Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Oberlin City Council {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

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    Heather Adelman Co-Founder and Director, Oberlin Food Hub

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    Bryan L. Burgess Business Owner

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    William J. Jindra Retired

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    Sharon K. Pearson MOVE Lorain County (Transportation) Consultant

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    Kristin L. Peterson Retired (35 year) public teacher; UPS Store owner

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    Ronnie J. Rimbert Business Owner

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    Kelley Singleton Chapter & Advocacy Coordinator for The Marble and Building Stone Institute

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    Linda Slocum Oberlin City Council (VP)

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

1) A clear vision has emerged from the city manager’s listening sessions for what the Oberlin community desires in its police chief and police department. Summary points from these sessions are; 1-Seek diversity in the Police Department, 2-Understand and provide regular and relevant training for the Police Department, 3-Promote residency for both the Police Chief and Police Department, 4-Focus on building relationships as a key component of community policing, 5-Emphasize an understanding of the unique nature and culture of Oberlin and the College, 6-Incorporate visibility and accessibility as a key strategy in the neighborhoods and business sectors of Oberlin, 7-Promote and enhance positive connections with the youth of Oberlin. What will you do as a city council member to assist the new police chief and the police department in realizing the community’s vision?

2) Successful initiatives require a champion. What issue would you champion and how would you garner support?

Education BA in Environmental Studies (emphasis in alternative energy) and Political Science
Training and Experience Past Employment: Oberlin Project; US Environmental Protection Agency. Current: Oberlin RCR Commission; Oberlin Farmers Market; OCS Board; Lorain County Solid Waste Policy Committee; LWV Board (past)
Age 39
I agree with the community’s vision. I am particularly interested in the concept of community policing. The US Department of Justice’s Community Policing Services states, “Community policing begins with a commitment to building trust and mutual respect between police and communities. When police and communities collaborate, they more effectively address underlying issues, change negative behavioral patterns, and allocate resources.” Many communities have implemented this approach and have seen promising results. I read with great interest a case study from Minnesota. The police department there started a variety of new, sometimes minor, programs with big results. Programs which include officers teaching community classes, serving meals at community dinners, or holding open hours with residents. As a Councilperson, I will work with the City Manager and the Police Chief to encourage a variety of the concepts, activities, and trainings outlined in community policing programs.
I will champion economic development/job creation and sustainability initiatives 1.) As a member of the Oberlin Community Services (OCS) Board, I am inspired by the success of the Women in Sustainable Employment (WISE) Program. WISE is a career pathways program that encourages women to explore non-traditional careers. I will work with OCS and other groups to expand this program to serve all men and women in Oberlin who want new job opportunities or to improve the ones they have; 2.) I will pursue sustainability initiatives as outlined in the Climate Action Plan, Zero Waste Plan, and Strategic Plan. Bold commitments require bold action and I look forward to spearheading bold implementation. I have extensive subject matter expertise and leadership experience working with diverse groups to solve problems collaboratively through my work with the Oberlin Project and US EPA. I bring energy, passion, and tenacity to any task. Let’s make Oberlin an even better place to live, work, and play!
Education BA Business Administration - New Mexico State University, 2001 Graduate Oberlin High School, 1997
Training and Experience 8 years serving on Oberlin City Council 5 years service previously on the Public Utilities Commission and Resource Conservation & Recovery Commission
Age 38
My role in hiring the new Police Chief was in hiring a City Manager who embodies the characteristics important to our community including a respect for diversity and a commitment to service. I look forward to meeting Chief Warfield and welcoming him to Oberlin. One of his early tasks will be to prepare his 2018 budget request for Council’s consideration in November. A favorite quote of mine comes from Vice President Joe Biden who said “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.” My role as a member of Council is to provide budgetary oversight by asking questions and offering feedback to the City Manager. The best way for me to assist the Police Chief is to clearly articulate our community’s thoughts and feelings to the City Manager. I had a relationship of trust and respect with the previous Police Chief and Chief Warfield will have the same opportunity.
During my first term on Council, we were forced into cost-cutting measures which eliminated important programs, one of which was property maintenance inspections. Eight years later we have over fifty abandoned and dilapidated houses throughout our community. This situation was entirely avoidable and was one of the first priorities I impressed on our new City Manager. In addition to health & safety I believe we should consider utility costs. New residents in an apartment or house have a right to expect faucets that don’t drip, toilets that don’t leak, a reliable water heater, a safe heating system, and adequate insulation. During my time on Council I have heard and witnessed horror stories of outrageous water, sewer, electricity, and natural gas bills that no one would consider affordable. I intend to advocate for reinstatement of the City’s home inspection program including energy audits to preserve the livability and affordability of housing in Oberlin.
Education 1973 Associate Degree LCCC with honors 1996 Graduate FBI Nation Academy 185th session. 1996 Attended Baldwin Wallace College
Training and Experience 40 plus years experience in the public sector. In 2000 retired from Avon Lake Police Department. Served on Oberlin City Council from 2000 to 2005. Served as Chief Bailiff for Oberlin Muni Court.
Age 65
I was on the panel with other law enforcement professionals and City staff for the interview process of prospective candidates for the position of Chief of Police. In formulating questions for candidates we relied upon the input from listening sessions. That information was discussed at our first meeting. Our job was to recommend three to five individuals to the City Manager for further interviews. As a member City Council I would be one of the direct supervisors of the City Manager. I would take any concerns I became aware of to him. I feel confident that the City Manager would make sure those concerns were addressed. As council members we would also be formulating policy, direction, and budgetary support for the police department.
.As chairman of Council in 2002 and 2003 I helped to champion the East College Street Project. I felt that the residential aspect would help to bolster downtown businesses and bring new retail establishments to the downtown. I was in favor of the project because the developers committed to a mix of low income and market rate housing. The project also committed to have the building LEED certified. Because of those considerations I attended meetings with the developers to assure that potential financial partners knew the project had the support of the City of Oberlin. I further encouraged the City to assist with tax increment financing and worked to gain support with council members and the community. As a member of council I would support those types of initiatives, and work to enhance the quality of life in Oberlin.
Education Associates in Business Administration & B.S. in Green & Sustainable Enterprise Management
Training and Experience I have 25 years of working as a City Employee. I worked for 5.5 years at the Oberlin Project and 6 months at the Lorain County Urban League.
Age 49 (will be 50 on October 9th)
It is important to note the Police Chief reports to the City Manager, who in turn reports to City Council. I believe our direction is more of a policy & strategic based message that sets the vision not only for the Police Department but the entire City Administration. I want the Police Chief to be successful in his position. It could be a detriment if individual City Council members try to assist the chief without involving the City Manager. Residents are invited to attend the monthly Human Relations Commission meetings to keep the community vision alive for the Police Chief and his Department. One specific way that City Council can encourage residency is by working with City Administration to promote the HUD Good Neighbor Next-Door Program that is available for public school teachers, firefighters, and emergency personnel to live in town.
I desire to be a champion for social justice, unity, and diversity. Oberlin is known around the world for being a leader of the social justice movement along with being a leader in sustainability. It appears that these two may not coincide but they do not. Sustainability is the balance of environment, economy & equity, but I define it as the balance of economy & equity through the lens of social justice. Oberlin is successful at reaching its balanced goals when children on free and reduced lunch is lower than the national average; unemployment is lower than the national average; our poverty level is lower than the national average; the college & community functions as one community; and we have a rich and diverse population where we are no longer are losing people of color. We are stronger together (town & college) as a community then we are working separately in our community we call Oberlin.
Education Oberlin College, BA CWRU School of Applied Social Sciences, MSSA Kent State University, Ohio Dept. of Education licensure
Training and Experience 1 term City Council; 10 years Minority Bus. Enterprise Comm; 6 yrs Recreation Comm; OCIC, 4 yrs; 8 yrs County MRDD Bd, 3 as Chair; Chair, Hospital Foundation Bd; 15 yrs Neighborhood Alliance Bd
Age 66
The Charter is clear that the Police Chief is appointed by the City Manager, and that Council shall deal with administrative services solely through the City Manager. I will certainly continue to engage with the community in a variety of venues, such as the monthly Good Morning Oberlin events, and engage with members of the community throughout the course of my daily activities. I am familiar with the SRO (School Resource Officer) program, and support its continuing relationship between the PD and the public schools.
My goal is to serve the City as best possible. I continue to support sustainability of the entire community, its residents, neighborhoods and businesses, its city services, its climate action plan. I will of course be encouraging the passage of Issue 15, the tax renewal that will be on the ballot: its passage will continue to support the excellent city services we are so fortunate to have.
Education Oberlin City Schools USMC
Training and Experience 16 years Oberlin City Council Numerous boards and Commissions Presently President of Oberlin City Council
Age 63
I am a firm believer that our Police Department should look like our community. With the Police Chief reporting directly to our City Manager, as a councilman it is my responsibility to support all of our administration with making sure there is adequate funds, education, technology and training. That also includes an officer in the schools to work with our young people. I have always been a advocate of keeping the lines of communications open.
As a Non-Partisan Councilman at large, my responsibility is the entire community of Oberlin. We have a renewal levy coming up, Issue 15 a Municipal Income tax renewal, which generates $600,000 annually. This money is used annually for street repairs, fire department equipment, and police department vehicles and safety equipment. It is essential that this levy be renewed to maintain a high level of services for our residences. I will do everything in my power to communicate the importance of this renewal levy.
Education Kent State University
Training and Experience Born and raised in Oberlin, I have 20 years of operations and logistics experience. I am an Oberlin Rotarian and currently serve on its board of directors. One term council member.
Age 44
Being a member of Oberlin city council means knowing your responsibilities and representing the entire community. City council is a legislative position, so — as specified by Oberlin’s city charter — can not give direction to our police chief.

