What are the biggest issues facing the city?
Sinegar: A lack of good-paying jobs that would create tax revenue and stop the administration from constantly asking citizens to pay higher taxes. Bringing our safety forces up to full strength. A City Council that rubber stamps everything the mayor wants, instead of being a “checks and balance system’’ on him.
McHugh: The loss of tax revenue, obviously, is the biggest single issue that needs to be addressed. The loss of businesses and jobs in the city has led to dramatic cuts to our police and fire departments, which we must work hard to restore to full strength. Also, tax losses have left the Parks and Recreation Department — which greatly enhanced the city’s quality of life and value to outsiders looking to move to Lorain County — in disarray.
How do you plan to address them?
Sinegar: By aggressively going after companies and encouraging them to locate here, by having less-stringent design review guidelines. An increased tax base created by new jobs would help. Finding and eliminating the “extra” non-essential positions. Safety services should be our first priority and the last ones to be laid off. By looking at all issues objectively, while keeping the best interests of the citizens in mind, rather than voting the party line.
McHugh: The city has to work harder to re-examine the way Council and the administration handle the programs and projects that are going on now. In the future, there needs to be better communication with all taxpayers and city employees. Communication is the key. In addition, it is time to do a marketing campaign to promote business and technology jobs in the city and use the recent announcement of the BASF battery plant to be established here as a catalyst for growth. We should work with the Lorain County Growth Partnership as well as go after federal and state funds to promote a better image for Elyria.
What makes you best suited for the job?
Sinegar: I have lived in Ward 7 for more than 25 years. I have been walking the ward for the last five years talking to the residents about their concerns. I have attended Council meetings faithfully for the last five years, and I feel I have a good understanding of the issues this city faces. I have no family members working for the city, so I will be able to look at and vote on all issues objectively.
McHugh: I know what Elyria residents want because I have been one since I reached adulthood. I raised my family here, and I want young families to see Elyria as their future, too. I am an upbeat and positive person, I am a leader and I will listen. I will do what is best for the 7th Ward and for all the taxpayers in the city. They want what they deserve: a police force that can help, a fire department that can respond, better streets, sewers that are maintained, their leaves picked up and their snow removed from their streets. I will see that these things get done and get done right.
Education: Attended Holy Cross School; graduate of Elyria Catholic High School; Cleveland Metro Ranger Academy; Ohio Peace Officer training; traffic and road signs training
Family: Wife, Mary, and children Michelle, Scott and Jennifer
Job history: 30 years with the city of Elyria, serving as assistant superintendent for streets during last three years. Currently employed as a part-time driver for Superior Electric
Education: Graduate of Elyria High School
Family: Divorced with three children, Robin, Brian and Brandon
Job history: Service manager at Production Service Co. from 1987 to the present