When the campaign noise dies down, the voters will speak

When the campaign noise dies down, the voters will speak

Citizens have been bombarded with appeals to vote for this candidate or that cause. On Nov. 8, the voters will respond.

It’s voting time again and a whole heap of issues and candidates will confront Kettering voters on Nov. 8. From a local bar wanting an alcohol license all the way to State Constitution amendments, this Election Day will provide voters with a chance to make their voices heard regarding a number of important issues and races.

The Flyer decided to give its readers an overview of some of the key decisions that will face Fairmont seniors voting for the first time.

State issues

Ohio voters will decide three major issues on the ballot in November, and Issue 2 is the one everybody’s talking about.

Issue 2 is a referendum of Ohio Senate Bill 5, which ends collective bargaining for Ohio state employees. “Issue 2 affects some 380,000 people who are teachers, firefighters, etc.” said AP Government teacher Scott Byer.

The debate has been hot for over a year now. “Both sides have spent millions of dollars,” said Byer. “We are Ohio” is a group that opposes Issue 2, while “Building a Better Ohio” supports the issue.

“A ‘no’ vote means you want to repeal SB5,” explained Linda Bergman, chair of the Social Studies Department.

Issue 3 is another big conservative push. It’s basically an attempt to make President Barack Obama’s health care plan illegal. “It prohibits law that require Ohio residents to purchase health care insurance,” said Bergman. It would keep the government from forcing, directly or indirectly, any person, employer or health-care provider to participate in a health care system. The “Ohio Project” is a group that has been pushing for this amendment.

Issue 1 proposes adding an amendment to Ohio’s Constitution. “If passed, this amendment would increase the maximum age for assuming elected or appointed judicial office from 70 to 75,” said Bergman. Issue 1 also calls for the repeal of Sections 19 and 22 to Ohio’s Constitution. This would take away the General Assembly’s authority to establish courts of conciliation and eliminate the governor’s authority to appoint members to a Supreme Court Commission.

Kettering issues

Kettering also has a few issues of its own. Issue 12 is a Kettering City Schools renewal levy. “It’s a $6 million permanent improvement levy for upkeep and maintenance,” Bergman said. This includes things such as purchasing buses, new roofs, HVAC systems, tile floors, new desks where needed, computers, and other items. Because it is a renewal levy, passage will not raise property owners’ taxes.

One smaller issue is in Precinct 2-A of Kettering. Issue 29 would give Crawdaddy’s, a bar located at 3705 Wilmington Pike, a liquor license so it can sell alcohol on Sundays.

School Board candidates

In Kettering, a number of people want to take down incumbents. The Kettering Board of Education has two positions open and four people trying to get in. Lori Simms and James Trent are the two incumbents.  Simms has been on the board for seven years. She is the mother of six children, all of whom attend or have attended Kettering schools. She has served on many committees within different schools, such as the Way and Means Committee at Southdale and the Teacher Appreciation Committee at Van Buren.

Trent has been on the board for 12 years. He’s been a teacher, principal, director of elementary education, assistant superintendent and superintendent. He retired from the superintendent position in 1991. Trent is a member of the Chester A. Roush Educational Hall of Fame.

Frank Spolrich and Jim Ambrose are running against them. Spolrich is a former City Council member and was the principal of Fairmont in the 1980s. He also is the grandfather of Fairmont senior Justin Kihn. Jim Ambrose is an acting judge of the Kettering Municipal Court.  He has 36 years of private law practice and has coached numerous youth and junior high football teams.

Kettering City Council

Although current City Council member Tony Klepacz is running unopposed for re-election in District 3, Kettering residents are seeing a lot of other tough battles this fall. According to a story in the Dayton Daily News, three of the challengers seeking a seat at the table have affiliations with the Tea Party; they are Rob Scott, Mike Brandt and Lisa Crosley.

District 1 features a three-way race for the spot of retiring council member Keith Thompson. David Brown, Rob Scott and Nolan Thomas are all vying for this position.

Brown says on his website that he is a concerned citizen and doesn’t want to be a career politician. He says he simply wants to make a difference in his community.

