Marietta citizens in the 1st Ward will be choosing a council person on Election Day, Nov. 8. Incumbent David White, the Republican candidate, faces the Democratic challenger, Roger Kalter. Ward 1 includes such areas as Norwood, Pine Meadows, Glenwood, parts of Pike Street and Colegate and Evergreen area. The Marietta/Washington County League of Women Voters asked each candidate to respond to several questions.
Question: Tell us something about yourself and a philosophical statement about the job of 1st Ward councilman.
Roger Kalter: "As an honors Ohio University graduate and a 38-year resident of Marietta, I have repeatedly mobilized community members for projects such as The Incredible Community Playground, the River Trail multiuse path, Harvest of Hope gardens, Marietta Pedestrian Safety Committee and Music on the Levee.
As 1st Ward city council representative, I believe it is critical that residents of the city's largest and most diverse ward have a representative who listens to their concerns and issues and then provides a voice and advocates in their government for them."
David White: "I have been a lifelong resident of the Marietta area. At least seven generations of my family have chosen to call Marietta "home". I served in the U.S. Army, after which I have always worked in small, privately owned, businesses.
Local government should be more responsive to the "individual" than the state or federal government is, but it is very important to resist the inclination to overstep the boundaries of good governance. I believe government should involve itself as little as possible in people's lives and only if there is a compelling reason."
Q.: Norwood residents are concerned that their streets have not been maintained as well as other areas of the city. How would you address this concern?
David White: "City wide, we are not paving streets fast enough to satisfy residents universally. I am currently addressing this. We need more money in our streets fund and we need to use what we do have more efficiently. Streets Fund money is used for paving, pothole patching, salting and sanding, signage, guardrails, mowing and brush maintenance, leaf pickup, street sweeping, and storm drain maintenance. We have implemented numerous savings and efficiencies in the past three years, but ultimately we need to grow the economy of our city and thereby increase revenue."
Roger Kalter: "Residents of the 1st Ward are accurate in their complaints that streets and sidewalks are neglected. The city needs a realistic sweeping schedule that can be counted on by residents and merchants. Regular street cleaning is a money and environmental saver by removing hazards before they jam catch basins, damage asphalt and pollute our waterways. The city needs a systematic approach to repairs so streets such as Warner aren't neglected for decades. I will continue advocating for timely street repairs and sweeping."
Q.: American Cyanamid is still a toxic dump and residents feel it is coming out of the site and not contained. What can be done to make the area safe and stop it from continuing to pollute Duck Creek?
Roger Kalter: "The city must maintain regular communication with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, American Cyanamid and nearby residents to make sure that hazardous chemicals buried, burned and dumped over the decades are removed and properly disposed of rather than being "capped." Doing anything other than requiring the removal of hazardous materials simply leaves leaking pollutants in Duck Creek and problems for future generations.
David White: "The Cytec property on Greene Street is a toxic dump. I have and will continue to advocate for nothing short of removal and disposal of the toxic dump on the north side of that property. I will also continue to advocate for indemnification for any company wanting to locate on the "usable" portion of that property. I thank the many residents, property owners and concerned citizens who have helped us address this situation and keep it in the forefront with the EPA."
Q.: What bill or project you would author and/or support during your term and why.
David White: "I would like to implement a capital expenditure financing policy. We have no clear system for deciding how capital improvements will be financed."
Roger Kalter: "Many areas in Marietta's 900 city blocks are not walkable by many including those with disabilities. Broken, heaved, missing or non-existent sidewalks deserve attention."
The Marietta/Washington County League of Women Voters hopes this will assist you as you begin your research on the candidates and issues appearing on the ballot Nov. 8. A successful democracy depends on an educated electorate.
Article submitted by Betsy Cook, a member of the Marietta/Washington County League of Women Voters. The mission of the League of Women Voters is to "encourage informed and active participation in government, work to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influence public policy through education and advocacy." To achieve our mission, the Marietta/Washington County League of Women Voters is planning a column periodically to educate voters as they prepare to vote on Nov. 8. The information will be nonpartisan and cover a variety of topics. Please remember that the League of Women Voters is open to both men and women so if you are interested in joining, call Caroline Putnam at 373-4510.