Five candidates are running for three Wilmington City Council At-Large seats in the Nov. 5 election.
Below are their responses to the News Journal’s request to share information about themselves and why each should receive your vote.
I am entering my 10th year at Wilmington College, and I serve as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and as Director of New Student Orientation, Greek Life and Student Activities. My wife Isabelle and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary.
I think I offer a unique perspective to City Council. I was on City Council for a year, so I understand the processes and mechanics of our city government. I believe I was impactful in my short tenure, by working with the Administration, the Solid Waste Superintendent and Council to unanimously pass the first increase in rates in over a decade, and in the words of the Safety Services Director, “Save the Landfill”. I was, and am, highly involved in the affairs of our city, and I still attend as many public meetings as possible. While on council, I attended almost every committee meeting, including those I was not on, so I could fully understand all issues and concerns effecting our city.
I believe in Wilmington, and I have an interest in making our city cleaner, safer and a destination of emphasis; to make Wilmington a city to drive to, not just through! To promote safety, I am working with neighborhood watch programs to grow and strengthen their efforts, and working with the entire city to create formal programs of their own. This will build a higher sense of community, and help provide more safety and security for everyone.
We have a problem with an increased homeless population, and associated problems with other crimes. This is a complex issue, with no easy solutions, but an action plan needs to be developed soon to help find a humane approach that can help get these individuals off the streets. I support improvements in infrastructure with continued work on our city streets, sidewalks, lighting, etc. I reached out to the Wilmington Area Humane Society so they could apply for City Revitalization Funds and expand their TNR (trap neuter and release) program, to reduce the volume of stray animals. I plan to expand the real estate board to help hold landlords and their tenants more responsible for maintaining their properties for cleanliness, and safety.
If you are looking for a candidate that wishes to foster continued growth, cooperation, collaboration, transparency, outside-the-box thinking, and a fresh perspective, then elect Michael Allbright again on November 5th.
CLIFFORD NICK EVELAND
I will be a strong and vocal advocate for a Safer City. The vagrant population, some 300 persons living “at-large” in squalid camps in the woods around the parks, along the walking trails, loitering and even camping out in gazebos at the public parks, must be eliminated. We need more police officers. Citizens are tired of the petty crimes, break-ins, thefts, vandalisms, plus flagrant and deadly drug abuse and the problems it causes.
Economic Conditions – We must pursue better career opportunities, higher paying jobs, and attract more businesses, investment, and development.
Quality of Life will improve with safer streets, and more recreational opportunities for all ages with emphasis on family activities.
And I will ask practical questions and challenge the engineer’s assumptions about proposed Rombach Avenue changes: specifically, the barrier medians and U-turn lane locations and design.
Please watch my video that includes more information about my goals and plans to make our city better, at www.youtube.com and enter EvelandAnnouncement in the search window.
As your City Councilman, I will be always mindful that I am elected to serve you. Together we can make our community a Top 100 city again.
WILLIAM ‘BILL’ LIERMANN
I believe in giving back to the community, and try to make a difference. Wilmington is a great place to live and raise a family. Our big asset is quality of life. We have a great parks system, and higher education opportunities with both Wilmington College and Southern State Community College. Just like any community and governmental entity, we face the challenge of providing essential services. With the additional .5 on the earnings tax, we have been able to pave many residential streets, maintain police and fire protection, and build up our once-depleted reserves. We must be good stewards of taxpayers’ money and maintain our basic responsibilities when it comes to trash collection and clearing the streets when bad weather comes our way. To me, economic development is a key component towards Wilmington’s rebound from the DHL shutdown of 2009. We have partnered with the County Commissioners and Port Authority towards potential employers. More jobs will help drive our economy and provide a stronger tax base. Residential growth is another component and the more housing developments we have will enable Wilmington to attract quality employees. We have good public school systems and they are adapting to growth and mandates from the state of Ohio.
Another key component will be our ability to deal with challenges like the Rombach Avenue project, which is certainly complex and controversial with the planned changes. Too many traffic lights, ill-timed and out dated have created quite a bottleneck and several changes have been made “on the fly” since it became a five lane highway back in 1985. Serving the public can be contentious, and I have always tried to make sound business decisions during my prior years serving on City Council and the Wilmington City Board of Education (school board), during my combined 25 years of serving the public.
My daytime occupation is Service Manager for Jerry Haag Motors General Motors dealership in Hillsboro. I am also active in the community as public address announcer for Wilmington College sporting events, and the PA announcer for Wilmington High School football. My wife (Deanna) and I are the proud parents of two sons, Steve, who resides in Las Vegas, and Scott, who lives in Columbus. I would appreciate your vote for one of the three At-Large seats in the November election. My goal is to make Wilmington once again one of the best small cities in the Country, as it was back in our economic growth of the mid 1980s and early 1990s. Thank you for your consideration.
Serving Wilmington the last four years has been an honor. It’s not just the city that raised and educated me, it’s the city that showed me opportunity, the city where my husband and I met, purchased our first home, had our son, and built our life together.
Like my friends, family, and neighbors, I have a lot at stake in Wilmington’s future. While we’ve made great progress in my two terms — investing in aging infrastructure and street repair and repaving, cracking down on code enforcement and abandoned and derelict properties, restructuring tourism dollars — there’s work left to do.
As we tackle these issues and many more, you can trust that I will be just as committed to fiscal responsibility, transparency, and bipartisanship as I have been these last four years.
I truly love the city of Wilmington. After attending graduate school and working as a school counselor for two years in Arizona, I knew I wanted to come back to Wilmington. Since moving here, I have gotten married, had a wonderful son, and have had the pleasure of serving on city council for two years.
If elected, I will continue to support initiatives to improve our downtown. An emphasis for me will be implementing parts of the Age Friendly Clinton County Action Plan, improving accessibility for seniors (and everyone else!) by fixing sidewalks, improving crosswalks, and adding options for seating. Additionally, I will work with the administration to tackle homelessness in our community, getting organizations together to provide resources for those that need it and making sure safety services have what they need to help. I also promise to continue to improve our hotel lodging grant process, supporting organizations that work to enhance quality of life and bring tourism to our town.
I am proud of the work we have done over the last two years, and I have enjoyed working with fellow council members and the administration. We still have a lot of work to do, and I look forward to helping lead Wilmington’s progress towards a brighter future.