Along with the mayor race, a pair of Heath City Council races also are up for grabs.

Along with the mayor race, a pair of Heath City Council races also are up for grabs.

Brad Beck of Fieldson Drive and Brian Johnson of Livingston Court are seeking the ward 1 seat being vacated by Jim Watercutter.

Beck ran for council once but was defeated by Watercutter. He said he is running again because he questions some of council's decisions.

"I think I can turn things around and make a difference," Beck said.

A firefighter for 33 years, Beck now trains firefighters for the Ohio Fire Academy. He said he agrees that safety is important but questions the city's ability to install traffic cameras without going to bid. He said no bid was required because the city didn't pay for the cameras. He said he does not think the $100 fine is excessive but added that the cameras are not supposed to take a photo of a vehicle until it has exceeded the speed limit by 10 miles per hour.

Beck said he also is concerned that the city did not anticipate the amount of revenue the camera violations would generate and that city officials have not planned for how to spend the money.

Safety forces are what he terms part of the government essentials, along with road construction and water and sewer service. He said those should be funded first, and he's concerned that the city's safety forces are running at minimum staff levels.

"I'd like to bring common sense and logic to government," he said.

Johnson said he is entering politics for the first time. He has lived in the city for 15 years and works for Enviro Kleen.

"I'm running for this position because I care about the future of the city of Heath," he said. "City council provides me an opportunity for input on the direction our city progresses."

Johnson said Heath officials should watch the economy in the same way that other municipalities, states, businesses and taxpayers must.

"I believe that spending taxpayer dollars should be done in a manner that is fair and equitable to both the city and taxpayers," he said.

Regarding the traffic cameras, Johnson said he was not sure of his opinion at first but now is pleased to experience driving on state Route 79 since the cameras were installed.

"If you travel at the posted speed limit, traffic will flow without major gridlock; the lights are timed to allow for such," he said. "I have also kept up on the statistics since the cameras have been in place. The speed violations are down 75 percent and the red-light violations are down 27 percent. I feel the cameras were a good idea."

Richard Morrow is running unopposed for the ward 2 seat.

Doug Heffley of Linnville Road is challenging council president Jeff Crabill in ward 3.

Crabill is completing his second term on council.

"I want to run for re-election because I enjoy public service and being a public servant in the community I have called home for over 45 years," Crabill said. "I have 24 years of public service, 16 as a private citizen and eight as an elected official, to the citizens of Heath. I believe my experience and knowledge of Heath municipal government makes me the most qualified and best candidate for the position."

He said he intends to work for expansion of economic development, cooperating with the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority, private developers and existing businesses.

"Completion of a water-tower project in Heath's west-side industrial corridor will double the water pressure to attract future industrial development," he said.

He said he also would like to continue working for the safety improvements on Hebron Road (state Route 79) and other key intersections and streets while continuing an aggressive street-paving program.

Crabill said he, too, stands by his decision to install cameras.

"They are accomplishing exactly what we set out to improve in the spring of 2008," he said.

He said during safety-committee meetings in 2008 that city officials had discussed the busy streets and overworked police.

"The police chief (Tony Shepherd) recommended implementation of the cameras, allowing his police force to focus on more felonious criminal activity in the city," Crabill said. "There is no question the traffic patterns on state Route 79 and 30th Street have improved, with lower average speeds and more cautious driving habits, creating a safer driving environment."

Heffley has lived in Heath for 19 years and is retired from ArvinMeritor.

"Heath needs a new voice on city council, and I want to be that voice," he said.

Heffley said he's not afraid to speak up and that he would represent the people in his ward. He said that in 19 years, no candidate for any office has knocked on his door. Since his campaign began, he said, he has knocked on 1,000 doors in his ward.

"I want people to know me and I want them to know I'll speak up," he said.

He, too, thinks economic development is an issue. He said he would like to see the city seek smaller companies along with large companies, even providing 50 to 100 jobs at a time.

He also is concerned about the traffic cameras, he said, because he doesn't believe council elicited enough public opinion before making the decision.