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Oberlin City Council {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

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    Heather Adelman

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    H Scott Broadwell

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    Peter Comings

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    Ray English

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    Elizabeth J Meadows

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    Bill Miller

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    Kristin L. Peterson

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    Mary Price

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    Ronnie J. Rimbert

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    Kelley Singleton

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    Linda Slocum

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    Steven E Thompson

Información Biográfica

1) How do you think city council can help promote good town/gown relations in light of recent events.

2) What do you think should be City Council’s top priority for helping this community grow and prosper?

3) Why do you want to serve on Oberlin City Council?

Education BA in Environmental Studies (emphasis in alternative energy) and Political Science
Training and Experience Past Employment: Oberlin Project; US Environmental Protection Agency. Past: Oberlin Farmers Market; OCS Board; LWV Board, Oberlin Community Land Trust; LC Solid Waste Policy Committee; Housing Renewal
Age 41
Campaign Email adelman.heather@gmail.com
To heal the past and work towards a stronger future together, I will focus on areas where collaboration and partnerships can be built instead of focusing on areas where there is inevitable friction. According to groups like ICMA and NASPA, recent models in town/gown partnerships in the areas of joint public transportation systems, increased/improved community policing, and programs addressing food insecurity have been clear winners for both communities and colleges. Ultimately, the city wouldn’t be what it is without the college and the college wouldn’t be what it is without the city. I will work with City administration and staff, as well as the Human Relations Commission, to both 1.) build on existing partnerships and 2.) create and implement new programs focused on our mutual goals.
I am driven to make Oberlin an even better place to live, work, and play. The focal points of my re-election campaign are to 1.) make continued improvements to our drinking water system including replacement of old lines citywide and make upgrades at the Oberlin drinking water plant; 2.) implement the new Climate Action Plan; and 3.) increase Oberlin’s livability for all people, particularly through economic development/job creation and affordable housing. I was first inspired by the Women in Sustainable Employment (WISE) Program at OCS, a career pathways program that encouraged women to explore non-traditional careers, and am interested in working with existing organizations to build on such programs to support efforts to address unemployment and underemployment in Oberlin.
It has been a true privilege serving as a member of City Council. I am excited to be running for a second term and thank constituents for their confidence and trust in me to serve the Oberlin community. I seek re-election because public service and community involvement are my passion and life’s work. These are the common themes that tie many of my major life decisions together. During my short time in office I am proud to have lead work on strengthening the community garden, drafting legislation for LGBTQ protections, and exploring a curbside food waste composting program. I bring a focus on listening and transparency to the office; I am the only council member to hold weekly office hours. I pride myself on being someone who gets things done and would be honored to have your vote.
Education Oberlin Public Schools, Bowling Green State University B.A.
Training and Experience Oberlin City Council member, 2009-2017, Council President 2014-2015 Lorain County Community Action Agency, Secretary Oberlin Heritage Center, Endowed Life Member and honorary Board member
Age 63
Campaign Email hsbroadwe@oberlin.net
In a town like Oberlin, communication between City Council and all members of the community is essential. During my past years on Council and for decades previously, there has been an ebb and flow and ups and downs of cooperation and dialogue between the City and the College. This is due to the make up of past administrations, both Municipal and College, and the various issues and situations at hand. At times there have been attempts to establish regularly scheduled meetings between the two. An effort needs to be made by the City to initiate these contacts again. As a top priority, City Council must direct the City Manager to make the first step to initiate conversation establishing regularly scheduled meetings on multiple levels between the City and the College.
As a longtime member of the Oberlin Community Improvement Corp. (OCIC), I will continue working as an Oberlin City Council member to try to bring new industry and jobs to Oberlin. By regularly meeting with and listening to the concerns of business owners throughout the City, I intend to continue working toward business retention and expansion, both of which are equally as important as job creation.

