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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Athens City Council 1st Ward 2017

Athens City Council 1st Ward - Map of Wards
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Kent Butler (Dem) Executive Director, Hocking Valley Community Residential Center

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    Brian Cristi (I) Writer/Filmmaker/Librarian

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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) 591-6741
Education and Experience BFA, '95, Ohio University (Sculpture, Photography, Printmaking), M.Ed., '02, Ohio University (Rehabilitation Counseling)
In my ten years of serving as the First Ward representative I strive to listen, engage, and actively participate in dialogue with constituents. I am willing to advocate for others, and champion progressive, forward thinking ideas. I currently chair the City Service and Safety Committee in which I deal with city infrastructure and Police & Fire needs. I attend the Athens Municipal Arts Commission and embraced the Essence of Athens mission which encourages art in the planning process.
The future of the Athens City Schools & the plight of our neighborhoods, is of paramount concern. Open dialogue and compromise is necessary, not one entity (City/School/OU) exists in a bubble solely separate of the others. Updating the Comprehensive Plan. Implementing sustainability practices and resiliency efforts will ensure that Athens is prepared for the future. Housing is an issue in Athens. Affordable housing for young professionals & recent graduates. Investing in housing for seniors.
Local government continues to ebb and flow in response to the State. Consequently, there is more need to be proactive at the local level. Athens has been fairly successful in that endeavor. The City of Athens recently implemented two major initiatives to enhance local government. Citizens supported an increase to the City of Athens income tax. Additionally, citizens supported an Arts, Parks and Recreation levy which dedicated millions of dollars to enhancing major quality of life initiatives.
Campaign Phone (740) 590-5810
Education and Experience Kent Stat University Masters of Library and Information Science (2014) Northeastern Illinois University Masters of Elementary Education (2010) University of Illinois at Chicago Bachelors of Communications (2003) My work experience is diverse. I have worked on film sets visiting Chicago, led early childhood classrooms, worked as an administrative assistant in Chicago Public Schools, Athens Real Estate, a student circulation worker at Alden Library and as a librarian in APL.
My experience as a do-it-yourself documentarian in Athens has helped me see the diverse political and social perspectives in Athens. My video work has given me access to a wide social net in this community and it often has brought me to engage with different groups of people who otherwise might not associate with each other such as students at Ohio University or neighboring homesteaders who visit from adjacent towns. I have no prior experience in political office.
The town's aging infrastructure such as the health of our water distribution system. As our weather climate becomes more extreme, the flood plain and our drinking water could be affected. The issue of the consolidation of Athens' elementary schools is also worth noting, as well as further real estate development. There is also the consistent issues of unemployment, the protection of our trees, Ohio University Students' Health, the success of local businesses & agricultural (food) initiatives.
Taxes levied by legalizing marijuana locally would increase local revenue. Encouraging an honest city-wide dialogue about responsible/reasonable marijuana use would change public acceptance of legalized marijuana's place in the city's future.

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