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

Three Democrats and three Republicans are seeking election Nov. 7 to three at-large seats on Reynoldsburg City Council.The candidates include two incumbents, Barth Cotner and Chris Long, both Republicans, along with Republican Aaron DeLong and Democrats Stacie A. Baker, Kristin J. Bryant and Kelly S. Cruse.Independent Courtney N. Martin withdrew from the race. Franklin County Board of Elections spokesman Aaron Sellers said Monday, Oct. 16. it’s too late to remove Martin’s name from the ballot so any votes she receives will not be counted.Read more:Reynoldsburg council race: Safety, development on candidates’ radar
Choose two candidates from below to compare.
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    Stacie A. Baker (Dem) Policy Analyst

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    Kristin J. Bryant (Dem) attorney

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    Barth R. Cotner (Rep) Funeral Director

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    Kelly S. Cruse (Dem) Insurance Agent & Business Consultant

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    Aaron DeLong (Rep) Lead Pastor of Simple Church

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    Chris Long (Rep) Director - Customer Satisfaction, North America

  • Courtney Martin

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Biographical Information

Reynoldsburg voters have approved an increase in the city income tax that is estimated to bring in $6.5 million a year. A portion of that – but not all – is slated to be used to build a new community center. What are your priorities for spending the rest?

Should the city offer tax-increment financing deals or other financial incentives to attract businesses and development? Why or why not?

Why are you the best-qualified candidate for this position?

What else would you like to say to voters?

Age 35
Education Ohio State University Graduate
Experience My experience is in public policy and management.
Family I am a husband to my beautiful wife Latasha and father to my wonderful son Xavier.
Religion Christian
My priorities for using the rest of the revenue generated from Reynoldsburg’s 2.5% income tax will be to make sure our infrastructure such as the roads, sidewalks and irrigation system are being properly fixed and maintain. I would also make sure that a portion of this tax revenue is properly allocated to the Reynoldsburg Police Department, because our police force has been stretch so thin that the necessary resources needed to effectively protect our community has been stagnant. Finally, I would invest part of this income tax revenue to promote economic development within the City of Reynoldsburg. For example improving and promoting the Livingston Ave-Brice Rd area. I want to use the money generated from this new income tax to help all areas in the City of Reynoldsburg,so that our community can be self-reliance for the future.
I do believe that offering tax-increments financing deals or other financial incentives like tax abatement should be an option to consider, but it must be carefully reviewed before issuing them out to attract businesses. The reason why is because when a financial incentive like tax abatements are issued to businesses, the tax burden get shift to the rest of the community to make up the difference. However, using financial incentives or tax-increment can beneficial only if they are used to attract business that will create good paying jobs. It will not benefit the City of Reynoldsburg if these kind of financial incentives or tax-increment finance are distributed to business that only created minimum wage paying jobs.
I am the best-qualified candidate to be on Reynoldsburg City Council, because I will bring fresh innovative ideals that will move Reynoldsburg towards prosperity. Thus, ending the quasi-fair style leadership on council that has prohibited our city from growing and prospering. I also believe that putting the best interest of the community first is a must for which I am best-qualified to do. Plus, my experience in a leadership role for the Franklin County Government has provided me with the skills and experience that i will use to help Reynoldsburg become a city that will lead and not a city that follows. Moreover, being able to listen to what the community wants will help me be the best qualified candidate for this position too.
What I would like to say to the voters of Reynoldsburg, is that on November 7, 2017, I humbly ask for your vote to be elected to the Reynoldsburg City Council. As your next city councilman, I will bring a new vision for a stronger Reynoldsburg by working hard with the Reynoldsburg Police Department to keep our neighborhoods safe and strengthening our community. I will also fight to fund much needed infrastructure improvements in our city. In addition, to being committed to creating strong economic development that all of Reynoldsburg may grow and prosper for the future.
Age 47
Education West Virginia University, B.A. & B.M. 1995 University of Oklahoma, 1995-1997 Capital University, J.D. 2004
Experience I have worked in the legal profession for more than 25 years, with 11 of those years as an attorney.
Family I have one son, Darien Bryant (23), who currently lives in Shanghai and coaches American football.
Religion I am a Roman Catholic.
Twitter @Bryant4theBurg
First, we need to restore our police department to full power and provide our officers with the tools they need to be able to effectively do their jobs and protect residents and visitors. Our police department has been undermanned and underfunded to the extent that it has caused a public safety risk. We need to get a canine unit so we can stop borrowing dogs from Pataskala for narcotics/tracking. Implement programs to help members of the community who face a wide variety of socio-economic issues (Alcohol-Drug Abuse, Unemployment, Housing, Mental Health).

