City council office-seekers on Monday discussed goals they hope to accomplish should they be elected.
Eight Oberlin candidates are running for seven seats, which carry two-year terms: Heather Adelman, Bryan Burgess, William Jindra, Sharon Pearson, Kristin Peterson, Ronnie Rimbert, Kelley Singleton, and Linda Slocum.
All agreed that housing, economy, and sustainability are areas that need development within the city.
Adelman took a green approach. She wants to see money go toward building greenhouses and community gardens to support urban agriculture.
Homes here are aging and deteriorating, Slocum said. She suggested increasing incentives for landlords and homeowners to maintain their properties, and said new affordable housing for singles, young families, and seniors is a must.
Burgess wants to reintroduce the city’s property maintenance program. Two to three houses are torn down in Oberlin each year.
Jindra shared a vision of cluster homes for people ages 50 and older with recreational facilities and a meeting area. Many seniors in Oberlin are looking to downsize and move out of their homes, he said, and the former Green Acres land would be an ideal space.
Pearson and Singleton agreed job growth and economic stimulation are top priorities.
“If we have more jobs and more businesses, we increase our revenue and we have the money to do all the things we want to do,” said Singleton, who wants to increase funding to Oberlin’s grant program.
Handling Sustainable Reserve Program money was a topic that sparked interest. Rimbert said the fund represents $3 million for community investment, and he believes the debate over its fate is better than not having any money at all.
Six candidates agreed to let voters decide, stressing the importance of community input.
Adelman pushed for sustainable efforts such as swapping street lamps with LED bulbs and weatherizing buildings. Rimbert said a solar field may be an interesting concept so everyone profits.
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on @HamameNews on Twitter.
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