2013 City Council Candidate Questionnaire

We contacted each candidate for City Council and requested they complete a brief questionnaire. Following, you will find the answers (of those who responded) separated by District. If you are unsure of which District you are in or where to vote, this map breaks Maple Heights down by districts and precincts and tells you the location of your polling place.


In one of the last questions, candidates were asked their position on the proposed tax levy for the City of Maple Heights which will be on the November 5th ballot. The proposed levy states:

An additional tax for the benefit of the City of Maple Heights for the purpose of payment of current expenses and general operations of the City at a rate not exceeding 6 mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to 60cents for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2013, first due in calendar year 2014.

As it gets closer to the general election, Maple Heights News will be doing an article on the levy for Maple Heights, as well as the levies for Cuyahoga County, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, and Metroparks District which will be on all Maple Heights residents ballots (in addition to the district City Councilperson, City Council President and Members of Board of Education).

Candidate Responses

Council President | District 1 | District 2 | District 3 | District 4 | District 5 | District 6 | District 7

City Council President:

Jackie Albers, Incumbent, Unopposed.
Did not respond

District 1:

Alex F. Adams (Incumbent)

 Annette Blackwell - Candidate for Council

Annette M. Blackwell

From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you are seeking? Representing the residents, voters of the City of Maple Heights,
Disrict 1, professionally,
enthusiastically and from a very fresh and optimistic perspective.
What expertise will you bring to the office?  Commercial property tax experience.
Fundraising. UH Cancer Center American Girl Annual Fashion Show.Project Management. MH City Schools’ Parent Academy Coordinator and 2012 School Renewal Levy Chairperson.
Have you read the city charter?  Yes
Why do you want to be involved in city government as an elected Official?  Professionally, I understand how property values affect the quality of life and building wealth; knowledgeable of business tax incentive
programs, Community Reinvestment Abatement and Enterprise Zones.
How are you involved in the Maple Heights community? 2-year Maple Heights City Schools’ Parent Academy Coordinator and 2012 School Renewal Levy Chairperson2011 City of Maple Heights Charter Review Committee Appointee,
Appointed by Mayor Jeff Lansky
What do you believe is Maple Heights’ greatest asset?  Affordable & Beautiful Homes, and its diversity and inclusion in practice.
What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing the City of Maple Heights?  Preserving quality neighborhoods; maintaining property values, cleanliness and safety
Tell us about your vision for Maple Heights and a few of the policies or practices you would like to see implemented.  Aggressive economic development; reduced vacancy in neighborhood
shopping centers and more free youth programs brought to the City
parks.
Your stance on the “City of Maple Heights Proposed Tax Levy (Additional)” issue:**  Support
Please explain your stance on the proposed tax levy.  The City is a business with rising expenses and an increase in the cost of doing business. I believe our current city government has been fiscally responsible and that the decision for the proposed tax levy
was well thought out and various financial scenarios were first
presented. Our City’s future depends on its citizens’ investments, financially and personally.
Campaign Website:
Campaign Facebook Page:

District 2:

Toni Jones, Incumbent, Unopposed.

Did not respond.

 

District 3:

Anthony Cefaratti, Incumbent, Unopposed.

Did not respond.

 

District 4:

Ron Jackson

Dee Dee Price

From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you are seeking?  Approval and track city budget. Write and vote on legislation. Look for ways to make the city better. Look into employee issues.
What expertise will you bring to the office?  As a owner of my own business and being employed in management for many years has help me understand how to work with people and solve
problems
Have you read the city charter?  Some parts.
Why do you want to be involved in city government as an elected official?  I feel I can contribute to the city by using what I have learned in business and prior city issues.
How are you involved in the Maple Heights community?  I was chairman of the cities Planning/Zoning Committee, organized a musical instrument drive for the schools which brought in 50 plus instruments, served as treasurer for the school board tax levy committee and named “Citizen of the Year in 2007”.
What do you believe is Maple Heights’ greatest asset?  All new schools with the latest in technology is a Big Plus for our city. Affordable housing. Close to highways and shopping.
What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing the City of Maple Heights?  To rebound from the housing problems that has effected the area. To find legitimate programs to rehab structurally sound houses instead of tearing them down.
Tell us about your vision for Maple Heights and a few of the policies or practices you would like to see implemented.  Search for businesses to relocate to Maple Hts. Hirer residents and contractors of the city. To limit any unnecessary overtime. Try to provide more services to our seniors and youth. To get our youth involved in positive recreation.
Your stance on the “City of Maple Heights Proposed Tax Levy (Additional)” issue:**  Undecided
Please explain your stance on the proposed tax levy.  Has every source of income been considered? Has every option to cut expenses been considered? Has the residence been informed of the cities budget issues to get there input? What would be the effect on
the average household? Only after these question are answered could anyone make a intelligent decision.
Campaign Website:
Campaign Facebook Page:

 

District 5:

