There are two new candidates running for 3rd Ward councilperson, Republican Debbie Scott and Democrat Stephen Thomas. The 3rd Ward includes such areas as North Hills, Rathbone, the fairgrounds, Front Street to Sacra Via, Marietta Memorial Hospital area and 9th and 10th streets to Washington. To follow are the answers to questions posed to the candidates by the Marietta/Washington County League of Women Voters.
Question: Give some biographical information and your philosophy on being 3rd Ward councilperson.
Stephen Thomas: "As a resident of the city of Marietta for 12 years, I have become an active volunteer in several civic service organizations, such as the Noon Lions Club and the Riverfront Roar committee, that work to not only improve the city's tourism, but also the quality of life for its citizens. As the 3rd Ward councilman I would be available as a liaison for residents in order to communicate their needs and problems to the city of Marietta. I would work to help find solutions for both small and large problems that are brought to my attention."
Debbie Scott: "I have lived in Marietta since 1970 when we moved here from New Jersey. I went to Marietta High School and have worked for over 30 years in customer service and marketing with the same company. My sons were born and raised here and went to Marietta City schools. Marietta needs strong, responsible leadership. Most of us are experiencing difficulties due to the current economy. We must work together for the city of Marietta and everyone living here. There will be tough decisions ahead, and we must be ready for these challenges."
Question: Should the city of Marietta find a way to improve the storm runoff on Rathbone? Who should pay the bill?
Debbie Scott: "A huge concern for a small group of homeowners in the Rathbone area. The storm runoff has always been a problem that the existing drainage system cannot handle. City officials should be involved in finding the best solution for this situation so it can be resolved.
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.
The city of Marietta cannot afford to pay for this entire project, nor can the residents of the affected area. The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy Foundation could be approached about covering a portion of the cost, since they are collecting taxes from property owners locally. Another option could be to seek additional funds through grants."
Stephen Thomas: "We need an answer for the Rathbone storm water run-off problem that is satisfactory to the residents living there and the rest of the city. I would suggest that we start first with the northern corridor as a project that would cost under $100,000, and can be paid for using the Watershed Grant."
Question: Marietta Memorial Hospital has asked for a Medical Zone Classification. What does that mean and what impact could it have on the city?
Stephen Thomas: "Marietta Memorial Hospital would be able to start projects quicker with the requested medical zone classification because it would bypass seeking permission from the city zoning commission. While this makes jobs available sooner, the zoning would need restrictions applied to it through public forums."
Debbie Scott: They wouldn't have to go through the usual permit and/or variance process every time they wanted to make an improvement to their property. They would continue to expand and hopefully, create more jobs. The city would not receive any permitting fees. A fair, sensible process should be in place for all citizens/companies wanting to make improvements to their properties."
Question: A bill or project you would author and/or support during your term as councilmember and why:
Debbie Scott: "We need to promote economic growth in our area. We already have two excellent colleges located right here. We must do what we can to encourage people to stay in Marietta, and to bring business here to create opportunities for future employment."
Stephen Thomas: "My project as a council member is to update the city water and sewer so less time and money is used on repairs. This would not only improve the quality of life for residents but would increase property values, and lower the city budget."
The Marietta/Washington County League of Women Voters hopes this information will help begin your research of the candidates for Third Ward City Councilperson. In getting ready for election day, Nov. 8, check to be sure you are registered to vote. The last day to register is Oct. 11. Also, call the Board of Elections, (740) 374-6828 or look on the website, www.electionsonthe.net/oh/washington to find your polling location. Get ready, get set, vote!
Article submitted by Betsy Cook, a member of the Marietta/Washington County League of Women Voters.