What are the biggest issues facing the city?
Early: Out-of-control spending and the lack of fiscal responsibility tops the list with City Council making decisions for party power and influence and bypassing the needs of the people. In addition, there is no communication between city government and the citizens as to what is really going on. The citizens have a right to know what is happening with their tax dollars. I will serve as translator and identify how everything legislated actually impacts voters financially and otherwise.
Haupt: The most important issue in this race is fiscal responsibility. I want to be the watchdog on City Council that makes sure we are bringing in all the money, that we are spending that money wisely and not going further into debt. I want to make sure that there are programs available for the youth of my ward, that potholes get fixed in my ward and that all citizens are protected in my ward.
Howard: First and foremost are jobs. Too many of our citizens have lost jobs — and this has brought our city a host of other problems. When our people are working and earning a living wage, we can repair roads, generate revenue for the city without raising taxes, maintain and improve city services and restore needed programs, eventually healing our city. At the same time, we must give our children a chance at opportunity and this will only happen if we improve the educational results attained by our youth.
How do you plan to address them?
Early: Total transparency. I am not beholden to a party but to strict principles of limited government, low taxes and personal freedom. My Web site has a forum dedicated to the citizens in my ward to put me on notice of what needs to be done. It serves as a record of accountability. I will not give a yes vote to any new taxes, and I will be the watchdog for the citizens’ hard-earned money. I will ask the right questions and demand accountability from this administration. I will provide weekly updates as to what occurs on the Council floor.
Haupt: I hope to get appointed to the Finance Committee and be the watchdog for the citizens of my ward and the entire city. The city is having financial problems. The City Council and the mayor have to work together for the best plan and stick to that plan without raising taxes.
Howard: If we can attract businesses to Lorain and help the businesses survive and prosper, many of our other problems will move toward a successful resolution. This in itself will generate the recovery we need and help us deal with other important issues. During the past two years, I have worked to build partnerships which would benefit my ward and the people of Lorain. Whether it’s bringing the city together with LCCAA, or the college, or keeping businesses in the city and helping them to service and employ our citizens, the only way we are going to get through this economically challenging period in our history is through collaboration, building consensus and advocating for that which generates positive results.
What makes you best suited for the job?
Early: I will be the first to admit I’m not connected. I don’t have ties to the current power structure. This isn’t about power for me, I’m an ordinary citizen who’s tired of reading about my city in the paper and feeling like things are out of control. I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and represent the ordinary citizens like myself who deserve better city government. I’m not going to promise favors but promise to defend the rights and needs of the citizens based on constitutional principles. I intend to be a true representative of the people.
Haupt: I have been involved in politics for over 20 years and worked on local, county, state and national campaigns. I have been a precinct committee member and on the Lorain Civil Service Commission serving three years as president. I have watched out for the citizens of Lorain making sure everything is done for the good of the city. When I am elected, I won’t take the medical benefits and I’ll give back 10 percent of my salary to be donated to a fund that could be used for Christmas decorations for the city, to plant flowers on Broadway or to fix potholes.
Howard: I believe that I stand out from other candidates because I have acquired essential experience by actually serving on Council. It takes time to build consensus and garner support for issues important to the people of my ward and the city of Lorain. We have serious problems that need to be resolved as quickly as possible and time is a factor. I won’t be starting from scratch as my opponents must. I will be continuing previously started efforts that I believe will produce results. Someone just coming into this position will have a lot of catching up to do. I believe I can and will serve my constituents well during the next few pivotal years.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Toledo
Job history: Currently work at TeleTech in Amherst; owsn a Web site design business; taught for nine years; Sales for almost 10 years
Web site: www.joyceearly.com
Education: Lorain High School, Lorain County Community College, Cleveland State University, bachelor’s degree with double major in history and social studies
Family: Married, 1 child
Job history: Currently employed at Riddell/All American, bid coordinator
Education: Lorain Admiral King High School graduate; Lorain County Community College, majored in Urban Studies; certified Computer Maintenance & Repair Technician
Family: Engaged, two children
Job history: Lorain County Community College, computer resource specialist and current 3rd Ward councilman