Recently-elected Springfield commissioners to focus on jobs, roads


More jobs, better cooperation with other local governments and an even distribution of resources across neighborhoods are all goals three recently-elected Springfield commissioners hope to improve upon next year.

RELATED: Longtime leaders Martin, Duncan say farewell to Springfield commission

The commission will have two new members beginning next month, the first change to the city’s governing body in eight years. Three Springfield commissioners — incumbent Joyce Chile and newcomers Rob Rube and David Estrop — will be sworn into office at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the City Hall Forum, 76 E. High St. Chilton will be sworn in for her third term, while Rue and Estrop each will begin their first term.

Chilton, Rue and Estrop will join Mayor Warren Copeland and longtime City Commissioner Kevin O’Neill on the five-member board.

Estrop and Rue will replace Dan Martin, who served five terms but lost his re-election bid in November, and Karen Duncan, who didn’t run again after 12 years on the commission.

Chilton, Estrop and Rue all said the city must also continue to work to attract jobs and businesses to the community.

The city needs to be wise in how its spends taxpayer money, especially with the recently approved .4-percent income tax increase, Chilton said.

MORE: Clark County water, sewer rates to increase next year

“We need to make sure how we spend the money gets the greatest level of value,” she said.

She also hopes to see basic services, such as road repair, be equally distributed across the community, Chilton said.

“When you drive down certain streets, we need to do a more productive job,” she said.

While the city uses research and other factors to choose which roadways need paved, Chilton also hopes to receive input from citizens about the upcoming projects, she said.

“I’d like to see them take a greater role in their local government,” Chilton said.

RELATED: Report: Springfield in fiscal stress, leaders say finances better now

Estrop wants the city to improve communications with both the Clark County government and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, he said.

“The problems in some cases that we’re facing don’t recognize jurisdictions or boundaries,” Estrop said. “If we’re going to deal with them, specifically the opioid crisis, crime, hunger, things like hunger, they don’t recognize boundaries. We need to act by working together to address those issues more successfully.”

Springfield also needs to attract more people to both live and work in the city, Estrop said.

“We need to work on increasing housing and the population,” he said. “For some time, the population has been going down and we need to reverse that.”

As a first time commissioner, Rue plans to have a learning attitude, he said.

MORE: Springfield-based food bank to re-examine distribution model

“I’m really excited to be a commissioner,” he said. “I want to represent all of Springfield and do the best I can.”

The city must continue to follow the recommendations made by both the Community Financial Advisory Committee and an independent auditor made in 2016, Rue said.

“We want to make sure we’re doing all we can to be responsible for taxpayers,” Rue said.

He also hopes to see SpringForward take over the Myers Market to allow the creation for a year-round marketplace, he said.

“It’s things like that that will increase attractions downtown,” Rue said. “It’s vacant space right now and there are people with vision to use that space. The city needs to get behind people with vision. Nobody else is stepping forward with ideas that could work to be something. We’ve got to take calculated risks that will bring the best outcomes.”

Commissioners earn an annual salary of $10,750. They oversee a government that serves about 59,000 people with a $43 million annual general fund budget and about 570 employees.

3 QUICK NEWS-SUN READS

Progress made against drug overdoses in Clark County but war not over

Clark County commissioners reject tax for new 9-1-1 center — for now

Springfield approves increases to water, sewer bills



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Portman warns Trump: killing NAFTA will kill jobs in Ohio
Portman warns Trump: killing NAFTA will kill jobs in Ohio

With President Donald Trump threatening to scrap a trade deal with Canada and Mexico, Sen. Rob Portman Tuesday said it would be “a mistake” to terminate a pact that allows manufactured goods and agriculture products to cross the borders of those countries largely free of tariffs. In a conference call with Ohio reporters Tuesday, Portman...
‘On its last legs’: Why election boards are seeking new voting machines
‘On its last legs’: Why election boards are seeking new voting machines

Voting equipment in many Ohio counties, including Butler County, is becoming obsolete as replacement parts are more difficult to obtain and software continues to age. State Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Hudson, said he knows of at least one county board of elections that has used parts from an auto supply store. He said replacing voting machines before the...
State considers punishing cities that use traffic, red-light cameras
State considers punishing cities that use traffic, red-light cameras

State lawmakers are holding hearings today on a bill that would cut state funding to cities using speed and red-light cameras. House Bill 410, sponsored by Cincinnati Republican Rep. Bill Seitz and Oakwood Rep. Jim Butler, would require cities to file all traffic camera cases in municipal court and would reduce state funding to cities by the same amount...
Ohio inmate wants to be killed by firing squad
Ohio inmate wants to be killed by firing squad

Attorneys for a condemned killer whose execution was stopped last year after 25 minutes of unsuccessful needle sticks are once again recommending the firing squad as an alternative. The execution could also proceed if the state adopts a closely regulated lethal injection process that includes a headpiece to monitor the brain activity of death row inmate...
President Trump signs bill ending government shutdown
President Trump signs bill ending government shutdown

A Senate standoff that partially shuttered the federal government for nearly three days ended Monday when Senate Democrats agreed to support a bill to re-open the federal government through Feb. 8. Sen. Sherrod Brown joined 31 Democrats and independent Angus King of Maine in backing the spending bill, which they did under the condition that the GOP...
More Stories