Editor’s Note: Brandon Rutherford is the Democrat candidate for the 4th Ward seat on Elyria’s city council. Feel free to visit his campaign website. Election Day is November 3rd, and the early voting period has already begun. Buckeye RINO endorses Brandon Rutherford for the Elyria 4th Ward seat.
Hello, I first wanted to offer Dan an apology for not getting this to him faster. I have been busy working on my campaign as well as family life and college classes.
Let me start off by telling you why I felt the need to run for 4th ward city council in Elyria. It’s of no shock to anyone that times in Ohio are tough. Jobs are leaving the state by the hundreds. Our kids are going to school getting their degrees and high-tailing it out of here on the first plane to South Carolina or Georgia. Home sales, like elsewhere, are horrid. We had in Elyria; one gentleman bought two properties for $9,000. Both had houses that were perfectly fine.
I am a block watch captain here in Elyria where I manage my block watch and have help start other blockwatches in Elyria. I have also created and held events called Take Back Elyria which Dan has commented on here on this blog. Take Back Elyria is modeled off of the Take Back the Night events where residents would come together and learn how to better protect themselves. My events bring many different resources together such as self-defense hand to hand combat, conceal and carry, Child ID and much more.
I consider myself a “out of the box” thinker. And with that being said I am going to layout for you my plan for not just the 4th ward but the city. The following is what I will be working to get in place and running, if elected to city council. Some of these aspects will cost residents very minimal, if any tax dollars. After each proposal, I will explain how the proposal will be paid for providing accountability on my part.
Small Business Incubator- Small Business in Lorain County let alone Northeast Ohio is fierce and we need to be at the top of our game concerning efforts to get in Elyria. I want to create a Small Business Incubator (Which is part of the Elyria 2015 plan) In terms of resources we have the two greatest resources around in LCCC and the Great Lakes Building where they specialize in entrepreneurship classes. I, metaphorically speaking, envision a box with a big red bow on it that inside would have all of the resources anyone would want that is interested in starting a business in Elyria.
How much and where would it come from? The great thing about this is it would only cost people time and a bit of money putting together copies of laws and useful information that they should have. You might think that business owners should take that responsibility themselves to get that info, and to a point I think you’re right.
Resident Appreciation Day- Resident Appreciation Days (RAD) should either be a ward event or a city wide event. If it was to just be a ward event and others didn’t want to take part in the event then I would gladly hold the first one on Hill Top Park. Block watches of the 4th ward would be on hand to offer advice and allow residents that might not know that they exist to sign up and begin attending meetings. The mayor and at-large city council members would be invited. However, not only will this be an event where residents would get to talk to the mayor and the at-large council members it would get people out and talking with their friends and neighbors. Elyria is a great city and I feel we need to create that sense of pride and desire to want to live in Elyria. Most of us do enjoy living here and plan to stay here for many years to come, however, I feel by having an event geared towards the residents it lets them know that the elected officials appreciate their devotion to our great city. Ward meetings aside from the RAD days would still continue as well.
How much and where would it come from? It wouldn’t cost the residents anything. All items including food and entertainment (DJ, etc.. ) will be donated by either the elected official(s) or area businesses. If donations couldn’t be had anywhere I would just pay for the event myself.
Small Business Appreciation Day– This would be similar to the Residential Appreciation Day where we would reach out the Small Businesses that have chosen to move to Elyria to start their businesses. We would incorporate important key resources that could help grow businesses by either a line of credit from a bank or networking with another area business to learn of a new and possible cost saving measure. This will also be a kick-off to a “Buy Elyria Concept”. Long have we kept beating the drum of people trying to have Elyria companies buy products from other Elyria companies. This campaign will be held by volunteers that of small businesses owners that want to see Elyria revive itself and become stronger.
How much and where would it come from? This event wouldn’t cost the residents anything and would only take time to plan and organize and other items that might be needed could be donated or purchased by non-tax payer dollars. If donations couldn’t be had anywhere I would just pay for the event myself as well. That is how important I feel this issue is.
Community Gardens– These gardens will provide more than just food for the neighbors of the it will provide a real sense of pride and ownership which will help our city grow. The gardens are already popping up all over the city but I’d like to see more pop up on personal property. We are currently working on networking connections and get certain pieces in place to make putting a garden together in town a snap.
How much and where would it come from? Nothing. The gardens would be on personal property thereby avoiding the city mandated liability insurance. That is unless the city would be willing to start the garden themselves much like as they are doing in Lorain that way residents wouldn’t have to carry the liability insurance because it would be covered by the cities insurance.
I would still strongly urge council to allow residents to use city land to do a community gardens because of the positive effects it has in that neighborhood. The liability would be on the city either way even if residents did pay the already required fee for insurance that the city requires residents to have. Cascade/Furnace Street has had their garden up for months and no on has been sick or got hurt while tending to the gardens.
City Wide Recycling program- This program would be looking at ways to save money at the cities bottom line. Lets look at the city buildings whether it is the EPD, EFD City Hall, City Garage or anywhere else. If the city were to recycle all of the paper not only would it be a “green” thing to do it would also cut down on the amount of times that the dumpster has to be dumped thereby cutting costs. We could also instead of putting paper into the big green dumpsters we could compile the paper and shred it and use it in the Community Gardens.
I hope that through these efforts you will see that Elyria will be on the forefront of the battle to get jobs back into Lorain County and Northeast Ohio.
The plan, although still in action, I have been introducing myself to the resident of the 4th ward for the past several months. I have walked the ward thus far 3 times and had many, many great conversations with voters where we discussed the issues facing our city. I believe in getting out there and meeting your constituents and letting them know who will be representing them. Voters are not naïve and they don’t like being treated like you can just feed them political gorgon and get elected. They want and deserve answers and should get the respect they deserve. We as residents should ask for accountability from all of our elected officials.
Together we will move our cities forward,