Voter Guide: Springfield City Commission

Voter Guide

Credit: HANDOUT

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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

Julius Dion Bailey

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Julius Bailey. Contributed

Credit: Andrew Grimm

Julius Bailey. Contributed

Credit: Andrew Grimm

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Julius Bailey. Contributed

Credit: Andrew Grimm

Credit: Andrew Grimm

Education: Doctorate

Current Employment: Wittenberg University

Community Involvement: NAACP; current board member of NorthEast Ohio Black Health Coalition; Current board member of Youth With a Positive Direction (Illinois)

Why are you seeking elected office? The last several years I have asked myself, “What more can I do for others?” For me, that answer manifested in working with local stakeholders, holistically, to meet the needs of people, especially, but not exclusively, the marginalized. By wholistic, I mean from economic to social, from emotional to spiritual, Springfield is in need a renewal, revival and rebranding. It became clear that working to serve the public good and engaging in delivering innovative solutions to the complex problems facing our communities was the right road for me. What the current council has done in revitalizing downtown is good work but not enough. Our city demands an investment into every side of town. A vote for me will ensure that our south corridor reinvestment meets the needs of its area citizens while increasing the overall beauty of our city. Too many of our citizens work hard each day only to drive down streets riddled with garbage and blighted homes. A clean neighborhood is one that revitalizes and reinvigorates the spirit as well as protects the environment. Abandoned houses on the west, south and east sides of our town demand new ordinances, leadership disconnected from the old-boy network and re-connected with an intention to diversify the voices that will move us forward. I am also running because leadership is about clear-mindedness and vision. I am an ideal partner to assist our city manager and his staff in implementing its current vision in a way that ensures a more diverse engagement.

Why should voters elect you? I am in the people business. I have spent my life fighting to maximize human potential and personal capital. I look forward to serving the people of Ohio by leading with moral character, lucid vision and political accountability. I have proven myself as a trustworthy advocate, a bold voice and a go-getter. My candidacy is a no-brainer; the question is can I get the electorate to match the desire to engage the way we all need to be. To lead is to serve, and to serve is to love. We call our campaign the Care Campaign because, I was a wayward child, thrown out of two grammar schools and three high schools. I had a praying family and a community of people, from parish priests to athletic coaches to next door neighbors who refused to let my potential go untapped. It is with the care that rescued me that I go to our city citizens and ask them to partner with us, volunteer, donate, or just send us a note, so together we can breathe life, energy and hope and unleash the excellence and elegance within our great city.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? Youth City Commission to intentionally give youth an active voice in the process of learning our city and its management. 1 Broom, 1 Block (an initiative I have already started to hold each block accountable for the beautification and pride of their neighborhoods). Work very intentionally with those opening the South Side Grocery Land and other redevelopment projects.

Anything else? plans do you have to address those top priorities? I have already begun the 1 Broom, 1 Block initiative by personally purchasing 20 commercial-grade brooms and hope to increase that to 50, then 250 and 500 by year four of my position. As for the Youth Commission, I have a background in youth leadership development and will tap into those skills coupled with partnerships from our school board and private high schools. Additionally the Hagen Center at Wittenberg will also be a partner. I have already joined a South Corridor Neighborhood Advisory Council, I am working with 1159 South, as well as Unified Collective and expect to build a strong partnership with Shannon Meadows in this regard.

Anything else? My candidacy is about energy and vision. I have served as a youth advocate leading two organizations. I am a college professor and programmer. A vote for Julius Bailey is one that partners with a proven track-record to invest in our young people, in age and spirit.

David Estrop

ajc.com

Education: High school diploma, Rochester High School, Rochester, Illinois; Bachelor’s degree, Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois; Master’s degree, University of Illinois at Springfield, Illinois; Doctorate degree, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois

Current Employment: Springfield City Commissioner and Wittenberg University adjunct instructor

Community Involvement: Previously superintendent of the Springfield City School District. Currently a member of Springfield Rotary, Keep Clark County Beautiful, Clark County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Springfield Housing Consortium (co-chair), Springfield Airport Advisory Committee, Community Improvement Corporation (economic development), Solid Waste Advisory Policy Committee, Alternative Energy Advisory Group and People for Safe Water

Why are you seeking elected office? We have made great progress in Springfield in the last four years. However, much remains to be done. I want to continue the work and move us forward together.

Why should voters elect you? I am a tested, experienced leader, a tireless collaborator and a community builder.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? My first priority is to make sure our water supply remains clean and safe. Currently the Tremont Barrel Fill remains a toxic threat to our water supply, as well as that of Clark County and a good share of Southwest Ohio. Three years ago, the U.S. EPA told us to “take it or leave it” relative to a plan put on the table by Waste Management to deal with the Barrel Fill. Three years later, not one shovel of dirt has been moved. The steel barrels are still there holding millions of gallons of toxic waste chemicals. We want and need action now! My second priority is housing for all. While we have made progress in this area (the Wall Street Journal reported Springfield, Ohio, as the third hottest housing market in the nation), we have more work to do. We need to refurbish some of the older homes in Springfield, build more homes for the many people moving into our city, and provide assisted housing for those displaced because of COVID and the economic impact of the virus. My third priority is all about jobs. We have made great headway on this subject, thanks to Chamber of Commerce, Clark County and the city working together to move economic development forward. Businesses are staying and expanding in Springfield, and new businesses are choosing to locate here because of what we as a community have to offer in terms living, working and playing in Springfield. We need to keep it going!

