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Bowling Green City Council Ward 4

Bowling Green City Council Ward 4Term commencing January 1, 2022 One to be Elected//Vote for OneTerm of Office: 2 yearsSalary: $5,000Qualifications: Resident of Bowling Green and qualified elector

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  • Candidate picture

    Willlam J. Herald
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Sandra Rowland
    (Dem)

Información Biográfica

What does sustainability mean to you? What is your plan for making Bowling Green a sustainable community?

What kind of regulations (registration, inspection, licensing, enforcement) should Council approve to assure tenants that their rentals are safe? What minimum standards should all rentals meet?

Bowling Green’s infrastructure (streets, sidewalks, water, sewers, utilities, trees, parks) must be continually maintained and improved. What are your suggestions for improving the city’s infrastructure and how would you fund these improvements?

How can City Council encourage more businesses and industries to (re)locate to Bowling Green? What are other nearby communities doing to encourage new businesses

Campaign Email williamjherald@gmail.com
Education Ph.D. in Public Policy & Management (Ohio State), M.A., M.S., B.S. (all BGSU).
Qualifications 12th year as FOURTH WARD Council Member, former President Pro Tem, former Acting Mayor, 46 Fourth Ward quarterly meetings, 28 years business experience, 44 years BG resident. …
To me, sustainability encompasses actions involving being a faithful, good steward of the environment. Moving BG forward involves a number of different actions, e.g., education, incentives, structure, and planning. I was on Council when we started curbside recycling. This year, I sent a proposal to the city administration to look into starting a city income tax credit for those who have residential green energy which is tied to our electric grid. Also, I initiated action to reorganize Council’s seven Council Committees (although Committees rarely change; they can). Thanks to Council’s agreement, we now have a Sustainability Council Committee. We are now better able to handle sustainability opportunities in the future; including future recommendations from Council-initiated, to-be-developed Climate Action Plan. (More detail can be found in my Spring 2021 Fourth Ward Newsletter.)
The Community Improvement Committee of Council-with myself as an active member-has spent many hours on this important issue. We produced a series of recommendations which consist of a “multi-faceted, multi-phased approach which emphasizes communication, takes measured/proportional steps, and is forward looking.” There are two major components to the solution: registration and inspection. Council has passed rental registration. Council and the administration are now working on inspection, e.g., a mixture of owner/tenant self-inspection and third-party inspection with fines for violations. Hopefully, by the end of the year we should complete this significant step forward in improving safety. The minimum standards are outlined in a Committee-approved checklist of fifty-one items; including a number of important safety-related items. [Current draft can be found on my Web site, LWV tab.]
Relatively speaking, we are most challenged by our need to maintain streets and sidewalks. Related to city money, our first 1.5% (of 2%) of income tax is mandated to various funds (think of a pie with different-sized slices). For decades, there has been a healthy hesitancy to adjust these percentages. I believe the time has come to carefully, and deeply, analyze making an adjustment. We have 5% (of the 1.5% income tax) allocated to “Street Repair Fund.” If we carefully increase that and change it to “Street/Sidewalk Repair Fund,” that will give us a boost. However, that means decreasing one or more other “slices.” That’s one reason why we need careful, analytic, laser-focused consideration, citizen input, and citizen approval. However, it is not unreasonable to think that our needs have changed from the 1970s. Note that this does not increase taxes, it reallocates existing taxes.
Years ago, I was asked to develop a Council Policy on economic assistance to business and industry. The resulting unanimously-passed policy states, in part, “[I]t is the policy of this Council to encourage proper economic development for Bowling Green.” This remains my guiding policy. [See my Web site, LWV tab, for full policy.] All communities should pursue tailored periodic strategic planning (including strengths). We have done that. One of our major strengths is having our own municipal utilities to market. Another strength is our diversity of organizations devoted to attracting business/industry. Council works well with these organizations. Council should also move forward in improving the community. For example, as part of our planning, Council has prioritized updating our zoning code. This should make it both easier and more desirable for businesses/industry to locate to BG.
Campaign Email Rowland for Council 1132 Lyn Rd Bowling Green OH 43402
Education Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green State University, Hondros College
Qualifications Ten years on Bowling Green CIty Council. Finance Committee, Chair of Parks and Recreation. Successful Business Woman, Award winning Realtor, Outstanding Citizen of the Year, 2020.
Sustainability is extremely important to me. I want BG to meet its needs without compromising future generations from meeting their needs. Bowling Green is a sustainable community! With 40% of our electric coming from renewable resources we far exceed the national and state average. Our 165 acre solar field in largest in Ohio. Our wind farm was first in Ohio. We also purchase hydropower that amounts to 35% of our electric needs. Our water treatment plant uses the best technology and our wastewater plant has updated to reduce pollutants to improve our watershed. Our recycling has greatly expanded to include food wastes. We have 7,600 city owned trees and 124 acres in nature preserves. We are fortunate to have a director of sustainability. Every department within the city strives for more sustainability. We will soon be seeing a fleet of hybrid vehicles used by our police department.
After some forty years of discussing the need for rental registration and inspection the current city council has passed legislation mandating all rental properties be registered with the city. Registration is currently taking place. City council is now engaged in passing legislation requiring inspections. I favor having third party oversight on self- inspections. I favor strict enforcement with substantial fines for any rental property owner who makes false claims about the condition of their property Inspections should show compliance with all building, housing, health and safety codes. Repairs should be made to keep dwelling fit and habitable including electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, fixtures and appliances. Legislation is on hold while The Mayor secures the support of all city departments, including the police and fire department that will be involved in enforcement
Bowling Green, is unique in that we have a mandate on how income tax dollars must be used. This formula was devised years ago and is included in our City Charter. By law we must follow this formula. The largest amount, 37.5%, goes to the General Fund. The second highest amount goes toward the sewer and water capital fund, making our monthly water bills much less than other communities. The remainder of tax dollars go to fire, police, street repair, capital funds and recreation. The advantages of having this distribution allows for routine maintenance of our infrastructure and keeps politics out of it. What Bowling Green lacks in infrastructure is housing. Our housing stock is sparse and it is old. We must have more new housing in order to attract more businesses and residents. Our new zoning laws along with adding tax incentives are the path to attracting more house construction
Bowling Green has much to offer businesses: reasonably priced electricity, location on a major interstate highway, a university, and technical schools So far this has led to success in attracting industry. The city lacks enough adequate housing for new business employees. A priority for the city must be to attract investors in new housing subdivisions. City Council met with consultants to hear about new incentives for Community Development and that must be addresses soon. The economic development plan of using tax abatements to lure business to cities is on its way out. In its place is a strategy used by Amazon and other businesses. That is to select cities that are willing to work with companies who want to locate where they can sustain employees. We should be letting businesses know we are willing to work with them to create an ecosystem that allows the city to thrive.