The City also has the opportunity to disperse $2.8 million of Sustainable Reserve Funds for the benefit of the community. Because of the vast amount of money and possible conflicting visions, close oversight by City Council is needed so that these funds are used in a fair and equitable manner for the benefit of all, not just a select few.
During my previous ten years on Council, without fail, I worked hard for the best interests of the entire community. After sitting out the last Council term because of term limits, I would like to continue to serve my community during the 2020-2021 Council term. Because of my experience, knowledge and history of the issues, and being able to work with City staff and stakeholders in Oberlin, I am well placed to make a positive contribution to the City and its citizens. If elected, I look forward to the opportunity to serve my community once again.
Education BA English, 1994, Grinnell College; AAS, Public Administration, ongoing, LCCC
Training and Experience I was an award-winning journalist for 20 years, covering city, county and school government. I’m looking to reinvest that energy in a Public Administration degree and service to city council.
Age 47
Campaign Email petercomings@gmail.com
Good town/gown “relations” gloss over the scale of Oberlin College as a business and its financial impact on this community. Oberlin Town and Gown need to come to terms on what each provides to the other in terms of revenue and service. Good “town/gown” relations oversimplifies the fact the college is more than its administration, the city more than any one group of residents. Daily activities done well demonstrate respect for all. Trying to achieve good relations “in light of recent events” ignores the fact this relationship has a history of ups and downs.There is history here that has to be learned and not relived. I think there is a difference between promoting “good” town/gown relations and promoting a realistic, mutually beneficial relationship based on respect and understanding.
The top priority for city council should be providing safety and opportunity for residents.

Oberlin needs to maintain and expand its sound infrastructure (roads) and secure utilities (water, sewer, electricity). The Climate Action Plan is laudable, but what are the guidelines for spending from the Sustainable Reserve Fund?

Oberlin needs affordable housing opportunities for all of its residents and needs to stay creative in its ideas for economic growth to provide more jobs to people at the distance of a bike ride, not a bus ride.

Oberlin needs to take steps to invest in the future of its budget, considering ways that growing the residential population base and developing commercial investment can make the city less vulnerable to economic downturns.

All of these put residents first.
The city, in all of its parts, needs to rediscover its sense of community. That is a bigger issue than Oberlin City Council can solve on its own, but to that end I want to serve on city council to help make the decisions toward that goal.

As a journalist I was trained on the job to ask questions and to listen to people’s answers. I was trained on the job to understand government so that I could explain to others how it was or was not working.

Since then, I have committed myself to earning my associates degree in Public Administration at Lorain County Community College. I am currently carrying a 4.0 grade point average.