Second, we need to prioritize the needs to our infrastructure. Many of our streets have not been paved for a decade or more and are crumbling. There are a number of areas that desperately need sidewalks or the sidewalks that are there are crumbling. Our sewers and water mains need updating and we need to have wireless networks improved and updated so we can compete with the likes of New Albany for new business.
We must work to develop financial incentives that will be mutually beneficial to businesses as well as our City. Our economy is stagnant and has been for well over a decade. We need to do whatever is necessary to bring in new businesses that will provide jobs with meaningful salaries to boost our economy. In turn, the income tax revenue generated by people working in career positions, rather than minimum wage, will support the incentives. Every day there aren't shovels in the ground, building new employment opportunities, is a day we are falling behind and being surpassed by other communities around us.
As an attorney, I spend my days listening to people and working with them to help solve problems. Sometimes problems need to be solved with creative solutions and I know how to do that. I believe for every problem there is a solution but you have to be willing to take the time to look for it.

I raised my son as a single mother while finishing my undergraduate degrees, putting myself through law school and working various full time jobs in the process while he participated in every sport imaginable. It was never easy but always worth it so I am no stranger to hard work and know how to find ways to make things happen.

I am willing to listen to all members of our community and work toward building the City we all deserve. I will treat all members of our community with respect and work toward a spirit of inclusiveness for all our city's residents.

I want to work for you because I believe we can all do better. This election is a gateway toward and we need new voices to lead the way toward a better future. All segments of our community need to be represented and to feel included and valued.

I will hold community hours for the public to interact with me at various locations around the City and at various times so I will be accessible to residents with concerns, questions and/or suggestions.
Age 45
Education Ohio University 1990-1992. Transferred to Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, Bachelors in Mortuary Science in 1933
Experience I have served our city on council for 9 years. The last 4 as chairman of our finance committee, helping to oversee a budget that is substantially lower than surrounding communities. I've worked with our administration to manage resources.
Family My wife Julie has been a first grade teacher in Reynoldsburg since 1997. My daughter Lucie is 9 and my son Casey is 8.
Religion I have attended the Reynoldsburg Church of the Nazarene since I was 5 years old.
I have wanted our community to develop a comprehensive master plan for a long time. These are very detailed plans that involve working closely with community members to structure the direction and growth of the city. When developers and businesses look to invest they want to see that a community has a clear vision. With this we can begin to attract development in our city. New and redevelopment of businesses will help increase our tax revenues. With investment into our community we become stronger and safer. We depend on our police for safety and I also want to see our force increased and given the tools necessary. Our officers choose to serve and protect every day, it’s our responsibility to be sure they have sufficient officers and all the resources necessary to ensure the safety of our community. Finally Reynoldsburg has many infrastructure needs. We’ve been able to stretch every dollar through prudent management but we have roads that are in need to significant improvement.
For many years Reynoldsburg has been limited on the tools available for development. Our development director must first and foremost be an ambassador of our great community. He must be able to paint the picture of what a great community we are and help them realize the value of investment here. With this though comes a need for the right incentives for business development. We need to provide the tools to our development department to use. Tax increment financing is one of those effective tools for business and community development. These direct tax dollars for infrastructure investment specifically to those areas. The benefit comes to the entire area and community. Other effective tools are Community Reinvestment Areas and Enterprise Zones. As developers look to our soon to be master plan they will then understand our community vision. Then our development department can use the tools available to help bring new business and job opportunities to our community.
I have spent my entire life in the city of Reynoldsburg. I am always focused on the best interests of our city and not on any political agenda. I am deeply invested into our community and I want to be part of the continual change and development we face. I have served as the chairman of the Reynoldsburg Chamber of Commerce and president of the Reynoldsburg Rotary Club, I’ve worked with, and in our schools, as well as volunteering with other non profit entities. I've tried my best to listen, to provide answers, and have always given my best effort on behalf of our community. I understand who we are and believe I have the discernment to help us become who we want to be. I have spent my life serving others in this community. By serving and working together with others I have been able to build many bonds and friendships that help me as a servant leader for our community. I will always be open, honest, and trustworthy and will continually work to earn the respect of our great community.
It has been an honor to serve my community on City Council for the past nine years and I humbly ask for your support for another term. I'm proud of our accomplishments but believe there is still more to do and the next several years are going to be critically important times for our community. Growing up in Reynoldsburg, running a small business, and raising my children here, I believe that I reflect those that I represent. I've tried my best to listen, to provide answers, and have always given my best effort on your behalf. My whole past, present and future is Reynoldsburg. I have fond memories of growing up here and I want my town to be a town that my kids will want to come back to and raise their families. I want that for my kids and I want that for everyone's family. I've invested my life and my family's life here. The better Reynoldsburg is, the better it is for all our families.
Age 43
Education Reynoldsburg High Franklin University 2009 - Master's in Marketing & Communications 2007 - Bachelor's in Marketing
Experience Franklin County Central Committee member representing Reynoldsburg Ward 4; Director for The Reynoldsburg Area Chamber of Commerce and part of the Legislative Committee; small business owner with business to business experience.
Family Born and raised in Reynoldsburg. My mother, father, and sister still reside here. I have a brother, in West Virginia.
Religion Christian
Twitter @KellySCruse
A large portion of the new income tax money needs to go toward infrastructure. Reynoldsburg has roads and water lines that have not been serviced or repaired for years or decades. These should be a top priority. We have several empty businesses that have fallen into disrepair. This is unappealing and can cause potential businesses and residents to look elsewhere. These empty spaces can breed vandalism, squatters, drugs, and other crimes, which can spread our police force thin. Reynoldsburg, also, has several areas without sidewalks. Some of these are busy areas where resident safety could be compromised. Sidewalks need installed in these areas.