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? We must continue to call attention to the water issue and not let the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. or Waste Management off the hook. This means continuing to bring the subject up at public and private meetings throughout Springfield, the townships, Clark County and other areas of Southwest Ohio. This also means continuing to call on our representatives in the U.S. House, as well as our U.S. senators, to work on our behalf to move the Department of Justice to act now! The housing priority is and will continue to be addressed by the public and private sectors of the community working together through organizations like the Housing Consortium. By working together we have passed new legislation addressing vacant property in Springfield, engaged in planning utilizing the expertise of Urban Fast Forward to redevelop the South Side of Springfield, passed ordinances providing tax incentives for building or refurbishing property on the South Side, and working with community members to improve homes and rental property -- and there is more to come. We are currently looking at how to speed up the process of converting vacant property into productive property, as well as providing additional ways for homeowners to finance homes through other than traditional loans. The third priority is all about jobs. We must continue to work together to retain current businesses and recruit new businesses. In order to do this, we need people to fill all of the jobs now available in our area.

Anything else? We have made significant progress in the last four years, but work remains to be done in Springfield. Our community is again growing, jobs are readily available, Downtown is bouncing back, recreational opportunities are expanding, and the city is in a stable financial position thanks to the voters. Beyond these developments, I see people reaching out after the COVID pandemic trying to build a better community. I see this throughout the community in the form of community gardens, community centers for our youth, greater use of our improving outdoor spaces, senior centers, the arts bouncing back and festivals galore. At the end of the day, a city is no more or less than its people! Together we the people of Springfield can and will move our city forward!

Rob Rue

ajc.com

Education: Heidelberg University, Bachelor’s of arts, business administration; Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, bachelor’s of mortuary science

Current Employment: Springfield city commissioner; president and general manager, Littleton & Rue Funeral Home and Crematory

Community Involvement: City Commission; Rotary Club; Greater Springfield Partnership (past board member)

Why are you seeking elected office? I’m seeking reelection because I believe we have made many steps forward in Springfield’s progress, and I would like to continue this journey in a second term.

Why should voters elect you? Additionally I have enjoyed serving the constituents and being a voice for citizens and positive voice for Springfield. One of my strengths is to bring solid leadership and various situations that I have engaged within my role as a commissioner. I am passionate about Springfield, and invest my time and effort in being a part of discussions throughout the community to learn and make informed decisions.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? 1) Support efforts in bringing economic opportunities to Springfield 2) Be a voice for citizens and to continue to work with public and private organizations to find opportunities to save tax payers money. 3) Support efforts for redevelopment in the south quadrants, downtown revitalization and support effort in comprehensive housing plans

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? 1. Continue to stay available to be at the table in key discussions that advance our economy 2. During my first four years, I have stayed available to hear citizens concerns and find answers or ask important questions that would either change an outcome to a positive or get answers that would better explain the outcome. Be a listening leader. 3. I’ll continue to vote for efforts to give each citizen opportunities to enhance their lives and housing opportunities

Anything else? I believe it’s important to have a leader that is passionately engaged with the citizens and community. I was born and raised in Springfield, I have a wonderful wife and five school aged children. It is a sacrifice to serve the city as a commissioner but one that my family embraces. I still get excited about Springfield’s potential and believe that the best is yet to come for our community.

Krystal L. Phillips

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Krystal Phillips. Contributed

Krystal Phillips. Contributed

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Krystal Phillips. Contributed

Education: B.A. in communications, University of Toledo; M.ED in special education, Antioch Midwest; and M.ED in educational leadership, Antioch Midwest.

Current Employment: Springfield City School District K-12 public educator

Community Involvement: Seated on Springfield Promise Neighborhood Board of Directors, member of Restored Life Ministries, superintendent of Christian education at Restored Life Ministries, member of The Links Incorporated Springfield Chapter, member of National Council of Negro Women Clark County Springfield Section, Clark County Democratic Party Central and Executive Committee member, secretary of the Clark County Democratic Party.

Why are you seeking elected office? If I did not seek this office, there would be no one under 50 or anyone who identifies as female running. Action needed to be taken.

Why should voters elect you? I am Springfield, Ohio, made and raised! An individual would be hard pressed to locate a candidate who is more dedicated to this city. My dedication is one aspect of why it is imperative for Springfield to elect me, another is that it has become difficult to sit on the sidelines watching individuals who are agenda-driven, anti-progressive and uncommitted to Springfield. We must have individuals in office who are willing to fight to ensure that all community members have equal opportunity to access healthy fresh food, jobs, transportation and safe spaces to be their authentic selves.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? Three focal points of high priority are ensuring that all Springfield residents have equal opportunities and access to resources to reach their highest potential, address Springfield’s growing concerns with homelessness, and assist Springfield’s police department build sustainable relationships with populations who have historically been reluctant to build with law enforcement.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? To ensure access to opportunities, I will promote knowledge. I will bring needed and relevant information to the people. Through the sharing of key government and community information, Springfield residents will become empowered and be about the business of disrupting systems that continue to sustain inequities. Strengthening our local continuum of prevention efforts and support services in regards to individuals who could be at risk of experiencing homelessness. I will increase collaboration within current systems and structures to positively impact eviction prevention, mental health education and housing stability. Being a lifelong resident of Springfield and having strong roots throughout our city places me in an advantageous position to aid in building real and sustainable relationships between community members and local law enforcement agencies.

Anything else? I am the daughter of Betty Jo and Richard Phillips, I am a product of Springfield City Schools and I have a 21 year old bonus son, Kirk T. Sr., a 14 year old bonus daughter Alanna and a grandson who recently turned 1, Kirk T. Jr (Baby Kirk)! I have been endorsed by The Matriots of Ohio and the Clark County Democratic Party.