Voter Guide: Fairborn City Council

Voter Guide
Caption
Voter Guide

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

The Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News invited local candidates to fill out the following questionnaire to inform readers.

Vote for 3:

Adam Fritzsche

ajc.com

City: Fairborn

Education: B.S. in information technology, American Military University

Current Employment: Air Force Institute of Technology, Electrical Engineering Department

Community Involvement: I am not currently associated with any community organizations, boards or clubs.

Why are you seeking elected office? If you asked me a couple of months ago what I thought the median age of a Fairborn resident was, I, like many others, would have answered wrong. The median age of a Fairborn resident is 33. While I will strive to represent all residents of Fairborn equally, I feel that it is necessary to have a city council member who can effectively represent this group. As such, I feel that I am the best suited candidate to meet this need.

Why should voters elect you? There are many qualities that make a good city leader. A council member must be able to think and act strategically. It is also important that a council member can work well with others and as a team. Along with an effective team, the ability to understand the views of others and deal with issues and problems rationally are fundamental for small group decision making. Elected officials should also have a high personal standard of character and ethics. That is, they must be trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, caring and do their part to make their community better. As a United States Marine, I can proudly say that these are traits that are a part of who I am, and I know that I can apply them to my commitment to represent the residents of Fairborn to the best of my ability.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? My top three priorities would have to include strengthening our community and city relationships. Second, bringing businesses to Fairborn that can provide living wages, and continuing to revitalize small businesses back into downtown is key to long term success in Fairborn. I would argue that the biggest challenge currently is with the biodigester, or that “smell” you may have noticed as you are out in town. The negative impacts of this issue alone can overshadow all other progress that Fairborn has made.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? We strengthen our community through connection and engagement, promote and encourage volunteer opportunities and make it easy to figure out how to get involved. Whether you are military family here for four years or a lifelong resident, we all play a part in building and sustaining our sense of community. We also do this through identifying resources and making them available to those who need them. Economic growth in Fairborn has done well in recent years with new business development and an increase in home buying, but that does not mean we let up. Fairborn has unlimited potential to grow to include supporting of programs, like SPARK, and providing resources that help local and start-up businesses and reduce vacancies downtown, as well as support ongoing efforts to bring light industry, manufacturing and other businesses that can provide living wages to the area. This admittingly is a big challenge, as many small businesses throughout the country have had to shut down indefinitely since the beginning of 2020. For the biodigester issue, I would start with a strong working relationship with the Bath Twp. trustees and support them in any way we can to resolve this issue. Secondly, I would fight alongside the residents of Fairborn and acknowledge their concern and be as transparent as possible in our efforts. I would also contact and continue to engage with the Greene County commissioners and the Ohio EPA of our concerns and would also encourage our residents to do the same.

Anything else? After serving in the United States Marine Corps as an aviation electronic technician, I accepted a job on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as a contractor for the Precision Measurement and Electronic Laboratory, and later taking a federal position within the Air Force Institute of Technology. My wife, Courtney, and I have been married for 18 years. We have two children, our son Hunter, who is 19 and currently a sophomore at Sinclair, and our daughter Keira, a sophomore at Fairborn High School. While we built our house in Fairborn for which we consider ourselves blessed, it is the community and the friends we have made along the way that have helped us call Fairborn our home. As I’ve watched Fairborn grow, my pride as a resident has also grown, and I wanted to do more and be more involved, which is why I decided to run for city council. Fairborn has become the home we are proud of, and year after year I have seen a continuous stream of improvements and growth. With that said, we are far from done. There is always room for improvements and should always strive to do better. I’m a veteran; leadership is part of who I am. I know that I can bring my experience to the table, and continue forward with the amazing momentum that Fairborn has seen and to continue to grow our opportunities, our community and our pride in our town.

Jerry Guess

ajc.com

City: Fairborn

Education: Master’s of arts, mass communications, University of Denver; Bachelor’s of science, broadcasting and journalism, Kent State University; U.S. Air Force Air Command & Staff College; Certified Aging Services Professional (CASP), University of North Texas; U.S. Air Force Short Course in Communications, University of Oklahoma; Department of State, Foreign Service Institute, Southeast Asia Area Studies Course, Washington, D.C.; Antelope Valley College, Honorary Degree; U.S. Air Force Academic Instructor School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama; U.S. Air Force Squadron Officer School; Richmond Heights High School, Richmond Heights, Ohio.

