FAIRBORN — City council will have three new members next year.
Five residents are on the ballot in November and none are current council members. Here is a look at all five who are competing for three seats.
Fritzsch came to Fairborn in 2008 to work at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. A former aviation electronic technician in the Marine Corps, he now works at the Air Force Institute of Technology as a civilian employee. He’d like to see younger people get involved in Fairborn politics, especially since he learned from census data that the median age of people in Fairborn is 33.
“The biggest issue is undoubtedly the biodigester in Bath Township, getting the current issues with the smell addressed and agreeing not to do the expansion,” he said. He believes the other issues of this election are revitalizing downtown and attracting businesses.
“I also think trying to revitalize downtown, continuing to get small businesses back into downtown and also getting some businesses that can provide living wages into town as well is the key,” he said.
Palmer is a new face in local politics. He decided to run for city council to make a difference in the community.
“I think there’s a lot of opportunity in Fairborn to improve our existing infrastructure to better attract businesses to better partner with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Also, I’m young and energetic and I think that would shake things up on the council and bring a new batch of ideas,” Palmer said.
He’s originally from Springboro and moved to Fairborn to attend Wright State, where he currently works. He sees the biodigester and infrastructure, including the quality of Fairborn’s roads, as the top issues in this election.
“I think good infrastructure will attract better businesses to the area,” he said, “And the issue of the biodigester can’t be ignored. It’s located in the township, but it impacts a lot of citizens in Fairborn.”
McCubbins has always called Fairborn home, even though he spent 26 years in the military living in other places.
“I retired in 2012 and for me there was no place else to go but to come back to Fairborn. I like to tell people that other than my military time, I’m a lifelong resident of Fairborn,” McCubbins said.
He became more interested in local government after participating in the Fairborn Leadership Institute.
“Once I was introduced to all aspects of city government, that peaked my interest in getting a council seat,” he said.
McCubbins believes that the most important issues in this election are the biodigester, public safety, and attracting businesses to downtown Fairborn.
“We have numerous threats to public safety in Fairborn, the biodigester being one of them, the pandemic being another. Ensuring we have adequately trained staff and equipment in our police and fire departments is essential,” he said.
Reaster grew up in Fairborn and graduated from Fairborn High School in 1996. She’s finishing up her fourth year on the Fairborn School Board and she’s volunteered for the Lion’s Club and Rotary.
“I feel like with all of the things I’ve done in the city, I have a different voice to bring to the table,” Reaster said.
She believes the top issue in this election is continued economic growth.
“We need to bring more businesses into Fairborn and we need to retain the ones we have,” she said.
Continuing to build affordable housing for families will support that growth.
“When businesses go to build or choose a location, one of the main things they look at is how much extra money an average household has. If we build our base with our housing market and continue to build affordable, but not ridiculous homes, to attract more families to the area, it kind of all goes hand in hand,” she said.
Franklin has always been interested in politics, but family responsibilities and a career took up most of his time before he retired. He decided to run for city council this year after participating in the Fairborn Leadership Institute and getting to know the city better.
He believes the biggest issues in this election are the biodigester, communications between the city and the public, and fiscal responsibility.
“The biodigester is a huge issue. It has an impact on Fairborn because of the smell and because of the growth of Fairborn in that particular area where the wind spreads the smell,” Franklin said.
He’s concerned that without a lining, material from the biodigester could leak into people’s drinking water.
“The odor you can somewhat live with, but seeping into the water supply would be really bad,” he said. He also wants to make sure the city spends the funds they’ve received from the American Recovery Act appropriately.
“That money was meant to help people,” he said.
Reach MacKenzie Tastan at 937-502-4634