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VOTE411 Voter Guide

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

Salary: new council members $4800, Mayor $5400Term:4 yearsMembers 7, elect 4Responsibilities: to enact legislation for the city, to employ a City Manager to administer and enforce Legislation, to employ a Finance Director and a Law Director, to procure revenue through tax levies and bond issues, to authorize public expenditures and to select from its members a Mayor to serve a term two years. For a complete listing see the Charter of the City of Oxford on the city website.
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    Drew Davis (NP) Assistant Director for Business Operations - Student Affairs - Miami University

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    Jace Prows (NP) Wealth Advisor-Beacon Pointe Advisors headquartered Newport Beach, CA

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    David Prytherch (NP) Professor of Geography, Miami University

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    Chantel Raghu (NP) Veterinarian

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    Michael Smith (NP) Interior Designer

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    Edna Carter Southard (NP) Councilor, City of Oxford; Museum curator and Art Historian

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    Samantha Vogel (NP) Insurance, Real Estate

  • Corey Watt (NP) Assistant Director for Employer Relation - Miami University

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    Austin Worrell (NP) Student

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Biographical Information

1. As a college town Oxford faces a number of unique housing challenges. What aspect of residential housing needs to be improved and how would you do so.

2.Oxford's economic development rests both on its residents and its visitors. What strategies would you propose for improving Oxford's identity as a tourist destination and Oxford's attraction as a residential community?

3. What will you do to support a vibrant economy in our area?

4. How do you view the current state of the "Oxford Mile Square". Please be specific about what you see as positive and negative

