Matthews, Burgess can respond to rapidly changing landscape


To the editor:

The most important issues to be decided in the elections to city council have to do with electricity rates now and in the future and our response to rapidly changing economic, technological, and climate conditions. Thanks to courageous leadership of council members David Sonner and David Ashenhurst in 2008 we benefit from a one-time surplus of public funds. The question is how to use these funds and for what purposes. The issues have to do with energy technology, economics, and how best to meet public needs now and in coming years. On these issues two candidates for the council stand out.

Gene Matthews, with a distinguished 45-year career in energy technology and director of facilities at Oberlin College and Case Western University, has earned a reputation as a highly competent administrator and visionary leader. He is widely recognized as a leader among his peers and particularly in developing energy efficiency and renewable energy. As important, Gene is adept at building consensus for positive changes.

Bryan Burgess, a candidate for re-election, has similar qualities. Bryan’s mastery of the economics and technical details of energy policy are unmatched on the council. He has shown leadership, courage, and foresight in positively addressing a range of city problems including the wise disposition of public funds from the sale of renewable energy credits to lower future electricity rates.

This election is important to Oberlin’s future. We need competent leadership on issues of energy policy, economics, and technology. Gene Matthews and Bryan Burgess have these qualities as well as integrity, a commitment to the public good, and foresight.

David W. Orr