Before you enter the voting booth on November 8, it is important to learn all you can about each candidate. With a Meet the Candidates event scheduled for 7 p.m. on November 2 at the Margaret Erl Center (east end of Lincoln Elementary School), we have reached out to each of the council candidates for a statement on their respective platforms. We really appreciate the efforts of these nine candidates for taking the time to share this information with you. Below you will find their written replies, which have been posted in the order they are listed on the ballot:
Bret NEUSPICKLE (Challenger)
My interest in running for city council is in providing representation, and not having political aspirations. I want to open up other avenues of communication, to better reflect the citizens’ concerns, opinions and ideas. Not everyone is available or capable to attend a meeting, and I want to be that accurate ear and voice for those citizens.
While we continue to move forth, I feel like there always needs to be changes in bringing fresh ideas and new visions. I want to share my ideas and visions while providing that representation of community concerns, opinions and ideas.
With all the new coming into our city, I feel there has been some lost emphasis on what has already been here. I want to look at ways of helping to reconnect with those that may feel they've been slighted or overlooked.
I feel we have yet to tap into our greatest resource in building for our community’s future; that being our young men and women in our schools. I'd like to see a program where it encourages in hopes of our youth taking more interest now, in becoming the citizens and administration of the future.
While in strong agreement with direction being pointed towards improving our fire, police, public works and administration within the city, I feel that some direction has been lost in looking towards the citizens themselves. I want to see a balance that works for everyone. I would also like to do more research in looking for grants and other methods of efficient spending and controls.
We have rested in the promotion of our city. While local media outlets provided us a great benefit in promoting our city with Homefest, Beyond The Curb, CCAP and the new development, there was little done in carrying that momentum forward to showcase our community. I want to see a new emphasis in promoting our city, bringing us up to speed with other river cities by becoming the next "up and coming". It just doesn't happen without the committed effort.
I would also like to see more pattern in following formulas that have been successful in other communities. One being with a big emphasis on the local VFW, beautification programs, and united community participation events. We have a great city. We need to share it and show it to people.
Dennis "Denny" LYNN (Incumbent)
My name is Denny Lynn and I am seeking Re-Election to Dayton City Council. I have lived in Dayton for over 50 years. I have been married for 39 years and have three children; all three have graduated from Dayton High School. I’m also the proud grandfather of 3 grandchildren, with one due any day now.
I’m a Retired Fire Chief for the Dayton Fire Department and the Fire Department of Bellevue-Dayton. I have 40 years of experience working in City Government, balancing city budgets and administration. I currently am the Chairperson of the City’s Finance Committee; I am also on the Safety Committee and the Personnel Law and Printing Committee.
During the 22 months that I have been on council, we started the Commercial Community Advantage Program (CCAP) to bring in businesses to the central businesses district. This program helps with rental abatement, uniform signage and structural improvements. We lowered our trash collection fees, we have not raised property taxes and we came in $89,700 under budget. We also approved to pay half along with the City of Bellevue to purchase a new Rosenbauer Aerial Fire Truck for the Fire Department.
In the Police Department we purchased new cruisers and some body cameras. In the Building Department we have new computer programs and ordinances to help in the fight against blight. We have new development both on the north and south side of the floodwall with new apartments at the bottom of Walnut Street and soon up the hill between O’Fallon and Walnut Streets above Tenth Street there will be 17 new single-family homes.
Remember to VOTE on November 8, 2016
FOR CONTINUED PROGRESS , RE-ELECT DENNY LYNN TO DAYTON CITY COUNCIL
Endorsed by the Fire Department of Bellevue-Dayton Local #3751
Jerald L. GIFFORD (Incumbent)
My name is Jerald L. Gifford and I am seeking re-election to Dayton City Council. I have had the blessed opportunity to serve my city as a council member for several terms. I am currently chair of the Bellevue-Dayton Fire Board. I have served as a coach for several years in basketball, baseball, football, women and girls’ softball, and Junior Olympics. I served as president of the Dayton Park Board for 5 years.
I believe in our city and its people. In this world, just as in the sports world, we need a mix of new and experienced people for the best results to be obtained. I have enjoyed working with our current group and would like to see us continue. Our city needs to move forward, but not at the expense of where we came from. The women and men who got us where we are should not be forgotten.
I am all for progress that moves us in the right direction economically speaking. The Main Street CCAP program is helping the movement. Our citizens rallying to do civic pride events shows we still care. Our school improvement shows we are moving forward. Our school board members are doing a great job. If all of us row in the same direction, we will get to our destination more unified; not necessarily faster, but together.
Thank you all for being Daytonians. My wife, my three children and three grandchildren have gone through our school system and still volunteer for our city. I hope all of you feel the same way as we do. I will always do my best to stand up for what is right and in the best interest of you. Please consider me for re-election.