I want to serve on Oberlin City Council to contribute to the decisions that bring community.
Education BA Davidson College; MA, MSLS, PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Training and Experience Human Relations Commission; regular City Council attendee; various local volunteer activities; extensive management experience; training in conflict resolution, facilitated dialogue, and diversity.
Age 72
Campaign Email electrayenglish@gmail.com
Working to improve town/gown relations would be one of my highest priorities. There are a variety of ways that the council and Oberlin College can do that. We could invite President Ambar to a part of the retreat that the new council holds in January – to develop a cooperative approach to building better relations. Other possibilities include facilitated college/community dialogues or a cooperatively planned community/college listening session featuring City Manager Rob Hillard and President Ambar. Strategies and specific plans can emerge through conversations involving key parties in the city and the college. It’s essential that we strive not just for good college/town relations – but also to have the college and the city working together in intentional ways in shaping our future.
The council’s top priority should be to be effective and well-functioning. That means a council that listens to and reaches out to all segments of the community and that works cooperatively to make decisions that reflect the interests of the community as a whole. It means working to resolve internal conflicts within the council when they arise, rather than avoiding them or letting them fester. It means thinking consistently about how we balance our commitments to good city services, social justice, environmental sustainability, and community development – not letting one or more of those priorities either be neglected or overemphasized in ways that create discord within our community. It means working with our boards and commissions to help them be effective in fulfilling their roles.
Four main reasons. 1. I believe I have the experience, qualifications, and abilities to be an effective member of council. 2. Since I am retired, I can devote the time needed to fulfill this role, including being available to constituents and reaching out to people in our community whose voices are often not heard. 3. I think our country is going through a difficult period in which our systems of representative democracy are threatened. We need broad, active engagement by American citizens at local, state, and national levels -- citizens who are willing to work actively to strengthen our democratic institutions and work together to address our challenges. 4. I have lived here for just over 40 years. I love Oberlin and want it to be a good community for everyone who lives here.
Education Bachelors degree from Ohio University
Training and Experience Certified Facilitator; Public Transportation Manager; Adult Literacy Program Coordinator and Instructor; Youth Development Coordinator
Age 74
In light of recent events, I think it's time for council members and designated citizens to meet with designated representatives from the college to get to know one another. Regular facilitated meetings wherein members of each group would provide a means for airing issues important to each. Conversation designed to inform is a great way to head off crisis situations. I think it is time for us to stop interacting at arms length and behave more like neighbors who have a shared interest in the success of the college and the city.
I think Council needs to conduct a survey of Oberlin citizens to identify the elements they value in Oberlin that cause them to love living here. Conversely, the survey would also ask citizens to identify deficiencies in Oberlin that influence them to consider moving out of Oberlin. Based upon the results of the survey, Council could prioritize plans for Oberlin's growth and prosperity. My person opinion is that we need attractive, energy efficient, affordable housing for seniors who are downsizing from family sized homes. My opinion is based upon conversations that I've had with seniors who don't want to leave Oberlin, but feel they may have to relocate to find suitable, affordable homes.
I was a good public servant during my entire work life. When I served 3 terms on Council, I found it rewarding to examine issues, listen to residents' concerns and make decisions that were in the best interests of the citizens of Oberlin. Recently, a number of citizens asked me to run for Oberlin City Council again, so I believe they feel confident that I will be a good At-Large Councilwoman. I feel I have good analytical skills, am patient and a good listener and work well in a team environment. I look forward to working with our very experienced City Manager.
Education BA Economics Cleveland State University
Training and Experience Oberlin Planning and Civil Service Commissions Currently
Campaign Email millerwmr@frontier.com
A a member of Council, I would work to reestablish the reputation that Oberlin has taken 186 years to earn. Known for excellence in academics, music, art, environmental sustainability and diversity, the City and the College of Oberlin benefit each other as a unique integrated community. The City Of Oberlin should actively promote the Oberlin Heritage Center's College Parents Weekend Tour. It is open to the public.and professors, as well, The long history and original concepts designed into Oberlin must not be forgotten, but built upon as a model for unity across the nation.
Oberlin College and LCCC graduates are prime sources for start-up companies and the City of Oberlin could facilitate a business incubator to help the community grow and prosper. High school students could benefit from more interaction with Ohio business of all types to broaden their exposure to opportunities they may not even have considered.
