The News Journal asked the two Republican candidates for City of Wilmington 1st Ward Council in the May 7 primary election to provide answers to the below questions. Below is the verbatim response of Jonathan McKay.
Education: Bachelors of Arts Degree in American History and Minor in Political Science from Ohio Dominican University.
Family/Wilmington background: I am a lifelong resident of Wilmington and the 1st Ward. My parents are Rod and Nancy Foland-McKay. Both of my parents are retired. My Dad retired from Wilmington Iron and Metal after 13 years of employment and my Mother retired from the County after 33 ½ years of employment. My brother, Chad McKay, is married to Amanda Middleton-McKay. Chad is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Agriculture at Wilmington College and Amanda is the Greene Soil and Water District Administrator in Greene County, Ohio. Wilmington and Clinton County has been home to the McKay family since 1790. In that time, the family has spent the majority farming in Liberty Township until recent years and doing business in the City of Wilmington.
Business and/or public experience: Former Business Development Officer for Wilmington Savings Bank and am currently serving on Wilmington City Council representing the 1st Ward. I also sit on the Wilmington College Board of Trustees, Wilmington Clinton County Chamber of Commerce and the Wilmington Friends Board of Trustees along with several other volunteer boards and commissions.
What are your priorities for your term on council should you be elected/re-elected? My priorities are to continue supporting the police and fire departments, help the landfill with its expansion, make sure the master plan for the wastewater treatment plant is completed, maintain a balanced budget, and make sure paving of streets continue in the city of Wilmington. Another major priority is economic development. In the city and the county, there is momentum and I want to help with the continued growth and development.
Are there any specific priorities that you have for the 1st Ward? If so, please detail. Major priorities are the continued paving that was started last year in the 1st Ward. It is important to maintain our streets and our curb appeal. I also want to help support business growth within the Ward. 1st Ward is made up of mainly residential properties with few businesses. There is room for growth and I want to help with that growth if the opportunity presents itself. I do get phone calls about the ward and I want to make sure citizens questions get answered if there is a problem. That is a huge priority; taking care of the people is the main reason I am running for City Council.
Why should you be elected/re-elected? I should be re-elected to the position of 1st Ward City Councilman because there is still unfinished work to do. I want to help in the expansion of Romach Ave and the massive paving project that is about to take place. I want to help too with forming neighborhood watch groups as; I have been contacted by many residents about them and have started this initiative within the 1st Ward. Many citizens are concerned about crime and drugs in the community. Citizens want to have an impact on helping combat this epidemic. Neighborhood watch groups have become a major way to help people look out for one another. In the next budget cycle, I would like to push for funding for the police bike patrol to come back and start making regular rounds in neighborhoods. With the passage of the tax, the funds are now available to do this reinstatement of the bike patrol. I want to make sure, if re- elected, that the Wilmington Transit Service keeps its level of service. With business expanding and people coming into Wilmington, transportation is becoming more and more of a priority. The recent transportation study has helped prove that hours and radius must be extended.
What else would you like to say to the people of Wilmington? When I was elected 4 years ago, I promised to be engaged and study all the issues that came to City Council. I feel that I have done that. I promised that if people called me with problems or questions, I would get them answers. This is a top priority for me. Wilmington is a great community. It has its problems just like every other community in America. However, we are getting better. 10 years ago, things were rather bleak. I am proud to of voted to help business expand and for our downtown to have activities that bring people in from all over the state of Ohio. I want to say as well; without the great employees that work for the city, we would not have what we have. Local services are important and I want to make sure services grow and change as needed to keep up with demand. Wilmington is forever growing and new ideas need to be embraced and thought over carefully. I have a proven track record of this and I ask for the residents of the 1st Ward on May 7th for their vote to help continue this wonderful progress we have made.