WILMINGTON — Wilmington Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker, two candidates seeking the Republican spot on the November ballot for Clinton County Recorder, and two Democratic congressional primary candidates participated in a public candidates and issues forum, sponsored by Clinton County A.C.T. (Alliance for Compassion and Truth), on Thursday evening.
Shidaker told the audience that the City of Wilmington’s proposed 1.5 percent municipal income tax renewal will not increase the current income tax rate, but extend the current rate, which expires at the end of 2021. While it is called a permanent renewal, it is actually a continuing rate that city government can reconsider at any time.
He said that the current rate “makes us competitive with neighboring counties for millions of dollars in state and federal grants,” resulting in 288,000 square yards of new street paving since 2017. The revenue has also allowed the city to staff police and fire departments at a level the public expects and deserves.
Shidaker and Wilmington City Administrator Marian Miller said they will post information about the tax renewal measure on the city’s website.
Jonathan McKay and Tanya Day Snarr, vying for the Republican nomination for County Recorder, along with Kelly Hopkins, who was unable to attend the forum, would both like to extend the current hours the office is open to foot traffic, moving from three full days and two half-days to five full days a week, to better serve the the public.
McKay said his experience in real estate and banking, and passion for public service, bolster his qualifications.
Snarr cited her background as a paralegal and service in the public and non-profit sectors as a good fit for the position.
In Ohio’s 15th Congressional District primary race, Daniel Kilgore and Joel Newby shared their positions on health care, criminal justice reform, the quality of life in the district’s small towns, and other issues they would address if they were elected to the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Rep. Steve Stivers.
Kilgore said he favors Medicare for all and named student loan debt, tax laws that favor the poor and middle class over the wealthy and corporations, infrastructure projects, and confronting the climate crisis as his priorities.
Newby, a proponent of moving to a universal, single-payer health care system, said Congress must first codify into law the things Americans like about the Affordable Care Act, like coverage of pre-existing conditions and no lifetime coverage caps.
Newby listed his policy priorities, after health care, as programs for the elderly, for veterans, for women, and for small towns.
Congressman Steve Stivers did not respond to an invitation to participate in the forum, and his Republican primary challenger, Shelby Hunt, had a previous commitment.
Early voting is underway for Ohio’s March 17 primary election. To check voter registration and find polling locations, go to www.voteohio.gov.
Clinton County A.C.T. is a women-led, non-partisan group, whose focus in 2020 is voter education and participation. More information about A.C.T. can be found at www.actclintoncounty.org.