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. As an at-large councilman representing the entire city I try to make myself available to answer resident questions and publish my cell phone on my business card. To date I have received numerous calls from people all over the city with questions or concerns. I try to answer all calls as they come in and respond to them quickly. I also attend Council committee meetings to represent the residents’ interests at all times.
2. I always keep the lines of communication open to everyone. As a regular attendee of council meetings over the last 4-5 years, I have gotten to know each council member and members of the administration personally and have established a good working relationship with each of them since being appointed to council in June. I think we all work hard to keep the city on track and focus on constantly improving the services that the citizens receive.
3. I became interested in the city government during the previous administration. I observed what often appeared as a council and administration that weren’t on the same page. Four years ago, I ran for the office of mayor because I thought change was needed to bring about cooperation between the council and the administration. Since Mayor Kennedy took office, I see someone who is very straightforward as to what needs to be done and he and is able to communicate those needs with the council members. Whenever there are questions or concerns, they can be addressed in committee meetings, so it helps to eliminate arguments and can settle any differences. Since being appointed in June, I have actively participated in many council committee meetings where plans and ideas have been adjusted because of concerns that have been raised.
4. There are many issues facing North Olmsted, but I do see progress on most of them. Since becoming chairman of the Building, Zoning and Development committee, there have been several large projects approved that keep the economic growth moving forward, but, there is also a need to focus on keeping current businesses thriving and keeping people employed. We have a number of foreclosed/vacant homes as well as rental properties that can easily become problems and fall into disrepair. The city needs to continue inspections on these types of properties so they do not affect the surrounding neighborhoods and their property values. Many areas have faced flooding issues, so the city must continue to maintain our drainage and sewer systems. The new sewer vac trucks and new catch basin projects on Dover Center Road and near Clague Road have been a great step forward to alleviate these problems, many of which were caused by neglect of previous administrations.
5. I was a member of the Charter Review Commission, and we actually took a look at the powers and responsibilities of council. While some suggestions had merit, we felt that the Charter did a good job balancing power between the council and administration and any changes were unnecessary. Unless something specific arose, I would leave those types of changes to future Charter Review Commissions.