Editor’s note: This is the first story to a two-part series highlighting the Greene County Tea Party’s Meet the Candidate’s event, hosted Oct. 17. The first story highlights Fairborn mayor and city council candidates, while the second story, slated to run Saturday, Oct. 21, highlights Bath Township trustee candidates.
FAIRBORN — Fairborn citizens will soon select a new mayor, decide who will have a seat on city council and who will speak as an elected official of Bath Township as a trustee. However, before they cast their votes on election day Tuesday, Nov. 7, the Greene County Tea Party offered locals the opportunity to meet the candidates.
Both candidates for mayor, as well as four candidates for city council and three candidates for Bath Township Trustee had the opportunity to address the crowd for five minutes at a time and answer questions provided by the audience. Although the race is uncontested, candidates for the Fairborn City Schools Board of Education, including Board President Andrew Wilson and incoming member Mary Reaster, also had the opportunity to speak.
The Greene County Tea Party also provided information concerning Issues 1 and 2.
There are two candidates vying for the Mayor of Fairborn.
Paul Keller (incumbent) is the current deputy mayor and highlighted the economic development growth spurt the city is experiencing including the addition of new businesses, construction of new homes, the importance of continuing blight removal and the benefit of welcoming a new city manager.
He said his concerns include bringing well paying jobs to the city in addition to getting a handle on the opiate epidemic. Keller said Fairborn has been working with the grassroots organization Fairborn Against Heroin, added a second school resource officer within Fairborn City Schools as well as a second K9 Unit to the Fairborn Police Department.
“I would rather tell you some success stories, what we have accomplished rather than stand up here and make a political promise about something,” Keller said. “We’ve got good actions going in Fairborn and I’d like your vote as mayor to keep this going.”
Ethan Long is a former assistant pastor in Fairborn and calls the city his hometown. He highlighted issues he would like to see addressed, such as improving Fairborn City School’s academics and safety, getting control of the opiate epidemic, reducing crime, bringing well paying jobs to the city and spending tax dollars differently.
He said he developed a “five-point plan” he said he created as he knocked on doors and talked to citizens this election season. He plans to work with the FCS Board of Education, the Fairborn Police Department, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, the local church community and Fairborn Against Heroin.
“I’ve met with many of you, I’ve knocked on your doors, I’ve heard you talk about the things you want to see happen and what I’m offering you as a candidate for mayor is change,” Long said. “Change to go in a new direction, a different direction.”
City council candidates
Four candidates are vying for three seats on Fairborn City Council.
Robert Hoffman (incumbent) has served as a Fairborn City Council member for the last four years and was initially brought to Fairborn because of his service to the United States Air Force. He highlighted what he and the current council members have managed to accomplish in order to best serve the city.
Hoffman said together, they were able to hire Rob Anderson as the new city manager, welcome new or expanded business and new employment opportunities to the community, take down blighted structures and see the construction to more than 300 new homes.
“As council, we work together to get things done,” Hoffman said. “As a result, our team was honored by the Fairborn (Area) Chamber of Commerce with the president’s award for our leadership and vision. We must be doing something right.”
Rodney McCubbins said he was born and raised in Fairborn. He spent 26 years in the United States Air Force, currently serves the Neighborhood Betterment Council and formerly served as a coach to local youth sports teams as well as secretary and vice president of the Fairborn Wee Hawk Football Association.
He wants to continue Fairborn’s current economic development endeavors, such as creating shovel-ready sites and thinking outside the box with ideas such as the kitchen incubator. McCubbins would also like to tackle the opiate epidemic on a local level and feels that it is beneficial to offer youth programs through the parks.
“I’d like to create a culture of relationships of base partnerships, put more focus on economic development and jobs, housing availability, the opiate epidemic and I think it’s time we start looking [more] into youth programs,” McCubbins said.
Colin Morrow said he is a recent graduate of the Fairborn Leadership Institute, allowing him to better understand the inner workings of local government and wants to be involved “to be part of the solution.” He has 31 years of military service, serves as a business executive and has lived in Fairborn since 2001.
He said his priorities include job creation through inviting more businesses to the community and having those employers provide livable wages through tax incentives and providing shovel-ready locations. His second priority, he said, is encouraging families to move to Fairborn.
“If I was elected, what I would envision over the next four years is to be able to bring in a very large business that has several hundred good-paying jobs to Fairborn,” Morrow said. “[I’d like to] continue to develop out Commerce Center Boulevard with more businesses and more housing.”
Donna Wilson (incumbent) is a 43-year Fairborn citizen and was elected as a council member four years ago. She said she is a retired teacher, involved in numerous local organizations and a former small business owner. She said she has observed Fairborn add more than 300 new jobs and more than 300 new homes and wrote in her candidate biography to this newspaper that she “would be honored to continue this endeavor.”
Wilson’s priorities include job creation, improving public transportation to help individuals in need, tackling the opiate epidemic, continuing economic development efforts such as blight removal and protecting the environment.
“I’ve learned a lot over the past four years about how things work, the challenges we have, the many opportunities to [get] ahead,” Wilson said. “I promise to keep working to make our city a more vibrant, better place to live.”
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.