The voters of Marietta have an opportunity to elect three Council-at-Large members of City Council from a field of six candidates. Council-at-Large members represent the entire city, not just a single ward. Among the candidates, there are incumbents, former officials and new faces. Read on to see who will best represent you on city council.
Question: Share a short biography and your philosophy on being a council member at-large.
Denver Abicht: "I am 58 years of age and have lived all of my life in Marietta. I've been a member of Painters Local Union 93 for 34 years. I was appointed to serve as Marietta City Councilman-at-Large earlier this year to fill the seat of former Councilwoman Kathy Shively. My philosophy on being a council member at-large is first being reliable, second being responsible and third always being on the job, responding quickly to requests and finding an answer or solution."
Michael Boersma: "I'm 21 years old and have lived in Marietta all my life. I decided to run for council at-large because I feel the youth and young adults of our city are being neglected during much of the decision making process. As a member of council I plan to see that when projects are being discussed the interests of all age groups are taken into consideration."
Dianne Crandall: "I was born and raised in Washington County and attended Marietta City Schools. Thirty-seven years ago I married and moved into town, raised four children, had a Child Care business for 20 years, and worked 13 years at the Washington County Public Library. I believe less government is better government. Currently there are 12 ordinances concerning business signs in Marietta. Most laws should have a sunset provision that would have them expire after a set amount of time."
Glen McCabe: "I am 52 years old, married and a long-term resident of Marietta. A small business owner, I have had a construction company for 16 years. As a council member at-large, my job is to look out for the needs of the entire city. I'll work with the ward council members to make sure they're up to speed on individual issues affecting their areas, but will take a serious approach to solving long term problems. I will hope to bring in a spirit of collaboration and coordination on council so that no area of the city feels neglected or left out."
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 November 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.
Michael Mullen: "I am life long Marietta resident and a graduate of Marietta High School and Marietta College. I have been a community leader for over 30 years, and have served as mayor, councilman and development director. I've always tried to have a common sense approach to government that strives to maintain quality services without increasing costs to our taxpaying citizens. By implementing consolidations, modernizing systems and increasing efficiency, we have averted the cuts in staff and services that many Ohio cities have had to make."
Harley Noland: "I m a 1970 graduate of Marietta High School, a 1974 graduate of Washington University School of Architecture and a two-year volunteer of the United States Peace Corps serving in the West Indies. Upon returning to Marietta in 1976 I began restoring historic structures, opened the Levee House Cafe and still today operate the Trolley Tours. I believe my role as councilman at-large is to listen to all citizen complaints and suggestions, to look for creative solutions to problems and act in a manner that will enhance the lives of the citizens of Marietta."
Question: How would you propose to balance the city budget with the recent elimination of the Estate Tax?
Michael Boersma: I am not sure how to balance the city's budget, but I believe we will be able to without banking on the deaths of our citizens.
Dianne Crandall: Marietta does not use the estate tax to balance the budget.
Glen McCabe: We shouldn't be counting on, or budgeting for money in the hopes that someone will die. I feel this is unfair to the heirs of the person and the threat of these taxes drives our citizens out of Marietta and out of Ohio.
Michael Mullen: The estate tax has never been a consistent revenue source. The health of the city general fund is directly connected to municipal income tax collections which fortunately (at the end of July 2011) is seven percent higher than same period last year.
Harley Noland: I believe the plight of the city's budget has to be addressed in two ways, with immediate and long-term actions. We will have to continue to find ways to provide services with less money. In the long term we must increase city revenues by increasing the number of tax paying citizens.
Denver Abicht: I will investigate proposals and check details on project expenses and current services we are providing before voting to spend tax dollars. I will use my skills as a manager of over 1,500 people to continue to support a spirit of cooperation among council members as we work to make the tough decisions to balance the city's budget.
To be continued in next Saturday's Marietta Times. Until then, keep reading, watching and listening to find the best Council At-Large candidates for you and Marietta.
Article submitted by Betsy Cook, a member of the Marietta/Washington County League of Women Voters.