What are the biggest issues facing the city?
Gibbs: Public safety (police and fire) is the No. 1 issue. You can have the finest sidewalks in the state, but if the citizens are not safe walking on them, what good are they? To me, the biggest issue for any elected official to remember, during good economic times or bad, is that people want and deserve to feel safe in their neighborhoods. To walk our streets or play in our parks without fear or threat of harm and injury. To be able to count on fire and police when needed. To feel secure when our children take off to schools. To know if there is an emergency, someone will be there to help.
Koepp: The budget is obviously the biggest issue facing the city right now.
How do you plan to address them?
Gibbs: If re-elected, I will always continue to look at the real needs of the citizens of the 3rd Ward. Making sure the most important projects are funded first before any nonessential projects of the mayor. And my decisions made within budgetary concerns will continue to favor and support a safe city. I will continue to be a voice, not an echo on City Council. We are in some very tough times financially and socially, and I feel we have to be frugal with our spending and our taxes.
Koepp: Obviously, getting all the proper people in place to manage the budget is key. We are not utilizing all our resources properly.
What makes you best suited for the job?
Gibbs: The best candidate is one who is involved in the city and cares about all the things that really matter to citizens. Getting involved in the city isn’t just looking for a job — it’s actually doing a job and making a difference. You’ll have a Council representative who will pick the fights they can win. I will continue to fight the fights the residents think are worth fighting. Sixteen years on Council and a member or past member of finance, community development, public safety and strategic planning committees, this experience will continue to provide a unique and valuable perspective versus my opponent.
Koepp: I feel I am young, energetic and can bring some new ideas to the table. I am ready to offer some much-needed common sense.
Education: Graduate of Elyria High School and 1979 graduate of the University of Toledo
Family: Wife, Barb, son, Kevin, and daughter, Kara
Job history: Director of incentive services, The GRA Group; incumbent Elyria 3rd Ward councilman