Current Employment: Retired

Community Involvement: Fairborn Planning Board; Fairborn Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan Review Committee; former board member, Dayton Miami-Valley Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America; former professional adviser to the University of Dayton, PRSA Student Chapter; former board member and treasurer of the PRSA National Health Academy; accredited, Public Relations Society of America; Certified Aging Services Professional (CASP); former Leading Age Regional board member; member of various Masonic Bodies, Fairborn Lodge #764. York Rite, Scottish Rite, Antioch Shrine, Fairborn Shrine Club, Irish Council #67 Knight Masons of USA; and Order of Eastern Star; lifetime member of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Association.

Why are you seeking elected office? I have always followed international, national and state politics and have had an interest in local politics, but never had the opportunity to devote time to local issues due to work and family responsibilities. However, now that I am retired, I can focus on local issues and become involved in governance. I have completed the Fairborn Leadership Institute Course that gives participants a firsthand look at how the various city departments operate, and had the chance to meet the department directors and workers who perform the mission. This program helps prepare future candidates for city council. I also serve on the Fairborn Planning Board that provides insight into future projects and the impact they may have on the community. Finally, I also contribute to the Fairborn Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan Review Committee with a panel of residents to review and comment on plans the City Department Directors have scheduled for the next five years. I have invested my time to prepare myself to be ready to serve the Fairborn citizens, and listen to the issues they are concerned about, and help solve problems. I have attended numerous council meetings and work shops to gain an insight into their decision-making process. I am prepared to help the Fairborn citizens prosper and local businesses grow.

Why should voters elect you? My extensive military, business, financial and environmental experience gives me a unique perspective on issues. I know what it means to create jobs, meet payrolls, and communicate with citizens and businesses to discuss their concerns to help them grow with the community. It is all about our citizens, businesses and public safety.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? My top three priorities are stopping the biodigester smell and expansion plans; increasing regular face-to-face communications and discussions with Fairborn citizens and businesses, highlighting policy and legislative issues, and community growth; and finally ensuring the funds provided to Fairborn from the American Recovery Act are spent on assistance to households (for food, rent, mortgage payments, utilities) and small businesses; premium pay for essential workers, to nonprofits, assistance and care of senior citizens dealing with the pandemic, and loans and grants to resolve financial hardships, and improvements to public hospitals and health clinics, and not for Fairborn pet projects.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? Persuading Fairborn Council members, Bath Twp. trustees, Greene County commissioners and state representatives to remember their oath of office, to serve and protect their citizens, and resolve problems that negatively affect their constituents. That is why we elected them. Conduct regularly scheduled meetings with citizens and business owners and listen to their their concerns so we can jointly work to resolve problems. Finally, ensure the American Recovery Act funds are only used to help Fairborn citizens and small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Anything else? Go Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.

Rodney McCubbins

ajc.com

City: Fairborn

Education: Bachelor’s of science from Nyack College

Current Employment: Dayton VA Medical Center

Community Involvement: I am the 2021 chairman of the Fairborn Planning Board and member since 2018. I served on the Neighborhood Betterment Committee from 2012 to 2018. I was the treasurer for the Income Tax Levy Committee, member of the City Charter Amendment Committee as well as Master Housing Strategy Committee. I’ve attended the Fairborn Leadership Institute as well as the Fairborn Citizen Police Academy. I’m also a life time member of the Air Force Sergeants Association and currently serving as marshal in the F & AM Fairborn Lodge 764.

Why are you seeking elected office? I believe one of our duties as a citizen is to give back to our community. Fairborn is my community, Fairborn is your community, Fairborn is our community. I spent 26 years of my adult life serving this country in the U.S. Air Force. During that time, I received a world class education in leadership and management. I continued to build on these skills by attending the Fairborn Leadership Academy as well as the Citizen Police Academy, both programs designed to orient citizens interested in the inner workings of city government. I have the skills needed to serve the citizens of the fastest growing community in Greene County, I have the desire to serve the citizens, and if elected I will serve for the citizens and the best interest of our beloved city of Fairborn.

