Xenia voters to elect four city council members


XENIA — There are four open seats in the Xenia city council race, with five candidates running for election.

Incumbents Thomas Scrivens and Wesley Smith are seeking to retain their seats while James Crawford, Ethan Reynolds, and Faith Ann Sorice are seeking to become first-time council members.

Scrivens said he wants to finish the job he started in 2018.

“It takes more than four years to get an agenda accomplished,” said Scrivens. “The things I want to see are mostly long-term.”

Something Scrivens said he has been and wants to continue working on is getting Xenia another fire station. With the growth Xenia has experienced, Scrivens said one fire station has been under a lot of stress in recent months.

Another job Scrivens wants to complete is to take care of the roadways, which he claims to have already color-coded based on priority.

“We took a look at every street,” said Scrivens. “Obviously, we need to have an in-depth street re-servicing program.”

Scrivens said his prior experience on the council and other organizations, including the charter review commission, has “without a doubt” prepared him for another term on the council.

“I’ve followed the development of the Xenia city charter for the last 34 years,” he said. “And one of my greatest accomplishments I think in my first term in council was the establishment of council rules.”

Scrivens said there is a long road ahead in re-purposing Xenia’s towne square into a market district, but he’s optimistic with the brisk pace the city has taken to getting it up and running. Scrivens said he hopes to keep building into the town square with a hotel, shopping centers, and more restaurants in the future.

“I would like the citizens of Xenia to know that there is a larger ‘we’ in the city of Xenia,” said Scrivens. “Xenia is someplace special.”

Smith is seeking re-election to continue his years of representing the city. Some changes Smith outlined should he be re-elected include increasing resource officers at Xenia schools, and requesting more funds from the state level.

“City staff and officials are doing the best job possible with the high cost of goods and inflation,” said Smith. “We hope to see more local government funds awarded to Xenia from the state level.”

Smith also mentioned support of the Xenia Towne Square project and hopes to see it completed over the next few years along with a residential street program.

According to Smith, the police, fire and EMS staffing is one of the most pressing issues facing Xenia right now, responding to “record numbers of calls” this year compared to years prior.

“As a community we need to look at the possibility of an additional fire station in the south district of our town,” he said. “I will continue to represent the citizens of Xenia in a courteous and professional manner and work with our partners in the school and county. We want to make Xenia the best community we can be that attract families and business.”

Crawford is seeking election to serve in what he claims is a similar position as what he’s done for years.

“I have a business downtown and I’m really involved in the market,” he said. “I’m always representing our community and how it is by-and-large, so it’s a pretty good fit for me.”

Crawford works in realty in downtown Xenia, and said he is used to acting as an ambassador to out-of-state investors looking into what Xenia is like and where it’s going.

According to Crawford, some of the most pressing concerns he hopes to address are related to the unbalanced growth within the city, and a struggle to maintain graduates due to housing. Crawford also expressed interest in building another fire station and improving roadways as the city expands to create a safer environment for everyone.

Xenia’s east side is one of Crawford’s primary concerns, and he said he wants to get the whole city moving together to bring more homes to all parts of the city.

“There’s a win-win when all of us are moving forward,” he said. “We have some residences on the east side of town that is opportunistic.”

Overall, Crawford said his main concerns for the city are safety and habitability.

“We’re in for some exciting times for our community,” he said. “Through cooperation and unity, we can get things solved.”

Reynolds said he is running as a Xenia local with vested interest for his children and family.

“I really care about infrastructure, I care about public safety, and I care about making sure we remain fiscally solvent,” said Reynolds.

According to Reynolds, the key to being a successful councilman and teammate is to invest what he calls the three T’s: Time, talent, and treasure.

“I definitely think I have a talent to bring people together and work with folks,” he said. “To represent those three things that I care for.”

Should he be elected, Reynolds said his first priority would be to go over how Xenia is spending its money and where it can save. Reynolds also wants to sit down with the city manager and invest in key areas for the cities benefit, namely, public safety and roadways.

“I want to identify and work with ways to save money,” said Reynolds, bringing up the possibility of buying asphalt for roads in bulk. “I also want to work with the city manager and figure out what tools they need and start investing in those tools.”

Reynolds said he has several ideas, but changes in government take time and collaboration. Still, Reynolds said he recognizes the public’s concern for Xenia’s infrastructure, and hopes to get them on track to continue the city’s recent growth, specifically by improving the roadways city-wide.

“We need to figure out a way to reconfigure the situation,” he said. “[Roadways] are what make a city thrive.”

Faith Sorice is an educator for the Greene County Career Center in Xenia.

“As a nurse and teacher, I believe I have the skill set and experience to address some of the needs of our citizens that are in need of mental health and addiction services,” said Sorice. “I have also served as a council member for a term and temporarily as mayor in Warren County which would allow a smooth transition between roles if so selected by the people.”

Sorice said that while there are no immediate changes she wishes to make should she be elected, she will look into which roads are scheduled to be paved next and the annexation plan for Central State University, which has requested becoming a part of the City of Xenia.

Sorice outlined five main concerns for Xenia moving forward. They are to address funding for street improvement, explore options for homelessness and unemployment, assist in bringing the proposed Xenia Towne Square plan to fruition, supporting the Capital Improvement Plan as it relates to allocating resources for the implementation of city projects, and acting as a fiduciary to protect the future of Xenia.

Sorice said she is already addressing some of these concerns as part of her work for the Planning Commission, a volunteer position she’s held for six years.

“We have recently approved new homes to meet the demand for housing generated by regional employment growth,” she said. “Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the new Honda-LG EV battery plant are poised to provide multiple employment opportunities.”

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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