Education B.A. in Journalism and B.S. in Kinesiology - Miami University M.B.A. - Miami University
Qualification/Experience Nine years working locally, both for local businesses and at Miami in a variety of capacities - Two years serving on the Hueston Woods Visitors Bureau - Born and raised in Oxford - additional experience working for major corporations, including P&G and Valvoline
I believe that further economic development will help determine use of residences. Young professionals working in Oxford often find that they have more peers in nearby cities. With greater economic development and job opportunities, we can expect more of their peers to move to Oxford, creating a greater demand among them for local residences while also providing greater financial opportunity for them to afford housing. Furthermore, incentives for affordable housing can entice development.
Events at Miami, Uptown and nearby Hueston Woods, including athletic events, lectures, entertainment performances, etc. all offer great opportunities for tourists. Furthermore, the picturesque small town feel and independent small retail businesses provide great appeal. Encouraging more diverse small business development will create even more interest for tourism. Additionally, even more effective marketing and communication of the above opportunities are key to reaching tourists.
I believe that common sense flexibility in zoning can help create more locations for small businesses, and thus, more economic opportunity for diverse businesses. Oxford is already a very walk-able city, but I believe we can do more to support that. Some sidewalks have fallen into disrepair and improvements in that area support walking. More areas near town to park, can encourage foot traffic in economic areas. To further support Oxford as a walk-able city, more street lights to increase safety.
The Oxford Mile Square is a beautiful area. The walk-ability of it, picturesque districts and vibrant area are appealing to tourists and residents alike. Creating an even more hospitable area with further economic development, sidewalk repair, additional bicycle lanes, additional nearby parking and added street lighting will appeal to young professionals, tourists, residents and students alike.
Education Talawanda High School, University of North Texas
Qualification/Experience 10 years experience as a licensed Financial Advisor working with high net worth individuals and large institutions. Beacon Pointe Advisors is an investment consulting firm that takes a comprehensive approach to helping endowments, foundations, institutions and high-net-worth individuals set and meet their financial goals. We focus on full service financial planning and research driven investments. We partner with our clients to help them make the most informed decisions possible on any issues related to their wealth.
Economic pressure exerted by the University is enhancing the student living experience resulting in overall housing improvements. City Council should continue to do what they can to support this evolution. As a city council member, I would support this progress by reducing restrictions as much as possible.
We currently have an excellent economic development director, as well as great teams of realtors who continue to promote our town. The city of Oxford, led initially by Mayor Bill Snavely, followed by Mayors Ken Boggard, Prue Dana and Jerome Conley, was able to set aside funds each year which allowed for projects such as the Oxford Recreational Trail, yearly road improvements, and our city park. I intend to follow their responsible lead.
Our economy revolves greatly around the University. We should do our best to create a cohesive citizen/student dialogue and atmosphere. I would like to see more events in Oxford such as the wine and music festivals as well as greater utilization of our parks and trails. This encourages positive interaction between citizens and students. Continued improvement of Miami Athletics would also be a huge boost to our economy. As a council member, I would encourage town support of our Redhawks.
The mile square seems to be evolving positively. We have an improved skyline and many upgraded buildings, while maintaining the true historic feel of Oxford. The pressure to enhance housing is apparent by ongoing remodels and upgrades. These improvements have the potential to attract single family owners back into the mile square.
Education B.S. in Geography, Penn State University M.A. and Ph.D. in Geography, University of Arizona
Qualification/Experience Former Chair of City of Oxford Planning Commission (total service 10 years) • Leadership on Oxford Area Trails Committee, Amtrak planning committee, Safe Routes to School, among others • Former Miami University Sustainability Coordinator, former Chair of Sustainability Committee and Campus Planning Committee • 14 years working, serving, and raising a family in Oxford
Oxford must take a more proactive approach to housing, strengthening existing neighborhoods and promoting diverse and affordable new ones. With proper zoning and enforcement we can ensure student housing is appropriately located and maintained. We can promote traditional neighborhoods over sprawl, and require large new developments to include a mix of units -- including affordable and accessible. Where there’s political will, there’s a way.
Oxford's beauty and quality of life are keys to growing our year-round economy. We must enthusiastically recruit new hires to Oxford, so they choose our community over a long commute. Greater investment in marketing (e.g. Enjoy Oxford) and local amenities (e.g. Oxford Area Trails) can put us on the map for tourists. And we must support distinctive local businesses to serve them. These efforts can make us a unique destination and place to live.
A diversified economy benefits everyone. Oxford must strategically partner with Miami and other large employers to pursue mutually-beneficial goals. But we must also encourage small business growth, recruiting/supporting entrepreneurs (from our talented pool of locals and Miami students) and making sure they have space to grow. And we can expand transport links -- like Amtrak service to Chicago and Cincinnati -- that connect us to regional economic engines.
The Mile Square is the heart of our community, but it does not currently reflect our ideals or potential. We have let our historic core decline into student rentals -- many well-maintained but others less so -- and this heritage remains at risk. But careful planning can still protect and incentivize owner-occupancy in key locations, encourage quality student-housing development elsewhere, and preserve historical character. It’s time to recommit ourselves to the future of the Mile Square.
Education University of Texas at Austin - BA Political science, minor biology (2003-2007) Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine - DVM (2008-2012) Iowa State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital - small animal rotating internship (2012-2013) University of Wisconsin-Madison Veterinary Hospital - small animal internal medicine residency (2013-2016)
Qualification/Experience Presidential campaign volunteer - canvassing, phone banking (2004 in Austin, Texas; 2008 in San Francisco, CA; 2012 absentee voter registration in St Kitts; 2016 in Oxford, OH) BA in political science
As the student population continues to grow (16,765 in 2000 to 19,307 in 2016), the demand for affordable housing will continue to be a challenge. Updated and attractive student housing in designated areas should be developed to curtail the spread of student housing. Furnished apts should be offered in order to reduce the amount of large item waste produced at the end of each school year. Condos should also be developed to help support affordable senior housing.