Elected as Council at Large, it would be my responsibility and privilege to represent the entire Oberlin Community. I do not have a specific agenda or special interest affiliation. The non-partisan structure enables everyone to be represented and their voices heard. I will remain open to communicate with the people of Oberlin and advocate their concerns, making sound decisions that are best for the community.
Education Oberlin College, BA; CWRU School of Applied Social Sciences, MSSA; Kent State University, Ohio Dept. of Education licensure
Training and Experience 2 term City Council; 15 years Minority Bus. Enterprise Comm; 6 yrs Recreation Comm; OCIC, 6 yrs; 8 yrs County MR--DD Bd, 3 as Chair; Chair, Hospital Foundation Bd; 15 yrs Neighborhood Alliance Bd;
Age 68
In light of recent events, while there are ongoing court proceedings, City Counil should remain neutral. All members of the community, in any capacity, should strive to maintain the community as a whole.
Maintaining our city services is paramount: OMLPS (Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System); all of the Public Works divisions (General Maintenance, Building and Grounds, Water, Waste Water, Engineering and Administration); Planning and Development; Police, Fire, Recreation, and Finance departments. Economic development, residential maintenance and growth, all depend on the continuation of the local city services we have here in Oberlin.
I would like to be able to continue my service to the City of Oberlin as a member of Council because I have been deeply involved, in a multitude of ways, for over 45 years (not counting my time here as a student and graduate of Oberlin College). I would like to serve because I believe I bring a depth and breadth of experiences and community involvement to the table. In addition to the experiences listed, I also have served as the alternate to the Central Lorain County Ambulance Board, attending meetings with our township neighbors, for four years. I am currently the Oberlin representative on the OMEA (Ohio Municipal Electric Association) Board. I look forward to continuing to serve my community to help support sustainability in the broadest sense, sustaining the entire community.
Education B.A. in Politics, Oberlin College B.M. in Violin Performance, Oberlin Conservatory M.M. in Violin Performance, Rice University
Training and Experience League of Women Voters Oberlin Area Board Service, Local Business Owner, Faculty at Oberlin Community Music School, Strings Coach for Northern Ohio Youth Orchestras
Age 36
Productive relations come from good communication. Listening is the first step. I would love to see City Council commission an initiative to provide safe spaces for us to sit down together and hear each other. We have wonderful local examples in the Barefoot Dialogues and Tea Time for Peace. It could be a quarterly event where moderators would open up their homes to 8-12 people with a predefined city-wide question provided, i.e. “How do race relations in Oberlin affect you?” One person would respond to the question, then the next person would repeat what they heard and allow for clarifications before proceeding with their own response. No dialogue, just listening. The responses from the sessions could be posted anonymously by the moderators on a public forum.
I think improved communication should be City Council's top priority. Our residents are our most valuable resource for innovation and creative solutions for growth and prosperity. The more our residents know, the more they can and want to invest. City Council could involve more residents in the public discourse, initiatives, programs, and events through social media ads, monthly newsletters, flyers on public boards and in school folders, text message alerts, email updates, etc.. Conversely, we need less intimidating and time consuming ways for the public to address council about their ideas. Our residents know why people come to Oberlin to work and live, and what will encourage more to do the same.
Oberlin is the place I call home, where I choose to work and raise my family. Oberlin has been a leader in the past, and I would love the opportunity to be a part of its next chapter of leadership. I hope to help Oberlin lead in communication, showing how to move forward with diverse voices and cultures; lead in going green as we transition to zero carbon emissions; and lead in innovation as we develop new ways to provide economic prosperity for our small community. In my daily work I interact with hundreds of socio-economically and culturally diverse families in Lorain County. I am privileged to hear their experiences and views first-hand. I find these conversations remarkably siloed, and I hope that I can bring these divergent voices to City Council to help move Oberlin forward together.
Education Oberlin City Schools USMC
Training and Experience 18 years Oberlin City Council Numerous boards and Commissions
Age 65
It will take more than just City Council to have a working relationship with town/gown. It takes the whole community, and the college is part of our community, to have honesty and trust by all parties. In my 18 years I have seen that happen before and it can happen again.
In my opinion, there are many priorities for the City Council. The one I will list today is the need to work on downtown. There are too many open store fronts. Retention of businesses and creation of new job growth is what I see as one of the top priorities of our community.
It has been my honor to serve on City Council for eighteen years. Being in a non-partisan community allows me to work with the total community. We are a community made up of communities within. I will always work for the betterment of the community as a whole.