Why should voters elect you? I possess the experience needed to serve as city councilman. I am actively engaged in the community, having served on various committees. I am also present on the committees and activities I continue to serve on. Servant leadership is a quality that should be possessed by government employees, especially those with whom are elected by the people. A servant leader must possess traits critical to serving the citizens of any community. Traits such as listening, persuasion, empathy, awareness, and a commitment to the growth and development of the city of Fairborn. I have spent my entire adult life learning and honing the skills and traits to be a servant leader to serve the citizens and the community of Fairborn.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? Being elected to serve as city councilman means becoming a member of the legislative body for the city of Fairborn. City Council’s primary charge is to address issues affecting the public. Some of the issues affecting many communities surround those of economic development, public safety and fiscal stewardship.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? The 2020 U.S. Census names Fairborn as one of the fastest growing communities in Greene County. Economic development is part of the success of our growth. There are two undeveloped exits on I-675 and both of them city in the city of Fairborn. Our economic development team, in conjunction with policy makers and city council, must capitalize on this opportunity, and devise a plan to bring in development. Examples may include creating shovel ready lots, addressing flooding concerns affecting the landscape, etc. Funding is a crucial element to executing any development plans. Right now, we must capitalize on funding received from the American Rescue Plan, as well as limited funds still available from the CARES Act. A responsible city council will ensure these funds are allocated appropriately and spent wisely. Lastly and most importantly is the issue of public safety. Fiscal stewardship and economic development is of no use to our citizens if they are not safe or don’t feel safe. Three issues are currently threatening our community. Police/fire levy renewal to maintain current level of services. The pandemic issues and policies have a potential to affect our economy, as well as citizens’ rights. Lest we not forget about the odorous biodigester in Bath Twp. Odors and the effect on our heath are not the only concern. The biodigester sits on top of our aquifer, providing us with our only source of clean drinking water, and there is no emergency safety mitigation plan in the event of a disaster.

Anything else? I am proud to tell anyone I meet I was born in Fairborn, I was raised in Fairborn, and I live in Fairborn. Our community has the honor of being the only Fairborn in the world. We have the honor not many small communities can still claim, and that is downtown with a Main Street. We have a proud history in our short 71-year existence. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of preserving our history while still being able to be progressive and innovative enough to grow. My fellow citizens: I am Fairborn, you are Fairborn, we are Fairborn. I am here in Fairborn to stay, and this November I ask you to throw your important vote my way.

Daniel Palmer Jr.

ajc.com

City: Fairborn

Education: J.D. - December 2021, University of Toledo; B.S. Economics - May 2019, Wright State University

Current Employment: Government affairs specialist, Wright State University

Community Involvement: Rotary Club of Fairborn, Fairborn Chamber of Commerce

Why are you seeking elected office? I am running to serve the residents of Fairborn to ensure their needs are being met by the city. Often times, residents feel that their elected officials are not there to serve them and feel their voices are not heard. I will be open, honest and accessible to all citizens of Fairborn.

Why should voters elect you? The voters should elect me because I am young and energetic. The city needs to continue attracting younger families to the city. The median age of Fairborn is under 33 years old, yet there is nobody serving on council that comes from the same age demographic. It is important this large portion of Fairborn have a direct voice on council. I also have employment experience working in state and local government. Many opportunities for the city exist through the State Capital Budget and the regional PDAC process for congressional appropriations. I would be uniquely qualified to advocate for the city in these forums and work to get necessary funding for critical city projects.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? My top three priorities are: 1. Attracting and retaining more small and medium sized businesses to Fairborn. 2. Improving our city’s infrastructure to support our citizens and businesses. 3. Improving strategic relationships with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and surrounding regional entities.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? Utilizing funds effectively from the American Rescue Plan Act - The only infrastructure spending that is permitted is broadband expansion and investments in water/sewer. To further the range of the funds, I would partner with Greene County and Bath Twp. to handle broadband expansion and water/sewer investments. Remaining funds should be directed to hazard pay for first responders and those in Fairborn that can demonstrate a need due to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly small businesses. Significant investment needs to continue to improve roads and other community needs. Forming a landbank should be explored to efficiently eliminate blight within the city limits. A resolution between citizens and Renergy needs to be prioritized. WPAFB, being the largest, single site employer in Ohio, is extremely important to the region. Base leadership and the city need to work closely to one another to make sure necessary support is present.

Anything else? No

Mary Reaster

ajc.com

City: Fairborn

Education: B.S., business management, Park University

Current Employment: Gordon Food Service stores

Community Involvement: Board member Fairborn City School Board, board member Operation Fairborn Cares, member Fairborn Lions Club, member Fairborn Rotary, vice president of DIFI (A World A’fair)

Why are you seeking elected office? I am deeply invested in the success and growth of our community. I have watched as other communities have had economic growth, and we have remained stagnant. The city really has turned a corner and emulates the slogan “A City in Motion.” With my deep involvement in this community on various levels, I feel I have a lot to bring to the table.

Why should voters elect you? I have a resume that shows my commitment to this community, its residents, and its overall success. I grew up in Fairborn, I moved back to Fairborn, and I am all in on continuing our path forward.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? Continued economic growth, working toward increasing our expendable income, making Fairborn a place to not only live, but work and play.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? Continued economic growth and increasing expendable income are symbiotic. It takes growth in the expendable income to attract new businesses. It takes new business to attract the expendable income. Revitalizing downtown with more businesses and restaurants to keep and retain the entertainment dollars in Fairborn is also a part of that economic growth plan.

Anything else? I am your neighbor. This is our home. Win or lose, I am in this for the betterment of Fairborn.