Election 2013: Xenia Candidates & Issues

By Daniel Downs

On November 5th, Xenia citizens will go to the polls to exercise their right to vote. Actually, it is an obligation of citizenship in a popular form of federal republic. However, this season the inspiration to vote may be somewhat lacking because the only candidates running for office are incumbents except for the Board of Education.

Three council seats will be vacant should Mayor Marsha Bayless, Jeanne Mills and Wesley Smith choose to retire from their political office. City Manager Percival recently announced he will be retiring soon but will continue working on the farm. So maybe it will be good that only seasoned leaders will be involved in making sure city government will be appropriately managed and the next manager will continue moving Xenia to a commonly good future.

The other city office with no competing candidates is for judge. Michael Murray currently presides on the bench while the rest of us get to sit on the sidelines and some even get to sit in the grandstand inside his playing field. Even better, those invited to sit in the grandstand get paid for it–what a deal!

The hot political campaign this season is for a place of influence at the public education table. There are three seats and five candidates, three of which are incumbents. The two newbies in the campaign are Cheryl Marcus and Arch Grieve. Not running for reelection are Lee Rose and William Spahr. The three incumbents seeking to hold onto their seats are Stephen Alex, Barbara Stafford, and the now infamous Robert Dilliplain. In case you haven’t heard, Dilliplain has been trying to perform some surgery on his reputation in the courts. This was the result of a botched attempt by some board members to heal him of some sort of relational virus. Of the current candidates, two candidates who do not come to the table as professional educators are Stephen Alex and Robert Dilliplain. Both candidates are health care executives. All other candidates bring an experienced perspective of unionized educators. It’s a shame other qualified citizens from other fields and perspectives are not in the race. Why aren’t some PTA members running?

In case you want to learn more about these candidates, Xenia Nazarene Church is hosting a Meet the Candidates event on Tuesday October 29 beginning at 7PM.

On the ballot voters also will see two local and three county-wide issues that should increase voter interest this election. All of them will affect what’s in their wallets. Actually, except for possibly one issue, the real concern is whether city and county officials will have enough in the collective wallets for the next five years. Xenia officials want voters to renew an about-to-expire 3.5 mill operating levy that generates about $415,000 in revenue each year. That is Issue 7. Greene County officials have three levies that are scheduled to expire. Under Issue 2, County officials are asking voters to renew a 1.5 mill operating levy for Children Services. The Board of Developmental Disabilities needs a 3.5 levy renewed (Issue 3) to maintain current services, and Greene Memorial Hospital requires the renewal of a 0.5 mill levy (Issue 4) to continue meeting health needs in the community.

You can visit Jon Husted at The Water Cooler to learn more about Issues 2-4.

It’s true; levy renewal campaigns are not all that exciting. However, Issue 8, the electrical aggregation issue, is a little more interesting. Even though it is not a new issue, it has been voted on before; the city claims consumers could see some savings on their electric bills. If passed, one’s wallet might remain a little fatter each month. That’s the sales pitch anyway. Not all saving schemes actually live up to their promises and electric aggregation may be no exception. There are some cons among the pros of electric aggregation which are available for your consideration at Power-2-Switch Blog and at Ohio Poverty Law Center.

One has to wonder whether or not the savings on electricity will be as great as those experienced with Xenia’s Time Warner Cable deal or Wal-Mart’s great product and pricing? The service and lower costs was great while the promotional deal lasted but then came the real costs. Texas electric consumers experienced similar not-so-great benefits as reported by Ohio Poverty Law Center. But, that does not have to be the case if the aggregation is structured right. That is a very big IF.

For more information click on the links above.

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