FIVE QUESTIONS: Oberlin city council candidate Kelley Singleton


1) My priorities are the completion of the Roundhouse project, implementation of the storm water utility plan, and the responsible use and disbursement of Renewable Energy Certificate monies. I would seek community input for the future Green Acres site and hope to reach public consensus about its use and development.

I would work to heal the divide that is currently hampering Oberlin city council from accomplishing its goals. I believe all the candidates have Oberlin’s best interests in their hearts, and that is why they are running. Differing points of view can lead to healthy debate, and in turn solid legislation.

2) We will all have a better understanding of whether affordable housing is warranted for the former Green Acres property once Oberlin completes its planned housing needs analysis. If the need exists, I would favor of a design complementing Oberlin’s existing aesthetic, with reforested lots and a playground.

If the study finds housing is not needed, I would likely reintroduce a proposal that my wife and I brought to the open space commission a few years ago. We investigated a plan for a flowering tree park with walking paths, playground, and a pavilion that Oberlin could rent out for events.

3) We must strive to make the pretty picture of Oberlin that we — and Oberlin College — present to the world, into a reality. The percentage of citizens living in poverty and without meaningful employment is unacceptable for a town that is so progressive. Oberlin is strong when we include all Oberlinians

4) The first thing I would try to do is rescind the 67 percent pay increase the last council authorized for incoming council members. I would return the salaries to their 2014-15 level. Serving on city council should not be seen as employment or a means for personal gain. Rather, it is a service performed for the good of the city. Such a move would save the city nearly $35,000 annually, and that could be put to better use, for example, adding another auxiliary officer for code enforcement or increasing the recreation department’s budget for programs and personnel.

5) Born and raised in Oberlin, I am passionate about protecting our incredible small city and heritage while ensuring it moves forward on the right path for all residents. As a project manager for a non-profit, I work daily to implement countywide recycling programs and increase employment opportunities throughout Lorain County.

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