Our police force and the safety of our residents, businesses, and visitors are a top priority. Last year we had a record number of six homicides. We need to allocate funds for more officers and the tools they need, including a K-9 unit. Reynoldsburg should not be forced to barrow K-9 units from smaller, neighboring cities.
In the past several years, Reynoldsburg has lost tens of millions of dollars in income tax revenue, due to businesses closing and pulling out of the city. Economic development is crucial to the future of Reynoldsburg. The new income tax levy will be a quick fix for several of the city’s current issues, but we need to think long term. If we don’t, we will be back in the same position in several years, and need a new tax levy for the city to survive. I feel like we need to use all possible methods to attract business into Reynoldsburg, including tax-increment financing and tax abatement. When using these tools, we need to make sure that they are mutually beneficial to both the city and the business. We need to use these tools to develop long standing business relationships, with companies that will bring high revenue, as well as high salary jobs, into our city.
The current administration cites their lack of action, over several years, to lack of funding. The current auditor, speaking to the importance of the tax levy, states that tens of millions have been lost in income taxes. The city has not had a master plan since 1992. I do not believe a city can run efficiently under these circumstances. City Council can, and should have, written business plans for the city on a yearly bases. At the very least, a basic business plan that could be further developed over time. Our city government should be actively seeking businesses to open in Reynoldsburg. Had they stayed on top of filling vacant locations, there would not have been the catastrophic lack of funding, which has led to the safety and infrastructure issues we have been facing. My background in marketing and communications gives me ample ability to research, examine, plan, execute, and communicate the needs of Reynoldsburg. I will use this to bring new business and new life to our city.
Reynoldsburg is a diverse city, which is run by a government of little diversity. My priority is to make the government work for the city, as a whole, not just the niche group represented. We need a city government that will speak to, and work with, the residents and business owners to find the wants and needs of all citizens; a diverse government, that has keen leadership and ability to work with those of differing opinions, including others within the city government; we need city government leaders who have open minds to work with other municipalities, to learn the triumphs and challenges of those communities and develop collaborative efforts that will be beneficial to all. I have a passion and love for this city and will do everything in my power to see it grow and prosper. New leadership, thoughts, and ideas are imperative for Reynoldsburg to thrive.
Age 38
Education High School Diploma - WHCA, Canal Winchester, OH Pastoral Credentials - Ohio School of Ministry, Columbus, OH
Experience Local business owner and entrepreneur.
Family Married to wife Shanda DeLong since 2005 with 3 children (twin boys and a girl - ages 15, 15, 14)
Religion Christian - Non-denominational.
Campaign website http://www.AaronDeLong.com
Campaign email jaarondelong@gmail.com
My top two priorities are public safety and community development. The passage of Issue 11 has helped financing for both priorities, but public safety and community development doesn't stop at the hiring of new police officers and building a community center. We should continue improving our crime fighting technology and force, create a plan to repair our roadways, continue developing small business growth, especially in the downtown corridor, and focus on adding more parking and improving our traffic flow to accommodate our growth.  
I believe the city should consider all the options carefully. Tax-increment financing (TIF) deals are a way to strengthen the city's tax base, attract private investment, and increase economic activity. These are all good things that Reynoldsburg needs and wants. That's why if the TIF is carefully written and remains the city's best option, then I would be in favor of it.
As a home owner, family man whose kids attend Reynoldsburg schools, entrepreneur and local business owner, I have a broad perspective on the current needs of the city and its future.
As your Reynoldsburg City Councilman, I will lead efforts to fight irresponsible tax increases and spending practices, strengthen our law enforcement to diminish crime, attract new businesses, clean up parts of our city, ensure code enforcement to protect our property values, and work hard alongside us to develop a community that is strong.
Age 59
Education St. Pius X Reynoldsburg HS Eastland JVC University of Chicago (US Air Force) Certified ED Finance Professional
Experience Reynoldsburg City Council Member (2 Terms), Chairman - Public Safety Committee, Vice Chairman - Finance Committee, Council President Pro Tempore, US Air Force Veteran, Over 40 years public/private sector experience
Family Wife for over 20 Years – Sandy Long Children – 6 James, Mike, Chris, Matt, Shannon and Patrick
Religion Catholic - Christian
Campaign email chrislong@insight.rr.com
#1 PRIORITY - Public Safety, there is no greater responsibility I have than providing for the safety of our citizens and our city’s businesses!!! I will continue to work hard as chairman of the Reynoldsburg City Council - Safety Committee, to strengthen and enhance our city’s safety services. Legislation was passed in June increasing the staffing level by 12 sworn officers on the RPD. Safe neighborhoods are a stable and conducive environment for growth.

