspective, and working to problem solve.
One of the most important issues facing the City of Athens is its shrinking revenue sources while continuing to fulfill its mission and vision of creating a place that is inclusive and accessible to all. That’s a balancing act that our current administration and council members have managed quite well. But, we will need to continue to be open to new and creative ideas so that we can grow and develop (economically, and in our quality of life) locally, even when our state-level support shrinks.
When it comes to the budget, it's important the city continues to prioritize safety. In terms of bringing in new revenue, I am fully in support of the Mayor’s interest in re-instituting the Special Investment District concept. This would increase revenue in a time when our funds from the state dwindle. It is also a way to encourage citizen engagement. Funds generated in that small geographic area would only be used in that district and only in ways approved by the governing body.
Campaign Phone (740) 350-4868
Education and Experience Fort Frye high School '99 Studied at Ohio University 2013 - 2014 Full Moon Designs 1998 - 2004 Artist 2004 - 2009 Prentke Romich Company 2001 - Current Ohio University 2012 - 2017
1. Management I manage a team of professional staff who help me with various tasks, etc. This includes motivating team members. 2. Process. I understand how to work complex channels to make things happen. 3. Speaking I have experience speaking to groups. 4. Community involvement. I am active in the community and advocate for causes that make Athens a better place to live. 5. Town & Gown I have strong ties to the university, which will be an asset to a government body that works closely with OU.
Zero Waste Better Infrastructure Better Public Transportation Housing
Considering revising city codes as it pertains to new businesses in order to make it easier to bring them into the city, thus creating the opportunity to generate more revenue for the city of Athens.

I plan to support a proposal that the Mayor’s office shared with me to implement a $100 annual fee to all college students to help offset lost revenue and pay for important services provided by the Athens City Fire Department.

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