Three Democrats and three Republicans are seeking election Nov. 7 to three at-large seats on Reynoldsburg City Council.
The candidates include two incumbents, Barth Cotner and Chris Long, both Republicans, along with Republican Aaron DeLong and Democrats Stacie A. Baker, Kristin J. Bryant and Kelly S. Cruse.
Independent Courtney N. Martin withdrew from the race. Franklin County Board of Elections spokesman Aaron Sellers said Monday, Oct. 16. it's too late to remove Martin's name from the ballot so any votes she receives will not be counted.
Responses to questions posed by ThisWeek Reynoldsburg News from DeLong and Long are below. Responses from Baker, Bryant, Cotner and Cruse were printed in the Oct. 12 edition.
Why are you running for office?
DeLong: I've lived in the Reynoldsburg area for most of my life. I own a home here and have raised my children here. Over the years, I've served the city by coaching sports teams, starting the Watch D.O.G.S. program at Baldwin Road Junior High School, volunteering at and being a board member of the HEART Food Pantry and I currently lead a church that serves the community in many ways. I love this city and being on council is one more way to serve it.
Long: As a lifelong resident of Reynoldsburg, I was raised in the neighborhood of Brookside and graduated from Reynoldsburg High School. Reynoldsburg isn't just a city to me, it's my home. The people aren't just citizens to me, they are my friends and family. As your councilman, I have worked diligently in the area of public safety. My No. 1 goal is to keep our families and businesses safe.
Identify the top 2 issues facing the city of Reynoldsburg, in 2018 and explain how you would deal with them.
DeLong: My top two priorities are public safety and community development. The passage of Issue 11 has helped financing for both priorities, but public safety and community development doesn't stop at the hiring of new police officers and building a community center. We should continue improving our crime-fighting technology and force, create a plan to repair our roadways, continue developing small-business growth -- especially in the downtown corridor - and focus on adding more parking and improving our traffic flow to accommodate our growth.
Long: Public safety. There is no greater responsibility I have than providing for the safety of our citizens and our city's businesses. I will continue to work hard as chairman of Reynoldsburg City Council's safety committee to strengthen and enhance our city's safety services. Prior to the passage of Issue 11, I pledged to the voters that when passed, I would introduce legislation increasing the staffing level of sworn officers in the Reynoldsburg Police Department. The legislation was passed in June, increasing the staffing level by 12 officers. Safe neighborhoods are a stable and conducive environment for growth.
These new positions can be used for standard patrol, community outreach and business resource and school resource efforts.
Economic development. We must put the effort into an effective economic development plan, doing what we can to help existing businesses grow, adding good-paying jobs and attracting new businesses to Reynoldsburg. A shift from repurposing to redevelopment must happen. Transforming our old, outdated properties into modern, mixed-use (office, retail and restaurant) destination facilities. Effective skills-training programs need to be developed by partnering with trade/technical/vocational organizations to make Reynoldsburg a job-ready city, providing a skilled workforce for new businesses.