North Olmsted City Council candidates Duane Limpert, Sid King and Tim Smith were asked identical questions concerning the job for which they are running.
1. Since the North Olmsted at large positions do not represent wards, how do you go about expressing your views about working on city issues and legislation? 2. How do you see your role when it comes to working with the rest of council? The administration and the public? 3. During the past several administrations, there have been criticisms of City Council for either being too contentious and argumentative with the mayor or too much of a rubber stamp for a mayor and administration. How do you see council’s role in dealing with mayors and their administrations, and how do you facilitate that as an at large representative? 4. What do you see as the major issues in the city of North Olmsted and how do you as a councilman at large go about dealing with them? 5. Are there any changes that you would like to see in the responsibilities and powers of the council members? If so, what are they and how do you enact them?
1.The Council at Large positions are elected by the entire city with the expectation to vote on legislation according to how it affects all residents of North Olmsted. Council at Large is also a second line of support to the residents after their ward councilman. I believe that as a council at large member of council, I should be taking a strategic view across the city and make sure that from a finance, safety, services, and business development standpoint, North Olmsted is spending the fees and tax dollars it collects for the long term benefits of the entire City.
2. Within council, all councilman outside the president of council perform the same functions. We lead and serve on boards and committees. We are peers. As peers we should collaborate to create the best policies and decisions possible. We should agree or disagree with issues on their merits and not the member promoting the idea. The public elects us. We need to hear and represent their voice and we must be trusted stewards of the City to ensure not only short term needs are met, but also enable long term growth of the City.
3. You are right that there has been too much of each extreme. There is a clear difference between Council and the Administration. Each must respect the role of the other. I believe I will work well with either Kennedy or O’Grady Administration. I have worked very hard to remain independent of both campaigns. For some who have tied themselves too closely with either campaign, it will be difficult to serve the community as their top priority.
4. I see North Olmsted’s housing stock as a major long term issue that should not be ignored. As a councilman, I will work the Mayor’s administration to ensure that the City’s strategic plan is tracked and supported by council to maintain the city’s value and viability. With my training from West Point, the US Army, the MBA I received from The Ohio State University as well as the experience as a consultant and project manager I will bring a unique skill set to the Council to help them work with the City’s Administration to develop programs and ordinances that will keep North Olmsted vibrant for decades to come.
5. I believe there needs to be clarity of roles between ward and council at large members. This clarity to enact that change can be obtained by collaborating with other council members the administration and with the residents. The key is to find the most effective operating model and enact it through Charter, Ordinance or Rules of Council if warranted.