However, what I can do, in my position, is support the Oberlin police department as a whole through the budgetary process. If the new police chief proposes new programs that fulfill the desires of the community, I would support them through adding items to the budget and funding them, as warranted.

Some of the goals in the list, if you remove the word ‘policing’, you’ll see that we can do, not as council members but as members of our community. And we should all work toward them together, to make Oberlin a better place for everyone.
Economic development is foremost. Oberlin is fortunate to have a handful of large employers that provide employment to citizens as well as income taxes to the city; however, they do not contribute property taxes.

Because of this, an undue burden is placed upon property owners in Oberlin.

We can ease this burden by increasing our tax base by helping local companies expand, making Oberlin attractive to businesses that are looking to relocate, and fostering new opportunities.

Growing Oberlin’s economy would increase revenue for the City as well as the school district.

If successful, we’ll be able to improve parks and playgrounds, expand programs for working families, improve streets and sewers, provide larger grants to our local non-profits and complete the Plum Creek Greenway project.

We can accomplish business growth through proper commercial zoning, supporting the efforts of the Oberlin Community Improvement Corporation (OCIC) and City Manager, and prudent use of tax incentives.
Education U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, (M.A. in German) U. of Freiburg, Germany (2 years) Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA (B.A.)
Training and Experience Teacher (German, ESL) Librarian (Gifts Librarian Oberlin College) Managing Editor, Oberlin College Press Non-profit: League of Women Voters, Family Promise
Age 72
I applaud the city manager’s selection process and decision. I will vote for funding for peace officer training, encourage “town hall” meetings and neighborhood participation in decision-making. I’ll chat with officers on the street to affirm a more pedestrian approach. I want to explore ways to increase input from young people. Council works with department heads through the city manager, whom I’ll encourage to facilitate good communication between our force and college security. This past year a small citizen group and I met with the police chief to discuss assistance available for opioid addicts. I’ll address that issue again with our new police chief to make sure relevant information gets to residents. Improving communication is one of my main goals, and our peace officers play a vital role in community interactions.

Oberlin has a declining housing stock. I'll encourage and empower both homeowners and landlords to improve properties toward healthier living and lower on-going expenses. I've begun addressing this initiative by championing a low-interest loan home renovation program for older homes that should launch soon. Residents, particularly those of low income, are well served by POWER, Columbia Gas programs, and Zion CDC renovations. That type of assistance, as well other incentive programs, needs to be expanded, so that the entire community can get a “face-lift.” A “one-stop” business in town that showcases various types of green-building products for such things as siding, counter-tops, lighting, flooring and plumbing fixtures would enable people to make wise choices. I'll work first with fellow Council members to get support. Past examples of proven success, financial and other incentives, combined with effective communication, can spark resident interest and participation. logo


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