Two candidates are competing to represent Elyria’s 5th Ward.
What are the biggest issues facing the city?
Madison: How the city will manage to provide basic core services to residents. Those services include the local police and fire departments, which are a requisite for public safety. Ensuring they are properly funded is of the utmost importance. Local businesses are fleeing and, as a result, few new businesses are opening. This goes in hand with the rise of foreclosed homes and high renter turnover rates, the most sincere concern for many residents.
Aden: Right now, finances are the biggest issue. The city is losing money and going after a new tax, but getting this levy passed will be hard. Since the city has been unable to pass its other 0.5 percent income tax as a permanent tax, this one should not have been placed as a permanent tax. This should have been a temporary tax.
How do you plan to address them?
Madison: If elected, I will invest and devote my time to the following issues: quality of life, safety, rebuilding infrastructure, youth engagement and work to create a united ward so that we can tackle these challenges together. The quality-of-life issues are always important and need to be addressed consistently. The need for recreational activities, job opportunities, crime reduction and working to address the issue of vacant homes and high renter turnover rates are imperative to the safety and progress of moving the 5th Ward forward. Core infrastructure needs, including well-maintained streets, sidewalk maintenance, and the replacement of the 4-inch waterlines with 8-inch waterlines is imperative to preparing the 5th Ward for new development. The 5th Ward needs a diversified employment base that provides quality job opportunities.
Aden: If the tax passes, it will be good for the city. But if it doesn’t pass, it will require the city to regroup and decide why it didn’t pass. I can only imagine the city will try to put it up again and then I will be able to put my input in on how I think finances should be handled in the city. Having some of the Council members and city leaders to give back some of their pay was a good thing, but in this economic time there needs to be more of that, and we need to take a serious look at longevity.
What makes you best suited for the job?
Madison: I have spent my entire life committed to service to others. Before any of the issues can be addressed, confidence must be restored in the hearts of the people. It will be my job to restore public trust in our city so that a healthy, transparent relationship can exist between the people and ielected officials. This will be achieved through open and honest communication. The 5th Ward has been divided for too long. If we are to move forward, we must stand united with a common purpose and a common goal of restoring our community. I’m committed to working hard and fighting for the interest of the people and not the interest of a select few or any organization. I’m qualified.
Aden: I am very diligent in taking an issue and staying with it. I was the forming member of the West by the River Neighborhood Association and it took 10 years to get parking back on our street. But I never gave up. I worked hard for the historical district designation. I have been very involved with working with the city administration and other Ward 5 councilmen. But my talks with other councilmen have led me to believe they do not take ownership of the issues in the ward and that is what’s needed in the 5th Ward. I am not just a yea-sayer. I vote on how I feel and based on what my constituents would like. A lot of the times, I am the lone “no’’ vote on Planning Commission.
Education: Graduate of North Olmsted High School
Family: Wife, Kathy
Job history: Self-employed in entertainment consulting, co-chairman of Elyria Planning Commission, chairman of the Elyria Landmarks Preservation Commission and former board member of the South Elyria Neighborhood Development Corp.
Education: Pursuing degree in public administration and urban studies.
Job history: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lorain County Metro Parks, Wesleyan Village and Lorain County Community College