Jerald L. Gifford
Dayton City Council Member
Endorsed by Fire Department Bellevue-Dayton Local #3751
William "Bill" BURNS (Incumbent)
My name is Bill Burns and I am running for re-election for Dayton City Council on which I have served for the past four years. For those of you who may not know me, I am the guy on the streets with the curly hair and white mustache.
I'm a lifelong resident,born at Speers Hospital and raised in this great city. I graduated from Dayton High School (Class of 69) and married my wife of 46 years, Ginny, also a Dayton graduate. We were married at First Presbyterian Church in Dayton where I am still a member today. I was soon called to duty where I proudly served 4 years in the US Air Force, where I received the Air Force Commendation Medal. During my service our son was born, and due to our love for this city, we chose to come back home to raise our family. My son (William II) is a 1989 graduate of Dayton High school as are my two grandchildren (William III -2012 & Katelyn - 2013).
Upon returning home, I worked for CG&E, now Duke, for over 38 years until my retirement in 2006. I am presently employed part-time at Fresh Thyme Markets. I always knew I wanted to give back to the community where I grew up. This desire led me to two influential men in my life - Mr. Lee Reiber and Mr. Harry Rifkin, both of whom became my mentors. I am privileged to call them my role models. Over the years, I've been honored to serve as part of the following community organizations:
While serving on the Council, I have been steadfast at keeping taxes from being raised. There has been no tax increase during my tenure on Council. I believe that we should continue with the CCAP program, and that we must also find avenues to increase our revenues. In my opinion, we need to explore bringing businesses into our Industrial Park, as this would increase payroll taxes and occupational taxes.
Remember I am a VOICE, not an ECHO.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO VOTE NOVEMBER 8th, 2016
Thanking you in advance for your vote
Endorsed by the Bellevue-Dayton Fire Department Local #3751
Jeff HAAS (Challenger)
Two years ago I set out to earn your vote for Dayton City Council, during which I met many citizens of our community and was privileged to discuss our local issues. Through this humbling process, I developed a fundamental understanding of our community, its people and the organizations that make our small town a great place to live, work and grow.
Being new, I knew I had to engage the citizens of this community. What I did not know was I have become part of a community that I love and admire.
This belonging has resonated within me since and has transcended into a desire to continue serving the people of this great city. I have learned most people want Dayton to be a safe, clean and growing community. I believe this can be achieved through focused investment in core services first.
With their limited resources, it is no secret that our Fire and Police departments do a fantastic job. As a member of the FDBD board, I’ve learned firsthand what challenges our fire department faces serving our community. I have been witness to the daily struggle the police department must overcome. That is why I will fight to provide these departments with the proper tools to do their job. I believe this will create tier one departments that will improve the safety of our community.
We’ve all driven on the snowless roads and seen improvement in housing due to the efforts of our Public Works department and our Code Enforcement officer. No community can prosper without a strong foundation in these two departments. That is why improving on their great success will too take precedence in my voting as we move towards a cleaner city.
The City has seen great success transforming our Avenue through the CCAP program. Once our core services are taken care of, we can direct more focus to economic growth and continue the success of the CCAP program. Using it as a foundation, I believe we can finally finish the industrial park and develop similar growth programs with a strong housing focus.
I ask for your support as we aim to cultivate a safe, clean and growing Dayton, Kentucky. I ask for your vote on November 8th and look forward to continuing to serve this community.
Endorsed by Fire Department Bellevue-Dayton Local #3751
Alex KRAEMER (Challenger)
I am honored to be running for Dayton City Council. It has been a pleasure getting to know many of you as I go around town knocking on doors. My wife and I have also enjoyed being a part of many community meetings and events, such as Main Street Board meetings, the Kite Festival (dressing up as Thing 2 & Slush Puppy was fun!), football games, volunteering at St. Bernard’s festival, etc.
My experience working for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, a United States Senator, and a State Representative have provided me the skills to be an effective councilmember. Also, as a student in NKU’s Master in Public Administration program, I studied how to improve small town main streets.
Dayton’s great potential exists due to our active citizens, our close proximity to Cincinnati and the Ohio River, and regional non-profit organizations that can provide expert assistance. One of my major focuses is on enhancing our Main Street, (6th Avenue) from our western border with Bellevue through our Business District. At the west entrance to Dayton, we need more visible city signs with directions to our Business District, along with street beautification. For our Business District, we need continued promotion of our current businesses and concerted efforts to bring in good businesses. I will make sure we stay diligent on attracting the best possible businesses to our Main Street to create more community vibrancy.
Other major goals of mine include restoring vacant and abandoned properties throughout our city and preserving our parks and seeking out areas for new parks or community gathering places.