Tourists are attracted to towns that are unique and have their own distinct personality. Art, culture, and walkability/bike-ability are big draws for both tourists and residents alike. The bike path should be further developed to connect local cities and link breweries, wineries, restaurants, and parks.
During the academic year, Oxford could easily support more restaurants, bars, and shops, but the high dependency on students makes it difficult for a small business to support itself during the lull of summer. Job growth to encourage industries to invest in Oxford (green energy as an example) would attract young professionals to live, work, and play here year round.
The Mile Square is charming because of its historic homes, but many of the homes are in need of restoration. Students will complain because landlords are not keeping up the property and landlords will complain that students are not taking care of the home. The high concentration of student housing within the Mile Square has encouraged a central party area that is often littered with trash and noisy. Nuisance ordinances should be thoroughly enforced to maintain credibility.
Education Talawanda High School 1986, Miami University 1992, BS Family & Consumer Sciences,
Qualification/Experience Vice Mayor 2016-Present, Oxford City Council 2013-2015, Chairman Oxford Historic & Architectural Preservation Commission 2006-2013
Oxford needs more housing for fixed income, minimum wage income and young professionals. We have to somehow legislate that new large rental unit developments have set-asides for fixed and low income residents. We also need to encourage more affordable single and two bedroom units in developments for young professionals.
I feel we need to take our Oxford “promotion” to the next level. We need promote a TV commercial campaign in the Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Columbus markets to highlight all that Oxford has to offer. These commercials can promote not only our fantastic tourist events, but our great schools, “number one college town” status and the fantastic quality of life we have in this community.
You have to buy and support LOCAL. We have the best Farmer’s Market in Butler County, awesome local shopping and many fabulous restaurants. I try to encourage everyone I meet to spend a Saturday in Oxford, do some shopping and have dinner. I’ve never had anyone be disappointed.
The mile square seems to always be at a tipping point, mostly sliding down hill… There are still too many poorly tended student rentals and too many out of control yard parties which lead to a lot of vandalism, noise and litter issues. On the positive we have created one Neighborhood Overlay District which limits rentals and the problems they can bring. We have also had a lot of positive new development that has brought more housing opportunities and new businesses to the Mile Square.
Education Ph.D. Indiana University, M.A. The University of Chicago, B.A. Barnard College; Teaneck (N.J.) High School
Qualification/Experience Oxford City Council, elected to first term in 2013; currently President, Board of Directors, Oxford Community Choice Pantry; Planning Commission, Parks and Recreation Board; Sharefest Planning; retired from Miami University; museum curator and art historian
We want to encourage economic development, provide diverse housing for our longterm and student residents, and maintain the small-town character of Oxford and its historic houses. Achieving that balance is the challenge of all university towns. I favor the comprehensive zoning study that offers increased density near the university, and limiting rentals in residential neighborhoods. Varied, affordable housing, and senior housing need to be developed and mixed income housing is possible.
Businesses thrive when Oxford is busy, so we want Oxford to be a year-round destination and a nexus for creativity. Coming to Oxford for special events, people patronize local business. We need to promote Oxford as a welcoming cultural and tourist destination that is a great place to live, work, and retire. We have made improvements while maintaining fiscal responsibility. I support smart streets, Amtrak stop, Aquatic Center, public art, cultural events/festivals, and town-gown cooperation.
I am in favor of investing in the future while being fiscally responsible. Making Oxford more attractive so that people come to visit, work, live, stay, and retire keeps purchasing dollars here. I support local businesses, the University, public schools, our local hospital, and believe in working to alleviate social problems such as hunger and homelessness, because together we can solve problems. We need to improve transportation in town and to cities in the region and address housing issues.
The Oxford Mile Square has a good mix of businesses and housing with few vacancies and high occupancy, but some problems are noise, litter, unruly activity, alcohol abuse. Apartments above businesses and student rentals near entertainment encourage a vibrant community. Like many Oxford residents, I wish for more variety in types of restaurants and businesses. The City and University work together to implement solutions to encourage students to feel at home in Oxford and be good neighbors.
Education B.S. Miami University, Oxford, Ohio Mass Communications, Public Relations Marketing 3.24 GPA
Qualification/Experience Born and raised in the City Of Oxford Community. Awarded highest honor in Girl Scouting-Equivalent of the Boy Scout Eagle Award. Awarded Daughters' Of the American Revolution Scholarship. Award From University of Cincinnati For Women Exemplifying Excellence in Business & Mentoring. Volunteered for the Butler County Rape Victims' Advocacy Program. Volunteered for the Oxford Community Crisis & Counseling Center/ Suicide Prevention Hotline. Worked for the Blue Ash Girl Scout Council as a Recruiter in ten territories throughout Southwestern Ohio. Worked with Money Managers and Hedge Fund Managers throughout the United States as a Research Assistant. For the past four years, and currently, I work here in the Oxford community in the areas of Insurance and Real Estate as an Office Manager. Father retired after 43 years of continuous service as Mass Communications Professor at Miami University, Oxford campus. Mother retired after 26 continuous years of service at Miami University, as Director of Commuter Student Services at Oxford Campus; Director of Disability Student Services, at Hamilton Campus.
By building single family homes on the north-western side of Oxford, our community would be offering young families, young professionals, singles, married couples, empty nesters and senior citizens with the opportunities for safe, *affordable housing here in our community. *($140,000 to 180,000 price range) I would present a comprehensive and inclusive written proposal for approval to the Oxford City Planning Commission and Council, including, but not limited to the following: Phase 1: US Cen
I propose to build eco-friendly “Smart Homes,” three models initially, 3 different price points. All *affordable for the median household income. (*$140,000-$180,000) Then collaborate with the Chamber of Commerce Offices in the surrounding counties to coordinate tours with the real estate agent, builder and myself, whom will host tours of the model homes. My avid love of education and curiosity for the “new” was sparked when I went to Epcot Center and toured the “World of Tomorrow” as a child wi
Seek out opinion leaders and first adopters here in our community to raise monies via a foundation for the 2018 Capital Campaign in order to make much needed repairs to the City of Oxford community pool.