Bill Brownlee - Candidate for Council

Bill Brownlee

Charlene Hayden

From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you are seeking? As part of the legislative body of our City, I would be expected to represent the needs of District 5 residents. I would do this by knowing and being available to my constituents and by introducing legislation that will protect their future.
What expertise will you bring to the office? *A wide range of experience that gives me a broad understanding of the issues that affect us.*The ability to listen to and appreciate others, even if we disagree.*A sincere desire to help our community.
Have you read the city charter? Yes
Why do you want to be involved in city government as an elected Official? First, I care about my home, Maple Heights. I want Maple to be a place we are proud to live in.Second, I believe that I am able to help our City. With the right leadership, we can overcome these issues and make the future bright again.
How are you involved in the Maple Heights community? *City Council meetings*Developing relationships with City leaders.*Connecting with congregations in Maple.*Founder and Editor of Maple Heights News.*Music in the Park, Historical Society events, etc.*Pick up trash around neighborhood.
What do you believe is Maple Heights’ greatest asset? Caring and devoted leaders and residents. Wisdom means little without the commitment to act. We have leaders in our City who really care. We have residents who love their City. All we need now is the hope and wisdom to take action.
What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing the City of Maple Heights? Open and clear communication. We need a safe environment in which ideas can thrive in City Hall. We need open dialogue between city government and residents. We need everyone on the same page, pulling together in the same direction.
Tell us about your vision for Maple Heights and a few of the policies or practices you would like to see implemented. Maple Heights needs a plan.A big portion of that plan will involve making the City more marketable to businesses. Therefore, I favor investing in a commission that will explore the best solutions to increase our marketability.Also, we must preserve Maple Heights as a homeowning City. Therefore, we must enact policies that will protect responsible homeowners. This would include streamlining and improving the reporting and processing of housing violations.
Your stance on the “City of Maple Heights Proposed Tax Levy (Additional)” issue:** Oppose
Please explain your stance on the proposed tax levy. As it stands right now, the City has a balanced budget for 2014. We will carry roughly $1.5 million in debt into next year, but that amount will not increase.Therefore, I believe that the proposed tax levy is premature. There are still other options on the table. Moreover, the City should have a clear plan in place before asking residents for more money.
Campaign Website: billbrownlee.org
Campaign Facebook Page: none

District 6:

Helen Brown

Richard Trojanski (Incumbent)

From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you are seeking? I believe a City Council member is the voice of the resident. I also believe they have duty to find ways to bring the community together so residents are proud of the city they reside in.
What expertise will you bring to the office? I have a natural ability to bring people together and build positive relationships. My background is Human Resources, therefore I can be a true asset to residents needing skills to help them find and land a new employment opportunities.
Have you read the city charter? Yes
Why do you want to be involved in city government as an elected Official? I care about Maple Heights. Our city isn’t the same as it was 10 nor 15 years ago. When the city changes we have to respond to change and find ways to keep residents in our city but also provide resources that meet their needs.
How are you involved in the Maple Heights community? no community involvement at this time other than attending city council meetings and sharing the information with my neighbors.
What do you believe is Maple Heights’ greatest asset? Having a Mayor that care about the direction of the city. Our city workers that respond to resident needs (Police & Fire)
What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing the City of Maple Heights? Foreclosures
Tell us about your vision for Maple Heights and a few of the policies or practices you would like to see implemented. no answer at this time
Your stance on the “City of Maple Heights Proposed Tax Levy(Additional)” issue:** Undecided
Please explain your stance on the proposed tax levy. undecided
Campaign Website:
Campaign Facebook Page:

 

District 7:

Edwina K. Agee

Walter D. Bizzell, Jr.

From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you are seeking?  The job description of a Council person is to advocate for the people of the community. To convene with fellow council persons on issues and matters of the residents to come to the best resolve.
What expertise will you bring to the office?  I have been involved in business management for over 25 years. I am familiar with tax codes and has been an advocacy for clients dealing directly with the IRS, State and Local income taxes.
Have you read the city charter?  Yes
Why do you want to be involved in city government as an elected official?  My primary reason for wanting to be involved with government is that it’s an opportunity to continue to work with other members of Council to further improve the city’s image.
How are you involved in the Maple Heights community?  Currently I am a member of the Civil Service Commission for the past four years. I have also been a part of the coaching team for our city’s young athletes.
What do you believe is Maple Heights’ greatest asset?  Our greatest asset is our improving school system and the pride that is steadily returning to the community in this area. Along with our city workers and law enforcement who have really increased their focus
on the city’s appearance.
What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing the City of Maple Heights?  The biggest challenge facing Maple Heights today is the need for more residents to step up to the plate by way of personal accountability and responsibility.
Tell us about your vision for Maple Heights and a few of the policies or practices you would like to see implemented.  My vision for Maple Heights is to bring our city to the level of a must see community. A policy that I would love to see implemented is a Home Maintenance Session for all new homeowners (renters or buyers)before the initial move in.
Your stance on the “City of Maple Heights Proposed Tax Levy (Additional)” issue:**  Support
Please explain your stance on the proposed tax levy.  I support the Tax Levy because it is necessary to provide a degree of service to our city. With the current debt that our city is facing..the amount being asked for will enable necessary and vital city services to continue. Our city has made huge strides and improvements in the past few years, and to cut it short in the midst will be devastating.
Campaign Website:
Campaign Facebook Page:

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