Scott is the founder of the Dayton-area Tea Party and a fourth-generation Kettering resident. He’s a partner at the law firm Oldham & Deitering, focusing on representing small businesses. Scott, a Fairmont graduate and former Flyer staff member, has the endorsement of current council member Ashley Webb.

Thomas is a prosecuting attorney currently assigned to adult felony cases before the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. He has the endorsement of current Mayor Don Patterson.

District 2 features another tough battle. Joseph Wanamaker, the incumbent, has served on the council for eight years. He’s served as vice mayor and on many committees, including the Intergovernmental/Interagency Relations Committee and the Public Service Committee. He also helped create multiple programs such as the Recycling Program and the Leaf Pickup Program.

His opponent is newcomer Mike Brandt. Brandt told The Flyer he believes in what the Tea Party stands for and has attended Tea Party meetings. He was in the Air Force for 21 years and retired as a lieutenant colonel; he currently is in the Air Force Reserves. He also was employed by Electronic Data Systems (EDS), a company started by Ross Perot in 1962 and now part of Hewlett-Packard. Brandt is the father of Fairmont sophomore Alex Brandt.

A closer look at District 4

Kettering’s final bout is in District 4. This contest features a Kettering icon vs. the new challenger. Bruce Duke is the incumbent and Lisa Crosley is the opponent. The Flyer takes a closer look at this battle.

Duke has served on Kettering City Council for 25 years. He ran for mayor in 2005 against current Mayor Don Patterson. Duke has served as vice mayor in years past and has a Ph.D in counseling from The Ohio State University. He retired from being the assistant director for the Counseling Center for the University of Dayton.

In an interview with The Flyer, Duke discussed his accomplishments as a council member. “I helped with the building of the Fraze Pavilion and some of the art projects around the city,” said Duke. “One of the things I’m most proud is founding the Kettering Leadership Academy.”

The KLA is a nine-month program that teaches local citizens about the community. Typically graduates serve on local boards for non-profit organizations. One group of graduates founded the Kettering Backpack Program, a non-profit group that Fairmont supported through Spirit Chain the past two years. The KLA also has a spin-off called the Kettering Youth Leadership Academy, which helps students in grades 6-12 learn more about how the City of Kettering operates.

Duke cites other accomplishments. “I helped found the Kettering Incentive Program to help local small businesses,” he said. This program allows businesses to come to the council for assistance so they can expand or rehabilitate their facilities.

Crosley, who is looking to unseat Duke, has taught pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, grades 2 and 3, and high school speech, English, American History, and American government. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Sinclair Community College, teaching public speaking and interpersonal communication. Crosley raised all of her kids in Kettering and now owns a local heating and cooling company.

The Flyer made several attempts to interview Crosley for this story, but she did not answer her phone and her voicemail box was full. As a result, all information presented here comes from her website.

Crosley said she chose to run for council when she saw Duke was running unopposed as a 25-year incumbent. This struck her as “distinctly un-American.” Her campaign slogan is a quote by Charles F. Kettering: “You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.”

Crosley believes government on all levels is too big. “We must look at practical ways to cut the cost of the government and harness the power of the private sector,” she said. She also believes small businesses are the key to a good job market. “We must renew efforts to grow our city’s small business presence in order to expand our tax base and provide real job growth.”

Finally, Crosley says government needs to cut its cost so taxpayers don’t carry the burden. “City government must conduct itself more like a business and less like a political organization.”

It’ll soon be up to the voters

Those are some of the major decisions facing Kettering voters on Nov. 8. Depending on the outcome, Kettering could see a major shift in the faces it sees in the government and a rejection of some big-time Ohio legislation.

This fall’s election doesn’t feature a big national race, but it’s still an important one. Soon, it will be time for the voters to speak their minds – at the ballot box.

Check out these resources on the election, the issues and the candidates:

Secretary of State Elections and Voting Resources

Dayton Daily News, 11/7/2011: Issue 2 to shape 2012 election

Dayton Daily News, 10/13/2011: Kettering school board candidates address pressing needs of district