Propose that bids be submitted for a “Whole Foods/Fresh Market” and/or a “Macy’s/Target” type of business to open here in our community; so that the citizenry of Oxford will have options for the goods and services which they now seek outside of our community, whether by driving to surrounding
I view the “Oxford Mile Square” as the most vibrant part of our Oxford community. Miami University and the City of Oxford have a complimentary strategic partnership that has benefitted its citizenry since 1830. However, it would be an asset to make improvements to the uptown street lighting. There are four street lights (approximately) to every city block, throughout the uptown area. Adding another light fixture and bulb to every other lighting structure, would increase safety for patrons after
Education Master of Public Administration - Drake University Bachelor of Arts - Western Michigan University
Qualification/Experience - Over 20 years of service in government and non-profit fields - Over 15 years of service on community and non-profit boards and organizations - Experience on State, County, and Municipal Boards and Commissions - Expertise in Workforce Development, Employer Relations, Community Service, and Law Enforcement
Oxford is a great place to live, regardless of your stage in life! Our diverse population needs a unique range of options that fit the variety of our residents. We need more housing options that are versatile, affordable, safe, and accessible. We need to find a balance with what is built and how existing spaces are used. I would do this by creating incentives and clearer policies that align with the vision and goals of our city. Let's be creative and develop options more people can afford!
We need more strategic partnerships between the City and Miami that draw people to town and capitalize on those already visiting. Daily business and events draw hundreds of people to the University, but many stay elsewhere and visit for the day. Get them to make Oxford their stay and play place! Attract more residents, especially Miami employees and grads by offering options beyond the bar culture. Young people are drawn to trendy urban areas because of cultural offerings. Let's do it here!
I believe we can grow our economy and residential base by supporting jobs and activities related to innovation. Our town and people have an entrepreneurial spirit that is a great ingredient in attracting and retaining talent for the new economy. Many of our citizens and student are leaders in these fields, but have to travel elsewhere to collaborate. Let's create spaces for small businesses and start-ups in Oxford that draw business, talent, and attention to the Best College Town in America!
The Mile Square breaks my heart! Long before my family moved here, decisions / actions were taken to dilute the historical core of our town. In recent years, some have been able to "reclaim" parts of the Mile, but some property owners ignore structures or tear down buildings to replace them with cookie cutter creations. I don't believe the infrastructure or condition of the Mile is respectful or representative of a city that is over 200 years old. This area must be preserved and diversified!
Education Miami University (Political Science Major, Business Law Minor)
Qualification/Experience Law and Public Policy Scholar; MU Student Government (worked with the Mayor, City Council, MU Administrators, OPD, MUPD); Legal and Marketing Internships; Miles for the Troops Charity; Miami Mock Trial Competitor
Housing should be affordable and safe for everyone in our town- both those who live in Oxford for four years and those who have called Oxford home for 40. So how do we make sure living in Oxford is affordable and safe? We need to re-examine our current zoning ordinances and housing regulations. Let’s make sure that our laws are promoting healthy property development and price competition, so that we continue to improve current housing and develop smart, beautiful additions to our community.
Oxford isn't just a great place to call home, it’s an incredible town to visit. We are one of Ohio’s Best Hometowns for a reason. Let’s continue to promote an active and vibrant community year-round. Community festivals and events draw in people from all over, so let’s do more: hosting even better and more creative events. Let’s also work to bring in more unique and attractive businesses to fill the many empty storefronts/lots. People should be driving to Oxford to spend the day, or a few!
Oxford shouldn’t just be a great place to live, but also a great place to do business. We need to make sure our laws are encouraging smart and exceptional business in the area. As a college town, Oxford has a unique economy, so it’s important that we partner with our local business owners and work to bring in more local new shops, restaurants, etc. As the town’s leaders, City Council should take charge on this effort, sending a clear message that we are open for business!
As a resident of the Mile Square and the only student on the ballot, I could say a lot. It’s a great place to call home, to eat, to shop, and more. However, as the center of college life in Oxford, it feels isolated from the rest of the town. Over time, we have created this divide between students and local residents. We need to bridge the gap- to bring together everyone in the community. I hope to be that voice on City Council, to really listen to you- to build a better Oxford for all of us. logo


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