What are the challenges or issues facing the city?
Strickler: There are many issues facing Vermilion, including aging water and sewer systems, deteriorating roads and safety concerns for Ward 5 and areas of Ward 2 south of the railroad tracks.
Roth: The state of the economy has presented a challenge for the city. Council and the administration have, and will continue to reduce costs and strive to do more with less while trying to minimize any cuts to city services. We will put cost-saving changes into effect that will remain after the economy rebounds. Attracting new residents and business is a top priority, and will come as a result of continued marketing of Vermilion. We must continue these efforts. We must continue the repair, replacement and preventative maintenance of our streets, and need to control cost increases in water and sewer rates.
How do you plan to address them?
Strickler: While I have been on Council and served as utilities chair, water and sewer issues have begun to be addressed with numerous projects. Improvements to the water and sewer plants have occurred, as well as a million-dollar sanitary sewer project in the Vermilion on the Lake area to deal with overflow issues. We need to continue to eliminate flooding in all neighborhoods. A road program is needed, not a road-maintenance program. The administration pumps money into decent roads while the worst streets deteriorate with minimal or no work on them. Council, in conjunction with a cooperative administration, needs to continue trying for new revenue sources.
Roth: We are on the right course to address these issues and need to continue in this direction while remaining open to new ideas and being willing to implement new technology and resources. We have tried several different methods to cut costs, repair streets, save energy and market our community, which will have us poised for economic development as the economy improves.
What makes you best suited for the job?
Strickler: I have been a very vocal Council member over the past six years. I would love the opportunity to represent the whole city of Vermilion, not just Ward 2. I have already done that while on Council. I stood up for residents in the Woodlands with a zoning issue. I spoke up for residents of Ward 5 who were promised in the master development plan that their area would remain zoned for agriculture.
Roth: Experience and common sense. I have served 10 years as City Council at-large, eight of those as City Council president. I have proven I will work with whoever is elected mayor. I am not campaigning or forming alliances with one political group or another. I have no hidden agendas. I will listen and do what is in the best interest of residents and the community.
Education: Vermilion High School graduate 1977; Bachelor of Fine Arts — Wittenberg University 1981; Leadership Lorain County, class of 2001; Hondros College of Real Estate 2006.
Family: Married 20 years to wife, Laura; two daughters,Mallory, 18, and Chloe, 15
Job history: Owner of Gilchrist Guesthouse B&B and Barnacle Bill’s Surf Shop; Realtor with Harbour Homes Realty; substitute teacher for Vermilion Local Schools and St. Mary School; current at-large member of Vermilion Council