BEAVERCREEK — Beavercreek residents will choose from six candidates when they vote on four seats on Beavercreek City Council in next month’s general election. They will fill four open seats.
In the process of choosing from the candidates, voters will also select Beavercreek’s mayor. Under the city’s charter, the council candidate receiving the highest number of votes in the November election in an odd-numbered year will be the mayor and will serve in that role for the first two years of their four-year term. The candidate receiving the second-highest number of votes will be the city’s vice mayor for the same two-year term.
The newly elected council members will begin their terms Jan. 1, 2016.
Harold Lewis has served on two Beavercreek Charter Review Commissions, the Beavercreek Board of Zoning Appeals and the Tax Incentive Funding Review Board, among other roles.
“Granted, I have never held an elected office, but I feel my broad experience on boards and commissions offers great insight into how the city operates,” he wrote. “I definitely am not a career politician and have no plans or ambitions beyond this seat.”
According to Lewis, city council should look deeper at routine expenditures, travel, supplies, salary increases and other expenses.
“Council has to do a better job defending any request for taxes by providing more specifics of end use and time frame,” he wrote. “This community deserves elected officials who sincerely want to support this whole community and not just special interest groups or segment of the population. We need at least one council member who will be critical of council actions when appropriate.”
Melissa Litteral is a current member of Beavercreek City Council and is the director of adult probation for the Greene County Common Pleas Court.
“As a current council member seeking re-election, I am proud of the work that I have accomplished with my fellow council members,” she wrote. “We have faced tough economic times, a loss of over 2 million dollars from the local government funds and the elimination of the estate tax. While facing these challenges, the city budget was balanced by being fiscally conservative, the bond rating was maintained and we received the State Auditor’s Award of Distinction for sound financial practices.”
Litteral pointed to decreases in funding for the city as the most important issue facing the city.
“Our city is aging and we have infrastructure issues that must be addressed,” she wrote. “We will need to work together to meet these challenges. We will meet this challenge by collaborating with other entities and continue to share services with Beavercreek Township.”
Ryan Rushing is a Beavercreek High School graduate, attended Wright State University and is the chairman of the Beavercreek Board of Zoning Appeals.
Rushing calls himself a “fresh perspective” for council: “My experiences working and serving with partners of all levels of government and in the community has given me the insight and passion to work towards moving Beavercreek forward,” he wrote. “I understand the proper role of a council member: provide oversight; have a vision; hold the fiduciary responsibility for the citizens of Beavercreek; and, as I put it, serve as an advocate and as an ambassador for the community.”
Rushing has proposed a “process committee” that would review and evaluate city departments to look for redundancies and unneeded practices.
“The land development and growth of Beavercreek is also an important issue moving forward,” he wrote. “Beavercreek must further economic development, but balance this with the desires of the community and smart growth.”
According to Bob Stone, he has served in several local government capacities, including on the city’s board of zoning appeals, as a township trustee and as a city council member.
“The City and Township relationship will be under scrutiny over the next several years to consider unification or at least increased shared services,” he wrote. “As the only candidate to have held both the City and Township elected position I can bring a unique perspective to the table.”
Services funding and business community redevelopment will be priorities for Stone.
“Issues most concerning to the citizens [change] from time to time and so do solutions, so it is important to listen to the citizens and be ready to take advantage of solutions that surface either privately or with help from other levels of government,” Stone wrote.
Zach Upton is a current Beavercreek City Council member and has served on the city’s board of zoning appeals and on the city’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee.
“Having served one term on council, I have the experience of working with city staff to accomplish our goals,” he wrote. “Working through the tough issues we’ve had, has given me the necessary skill set to work with my colleagues on council to come to the best decisions and set forth the best policies for our city.”
Upton pointed to finding a new city manager at the end of 2016 as a major issue that council will have to address.
“… Finding the right person to fill this role will be a crucial decision as the city manager leads the day to day activity of the city,” Upton wrote. “Myself and the current Council have put together a plan and strategy for the transition by working with the current city manager and department heads. Should I be elected to a second term, I will work to see those plans through and hire the best person we can for the job.”
According to Vann’s campaign website, she has completed terms as mayor of Beavercreek and as a city council member twice and has served in several local boards and groups.
“The next five years will be critical in defining the city’s services and level of services,” she wrote. “Together the City Council, staff, and citizens, should complete a comprehensive plan to re-establish a vision of what the City of Beavercreek will be in 2035.”
According to Vann, the city is at a cross-roads and residents need to decide what level of services they want for their community through a strategic financial plan.
“I have experience implementing this type of project,” she wrote. “Engaging residents is crucial. Beavercreek has a budget crisis. I am committed to a sustainable future for Beavercreek.”
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.