In our choices for city ward candidates, one common theme emerges: Community involvement.
Candidates Roger Kalter, Randy Wilson and Steve Thomas have worked tirelessly for residents of this community for decades, and as such, we think they deserve your vote on Tuesday.
In the 1st Ward, Kalter is challenger to incumbent David White. We like Kalter's resourcefulness and he isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. For example, White acknowledges many of the streets and sidewalks in the 1st Ward are deteriorating and he has said he will work to secure additional grant funding to help pay for some repairs. But Kalter goes even further, and recently helped to re-energize Walk Marietta, a citizen effort to walk the 900 blocks of sidewalks in the city in order to document their condition. We know Kalter to always put people first, and go out of his way to involve citizens and especially youth in a variety of community projects. His enthusiasm for helping others is contagious, and we think he would be a welcome addition to Marietta City Council.
In the 2nd Ward, Randy Wilson is running against longtime council member Mike McCauley. McCauley has been on council six years. While Wilson previously sat on council for a short time, we'd like to see a relatively new face bring new ideas to the table. We think Wilson, who has thrown his time and energy behind many a community project, will re-ignite a much needed spark on council to get more of the community interested and involved in city government. Wilson also wants to see council step up to better market Marietta, something he has experience with through his work with ReStore Marietta. Council and ReStore should work together, he says, in order to draw in new people and businesses, something vitally important if the city is to increase its tax base.
In the 3rd Ward, Steve Thomas is running against Debbie Scott. Neither has held public office before, but again, we think Thomas' involvement in a multitude of community programs makes him the best choice here. Thomas is well known for his work with groups in the community who don't always have a voice of their own. Through Thomas, the residents of his ward and others will have a true advocate working hard for them. In addition, Thomas has talked about working to attract businesses to his ward; working within the system to help existing businesses, such as a zoning change for Marietta Memorial Hospital; and working to secure grants for needed projects, such as the Rathbone drainage problem.
Fourth Ward councilman Tom Vukovic is unopposed.
It's a new time for city government and a time for new faces and new ideas. Kalter, Wilson and Thomas have shown by example how to work for the community on a day to day basis. We want to see them continue that work in an official capacity - as Marietta City councilmen.