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VOTE411 Voter Guide

South Euclid City Council, Ward 1

Term: 4 yearsIn Ward 1, Kenneth Lee Atchinson is running against incumbent Ruth Gray. The seven-member South Euclid City Council includes members from each of the four wards and three at-large members. Council members from the four wards are up for election this year.
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    Kenneth Lee Atchinson Professor

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    Ruth Gray Councilwoman, South Euclid Ward One

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Biographical Information

Why are you running (or running again) for mayor or a seat on City Council?

What do you hope to accomplish while you're mayor or on City Council--for your ward or for your whole city?

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing your community? And, if applicable, your ward?

Age 54
Education Masters, Computer Science, Kent State University Bachelors, Electrical Engineering, Georgia Tech
Current occupation Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Baldwin Wallace University
Qualifications for office Problem Solver Managerial Experience Able to reach "across the aisle" on issues Great Communicator
Campaign Phone (440) 941-0535
Email address
I am running for Ward 1 City Council because, quite simply, I want to give back to the city that I love. South Euclid is a great place to live and raise a family. After moving to Northeast Ohio from Florida, my wife and I looked at many communities, looking for a friendly and affordable place to live. We chose South Euclid because it had the best of all worlds: reasonable housing, outstanding schools, a welcoming community, and excellent local shopping. We have now been residents of South Euclid for 22 years and I can't think of a better place to live in Northeast Ohio. However, I do see the challenges facing the city with finances, attractiveness and community ownership. We had some great leaders in the past that took on those challenges for me. I feel that now the time is right for me to my part and help, as others have done before me, in making the City of South Euclid great!
There are three things I hope to accomplish if I am elected. First, I want to make the City government as efficient and working for the people. I am for keeping a balanced budget, cutting unnecessary services, and consolidating services, and employing regionalization when and where it makes sense. Second, I want to help empower the people in the community to make it great! I am for initiatives of One South Euclid and other community programs that are for the betterment of the residents. I also want to reach out to our wonderful gems of the community, South Euclid-Lyndhurst Schools and Notre Dame College. These organizations are the future of the City, and I believe that together we can create programs and opportunities mutually beneficial to each other's growth and success. And finally, I want to increase economic development which enhances the community and makes it an attractive place to live, shop and work.
In my opinion, there are two important challenges facing South Euclid today. The first is keeping a balanced budget without raising taxes in order to provide for city services. Reducing and consolidating city services is one way to do this. With creative thinking, reorganization and regionalization, we can mitigate this challenge without reducing services OR raising taxes. HOW?? The second major challenge I see is keeping South Euclid an attractive and desirable place to work, live and shop. I think with some innovative programs that will empower the citizens of the community, we can continue to make progress in this area. And, if we can draw more residents and businesses to our city, we can achieve a balanced budget and maintain critical city services.
Age 56
Education Masters Degree, CWRU Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Bachelor of Arts, Social Work, Capital University, Associate of Arts, Cuyahoga Community College
Current occupation Councilwoman for South Euclid Ward One Director of Department of Community Life for the City of Bedford Heights
Qualifications for office Nineteen year South Euclid resident and homeowner, Committed to the sustainability and growth of South Euclid. Values the diversity of the city. Committed to the health and safety of families, seniors. Supports economic development.
Campaign Phone (216) 926-4960
Email address
My reason running for a forth term and why I have served for twelve years remains the same; it is simply that my life mission is to improve the quality of life for all. I am a public servant and have been elected to be the voice for Ward One residents. As such, I am entrusted with the duty of making sure that South Euclid is a thriving community that continues to grow. My contribution as a councilwoman is to ensure that South Euclid has safe neighborhoods, provides quality housing and schools, promotes economic development , and offers quality recreation for all ages to enjoy. I am committed to working with my fellow colleagues on council, the administration, and other partners to maintain a high standard of living. To this end, a critical function of city council is to ensure the fiscal and financial stability of the city.
My Three Point Plan 1. Renovate South Euclid Indoor and Outdoor Recreation Facilities to add value to the community and improve the quality of life for everyone. 2. Develop a collaborative partnership to establish a Rapid Response Team to provide immediate help for individuals faced with a mental health crisis. 3. Work to ensure fiscal & financial accountability and growth. Support regionalism & prioritize government services.
The greatest issue for South Euclid is the fiscal & financial health of the city. With the reduction of revenue sources, the loss of population, and diminished property values, the city of South Euclid is faced with the challenge of redefining its revenue sources, and prioritizing expenses, while preserving the health and safety of the city.

One of the greatest untapped resources of South Euclid is its recreation facilities. With my leadership, city council has embarked on a strategic planning process to improve the value placed on indoor and outdoor facilities. A strategic planning committee comprised of a diverse group of residents are charged with developing a plan to redevelop SE facilities as sources for improving the quality of life, as well, as adding market value to our parks, which is essential for individuals and families seeking to relocate. Improvements with regard to our recreation facilities will result in/direct sources of increased revenue for the city.

Individuals experiencing a mental health crisis happens everyday. These situations have resulted in death, hospitalization, and incarceration. When our police officers are dispatched to homes due to a mental health crisis, their priority is to maintain safety and are often ill prepared with minimal to no mental health training. Consequently, safety forces and the individuals in the middle of the crisis often express the need of access to immediate supports to deescalate and assess situation logo


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