Sincerely, Councilman Ronnie Rimbert
Education Kent State University
Training and Experience Born and raised in Oberlin, I have 20 years of operations and logistics experience. I am an Oberlin Rotarian and currently serve on its board of directors. Two term Oberlin City council member.
Age 46
Campaign Email kellecaster@gmail.com
We desperately need to work on this important relationship. One cannot exist without the other. We need to communicate and bring back a sense of trust.

I plan to reach out to the Oberlin Student Senate. We as a community and the students as a community must come together and start a meaningful dialogue. It doesn’t need to be driven by the City. It doesn’t need to be driven by the college administration. It needs to be between the townspeople and the students.

Years ago, many students lived off-campus, meaning they lived among and interacted with us daily, and the relationship was more respectful. I’d like to see more off-campus housing to show the students that they are truly members of the CITY of Oberlin.
As we know, the City of Oberlin has a disproportionately limited tax base due to the large presence of nonprofits. In my two terms on Oberlin City Council, I have been laser-focused on economic development. For our city to succeed, we must be as welcoming as possible to outside companies, and we must encourage local businesses to expand.

By this, I mean retaining the businesses we have by addressing their concerns, whether it’s traffic, taxes, or anything that might cause them to consider moving. We should try to help them succeed and grow. We need to encourage new development. We need to keep our eyes open for opportunities from beyond Oberlin. We can’t afford to wait for opportunities to come to us. Our city is in need of jobs. I won’t allow Oberlin to sit on its hands.
I was 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 the father of two fourth-generation Oberlinians, I'm deeply connected to Oberlin’s past and have a strong vested interest in its future—both environmental and socioeconomic. Growing up in Oberlin and going to school here means I formed incredible bonds with everyone in town, not just West Side or East Side. It’s those bonds that give me my strong sense of empathy and the ability to listen to different perspectives. Understanding and embracing Oberlin’s past is very important but we must not be afraid to move forward into the future and grow as a community.
Education U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, (M.A. in German) U. of Freiburg, Germany (2 years) Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA (B.A.)
Training and Experience Teacher (German, ESL) Librarian (Gifts Librarian Oberlin College) Managing Editor, Oberlin College Press Non-profit: League of Women Voters,
Age 74
Campaign Email lrslocum@gmail.com
The city and college are forever intertwined. They share a center in Tappan Square. The city manager promotes working relationships between comparable staff at the college (police chief with the chief of OC security, for example) to address matters of mutual concern. Structured events, such The Big Parade, Illumination, Empty Mugs and Friendship Day as well as more informal chances to interact, such as volunteering in schools, singing in Musical Union and participating in faith communities are often good avenues for mutual understanding. We also need intentional listening and discussion opportunities and on-going mediation avenues. The Human Relations Commission or another community entity could take this on, but the city should lend support.
My top priority is to strengthen community. I will focus on quality of life issues for all those who live and work here. This priority inspires actions to: provide programs for housing renewal and support varieties of new housing; attract businesses that share our community values; support responsive infrastructure maintenance and improvements; maintain and modernize parks and create community spaces for neighbors to gather; improve honest communication among all groups and segments of this diverse community. We build community together.
I want to bring some of the projects begun during my first two terms to conclusion and advance others. The Climate Action Plan was adopted, now let's implement projects that best serve our residents! We must make decisions about the Morgan Street reservoir, renovation and use of some buildings, and the future of several city-owned properties, for example. I joined Council in 2015 to bring a cooperative spirit to a divided council. This Council has been a very collegial one. Vice-president for the past four years, I was a leader in hiring the new city manager. I regularly participate in agenda-setting and lead evaluation sessions for the council's four appointees. Our city manager is people-oriented and project-driven. I will help him implement the goals that Council establishes.
Education Elyria West High School / University of Toledo – Bachelors of Bus. Admin. in Finance / Baldwin Wallace University – MBA – Business Management
Training and Experience 21 years of professional experience in manufacturing. Certified 6-Sigma Black Belt. President of Oberlin Youth Soccer Association from 2010 - 2017.
Age 44
Website http://N/A
Facebook http://N/A
Campaign Email sthomp29ford@gmail.com
By truly building relationships. There is an underlying divide in this community that no one really to talks about and regardless of recent events, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done when it comes to building relationships. The rich history this city holds is all for not when relationships are only highlighted for ceremonial reasons. Council could help by opening up the dialogue and start having real conversations on issues that affect race relations throughout this community. Many throughout this community that aren’t in the circle of influence feel issues raised often fall on deaf ears. When people who feel excluded start feeling they truly matter, relations will begin to flourish and council can help by being intentional in those areas that need that special attention.
There are several things I feel should be a top priority: 1. With the first phase of the new construction of our Pre-K through 5 school on the horizon, I really feel this is a crucial time for the City of Oberlin and the Oberlin City School District to partner and work on a collaborative level moving forward. There should be an exploration of potential dual purpose facilities. New schools are an investment into this community and wouldn’t be great to have the two entities working together. 2. Housing and business development. With new schools comes new possibilities. What is keeping people here, and better yet, what is drawing new people to our wonderful? There is a huge potential of growth, but we have to do more than just talk about all of our possibilities.
Serving this community has been a passion of mine and I feel I can help City Council be more effective at doing its job, which is to benefit all the members of this wonderful city. I believe my personal and professional experience will bring a new perspective and offer fresh and new ideas to the issues our community will need to address in the future. I want to advocate for the people in this community that feel they have no voice, people who feel they don’t matter. The only way I can do that is having the opportunity to sit at the table where the discussions are taking place. My goal is to help Council function as a synergistic team with one goal in mind…to improve the city one issue at a time!