#2 PRIORITY - Economic Development, doing what we can to help existing businesses grow, adding good paying jobs and attracting new businesses to Reynoldsburg. A shift from repurposing to redevelopment must happen. Transforming our old, outdated properties into modern mixed use (office, retail and restaurant) destination facilities. Effective skills training programs need to be developed by partnering with trade/technical/vocational organizations. Making Reynoldsburg a job ready city, providing a skilled workforce for new businesses.
Incentives are investments in a community's growth. A return to the community on the incentive MUST be positive!!!

Working for nearly 3 years as a program manager with the Ohio Development Services Agency, I worked and became familiar with a number of incentive programs offered through the State of Ohio and local municipalities. While TIFFS are usually used for undeveloped property and infrastructure needs, there are other programs available.

Economic development incentives come in many different forms. Incentives can be provided via grants, property tax abatements, infrastructure grants, state and local tax credits for new job creation and building reuse/redevelopment grants.

The most valuable incentives for any company deal with operational costs. They could be, building renovation grants, payroll tax reimbursements, property tax rebate or reduction. Reynoldsburg must be prepared to help new/relocating businesses understand the complexity of how these programs operate.
Chris Long, a lifelong resident of Reynoldsburg, was raised in the neighborhood of Brookside and graduated from Reynoldsburg High School and Eastland Career Center. Reynoldsburg isn’t just a city to Chris and his wife, it’s their home. The people aren’t just citizens, they are friends and family.

As a member of the Reynoldsburg City Council, since 2010, Chris Long has worked diligently in the areas of Public Safety and Finance. Chris Long’s priority goals as a member of City Council are to keep our families and businesses safe, to maintain and improve infrastructure, to attract new and retain current businesses in Reynoldsburg, and to keep our home values strong through proactive code enforcement.

CHRIS LONG – THE EXPERINCE REYNOLDSBURG NEEDS, THE DEDICATION REYNOLDSBURG DESERVES
My political involvement isn't a hobby. It isn't a fun escape from responsibility. It IS a responsibility.

This election is an opportunity for us as citizens to fight for the heart and survival of our community. With a clear understanding that - regardless of where we lay our heads at night - Reynoldsburg will always be home. Elections matter, and there is so much at stake for Reynoldsburg right now. We’re seeing exciting developments in our community. The new Kroger Market Place, roadwork being completed and the groundbreaking of the new Reynoldsburg Recreation Center YMCA.

I am ENDORSED by the following organizations and individuals:

SAFETY:

F.O.P. Capital City Lodge #9, Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters, Truro Township Fire Department - Local #2932 and by Licking County Sheriff - Randy Thorp.

LABOR:

Central Ohio Labor Council, AFL/CIO

CHRIS LONG – THE EXPERINCE REYNOLDSBURG NEEDS, THE DEDICATION REYNOLDSBURG DESERVES
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