If you elect me, I will be fiscally responsible with your tax dollars. I will continue to promote our city and assist with the construction of Riverfront Commons that will connect all of us with the riverfront. I will listen and respect all ideas and concerns and work with anyone who is willing to work with me. Dayton has so many great people and great potential…Your vote for me on November 8th will help us reach that potential!
Jeff A. VOLTER (Challenger)
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jeff Volter and I am a first time candidate for City Council of Dayton, Ky. I am running for council for one reason, and one reason only. That reason is to promote continuous growth and improvements within our city. I have no hidden agenda. I believe that my experiences, ability to connect with people and desire to improve our city make me a strong candidate for Dayton City Council.
Background Information: I am a lifelong resident of Dayton and graduate of Dayton High School, NKU, and Xavier University. I have been married to wife, Cathy, for 42 years and have two children, Heather and Jeffrey.
Experiences: I have served previously as the Dayton Zoning Board Chairman, Board of Adjustments Member, Dayton School Board Member and Northern Kentucky YMCA Board Member. I have served as a professional educator for 37 years, with 20 years in the Dayton Independent School System as a teacher and Principal. I currently serve as a Consultant to Covington Independent Schools.
My Candidate Platform is:
Ben BAKER (Incumbent)
What an incredible two years it has been since our last Council election, with growth and opportunities in Dayton. Since 2014, we have seen the transformation begin in our business district. Accelerated in part by the Commercial Community Advantage Program (CCAP), Sixth Avenue is receiving more interest and attention in the region. New businesses are giving our neighbors and visitors new destinations to eat and shop. During my years as chair of the Economic Development Board we have worked with city staff, the Main Street Board and fellow council members to bring these exciting changes to The Avenue.
Our residential neighborhoods are developing and improving as well. With a focus on code enforcement, keeping properties and landlords to a high standard, we’re increasing our property values. City Council worked with other River Cities to have SD1 help our neighbors with lateral lines so that residents wouldn’t receive the bill. The continued development of communities, both within Dayton’s traditional borders and in new areas along the river, maintains our taxes. And soon, we will be able to lower taxes to give all neighbors a break at the end of the year.
Importantly, since 2014, we have tackled tough issues while maintaining our budget. Serving on the Bellevue Dayton Fire Department Board, we worked with both cities and councils to continue to provide quality, life-saving equipment while staying within budget.
Over the last 24 months, it has been a great pleasure and privilege to work with boards, committees and volunteers to continue to give Dayton residents the quality of life we deserve. The number of volunteer hours that our neighbors commit to Dayton Schools, Civic Club activities, the Dayton Community Garden and Park Board count well into the thousands. Civic spirit is alive in Dayton; it makes us who we are.
Ours is a great city. But more can be done. The next two years are critical to maintaining such growth and vibrancy, to seeing projects completed. If you honor me with the opportunity to serve again, I would continue to work with ALL of Dayton to build on our successes and achieve new ones.
Joseph "Joe" NEARY (Incumbent)
Dayton has made great strides in the past two years, and it’s been an honor to serve on your City Council that has enabled this progress.
We pushed for stronger nuisance ordinances and code enforcement, resulting in many problem properties being addressed. Neighborhoods are improving and property values are going up.
We pushed for more transparent communications with our citizens. City ordinances and contacts are now online, more up-to-date information is made public, and we have a Council that is “in touch” with the community.
We pushed for more fiscal responsibility, and now Council gets a monthly register of all transactions. Our overall budget and expenditures increased without increasing property taxes.
We pushed for more residential and commercial investment. We’ve gained new businesses in our Central Business District, and investors are rehabbing many properties. New homeowners are moving into our city and getting involved with our schools and civic activities.
We pushed to build relationships with groups outside of Dayton who could help us move forward. We now have stronger support from SouthBank, The Catalytic Fund, and county and state officials. These efforts brought more grants for projects and events like the Riverfront Trail and Beyond The Curb.
We pushed to address public safety needs, and now our police have body cameras, and our fire department has new medical equipment and a new aerial truck on order. We helped build a city-wide atmosphere of respect and civility, where different ideas and opinions are considered without contention. We can now focus on the challenges that lie ahead, and base our decisions on “best practices”.
As proof, River City News named us “the most improved river city”. Dayton has quickly become the envy of our neighboring cities on both sides of the river. To continue the positive momentum we’ve all worked so hard to build, we need another open-minded and hard-working City Council.
When you vote November 8th, pick the best six candidates who will keep pushing Dayton forward. I humbly ask that you include me among them. Save your best vote for the last name on the ballot! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Margaret Erl Center at Lincoln Elementary School
(Gymnasium on east side of school)
Dayton Community News