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Bowling Green City Council At-Large {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Bowling Green City Council-At-LargeTerm commencing January 1, 2022 Two to be Elected//Vote for TwoTerm of Office: 4 yearsSalary: $5,000Qualifications: Resident of Bowling Green and qualified elector

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  • Candidate picture

    Mark Hollenbaugh

  • Candidate picture

    Gregory W. Robinette

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 markforcouncil@yahoo.com
Education Both a Bachelors and Masters degree from BGSU.
Qualifications I'm currently serving as the first ward council member and as council president.
I believe sustainability is about making decisions today that will not jeopardize our future. People need clean air, water, and a stable ecosystem in order to thrive. This year, city council passed a resolution to create a climate action plan for the City of Bowling Green. Over the next couple years, a committee of knowledgeable citizens will draft a plan with the intention of Bowling Green being carbon neutral before the middle of this decade. As energy technologies improve the Bowling Green will continue to embrace opportunities to upgrade our capabilities and incorporate these technologies into new construction projects and city services. The City of Bowling Green has been a leader in the region on sustainability issues such as recycling and renewable energy in large part because of our citizens and their commitment to a clean and sustainable future.
The quality of rental properties in Bowling Green has been a topic of discussion for decades. It has been a controversial issue and as a result little progress has been made. The very first task I assigned to committee upon being elected council president in January of 2020 was registration and inspection of rental properties. The registration portion of the legislation was passed earlier this year and the inspection component is expected to be enacted this Fall. The purpose of registration and inspection of rental properties is to correct bad practices seen by some property owners without creating a huge bureaucracy and punishing the majority of property owners who provide needed quality housing to residents. Ideally, rentals in Bowling Green should be safe, clean, updated, enhance their neighborhoods, and meet the diverse housing needs of citizens.
I feel the maintenance and expansion of the city’s infrastructure impacts both quality of life issues and our economic prosperity. Sadly, whenever there is economic uncertainty these are areas where funding cuts happen and projects are delayed. Fortunately, the actual economic impact of Covid has not been as devastating to the city’s finances as was originally forecast and anticipated economic growth looks promising. The city’s parks continue to be funded through the generosity of or taxpayers and are one of our community’s greatest assets. The city’s utility infrastructure has always been a priority and is continually being maintained and upgraded. Streets and sidewalks are always a challenge, however, council is working on ways to streamline the process and provide mobility throughout the city for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.
I believe Bowling Green has tremendous potential to attract businesses and industries in the coming decades. In order to attract business, we will need to have commercial and industrial spaces available. Businesses are looking for quality, reliable, low cost utilities, proximity to transportation networks, and educated workers. Bowling Green being between the Port of Toledo and CSX intermodal hub, and being on I-75, gives us an ideal location. Through our economic development partnerships, we are able to offer economic incentives including tax abatements and discounted utility rates. As businesses become increasingly dependent on employees with technology-based skills I believe our educated workforce allows us to fill the diverse employee needs for any business. Bowling Green needs to be prepared, agile, and accommodating in order to attract new businesses in the dynamic modern economy.
Campaign Email greg.robinette@gmail.com
Education JD, UT College of Law, Masters Degree, US Army War College, BS, Purdue University
Qualifications Leadership, business, and government experience: two terms on City Council, 5 years Planning Commission & Zoning Board of Appeals, Engineer, Attorney, and 32 year Army veteran.
As a patent attorney, I have obtained patent protection for clients in the wind energy, solar panel, and nuclear energy industries. I understand the benefits and opportunities that these energy sources provide. Further, the citizens of BG have a lot to be proud of regarding renewable energy. BG provides a reliable, sustainable, and cost competitive electric system for our customers, built renewable energy projects, and provides customer programs that implement our efforts for clean energy and environmental stewardship. Significantly, 40% of our electric energy is from renewable resources, exceeding State and National averages. Our robust recycling program and a Pilot Food Waste Drop Off program are well received and well used. Additionally, city council directed the city to investigate if and how we can reach the aspirational goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the future.
The question of rental inspections has challenged the city for years. I was encouraged by the first draft of the Ordinance dealing with Rental Dwelling Registration and Inspection, and its provisions for a self-certification program. It is also true that I was the sole vote against the ordinance creating the rental registration program because I felt it was being treated as a precursor to an inspection regime that had not yet been vetted or approved. More importantly, this matter is still under discussion and the rental registration ordinance has not yet been introduced to council because the Mayor has asked for time for the city to consider the implications and options for a proposed third party inspection component. I believe that this study by the city is prudent and I will withhold my decision on whether to support the legislation until a final draft is introduced to council.
The city does an admirable job of ensuring that each annual budget includes an appropriate allocation for infrastructure. But it is unfair to characterize the city's efforts to maintain and improve its infrastructure as a problem needing to be solved. The portions of the budget allocated to infrastructure items, e.g., roads, sidewalks, and trails must, however, be constantly monitored and adjusted for changing circumstances. The city's website has a Capital Projects page with information about water, sewer, paving, multi-department, and future projects. As chair of the City Council Finance and Ways and Means Committee, I work with the city administration and my council colleagues to ensure that an appropriate portion of each annual budget includes funds sufficient to repair and maintain our infrastructure, and that maintains the quality of life our citizens expect and deserve.
Economic Development is crucial to our success as a city. Council has the opportunity and the obligation to work with businesses directly, and through organizations such as the BG Chamber, Downtown BG, and BG Economic Development to ensure that we do everything we can to help businesses succeed and to attract new businesses. One of the most important tools at our disposal is the Zoning Code, and we soon will consider the changes being drafted. With this key task we have a unique and important opportunity to set the conditions for economic development and growth, eliminate confusing and contradictory language, and provide important clarity to the requirements, limitations, and definitions of each zoning district, and to establish clear expectations for anyone who reads the Zoning Code, including developers, and entities such as the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals.