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Enquirer Voter Guide

Hamilton County Commissioner - Comm. 1-1-19

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  • Candidate picture

    Stephanie Summerow Dumas

  • Candidate picture

    Chris Monzel
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

Why are you running?

What makes you the best candidate?

What specific services are you willing to cut?

What fees or taxes are you willing to raise in order to keep or expand government services?

Campaign Phone (513) 476-2986
Age 64
YouTube Stephanie Summerow Dumas
City/town Cincinnati, Ohio
Education/Degrees College of Arts and Science, Bachelor of Social Work. Entered the University of Cincinnati in 1973 with a full academic scholarship. Graduated in 1977 without any school loans. Licensed Social Worker in the State of Ohio since 1993 to present. Certified Healthy Relationship Facilitator.
Community Involvement Board member of the SOAR Board since 1999 to present. A non-profit agency at Word of Deliverance Church. Project Manager for special events at Word of Deliverance for 15 years. A grant writer for non-profit agency.
Endorsements Dr. Paul Sohi, Wayne Coates, Bishop Bobby Hilton, Herschel Daniels, Robert Harris, Paul Hassan, Dwight Tillery, Deborah Brown Gaines, Esq., Alicia Reece, Cecil Thomas, Justin Jeffre, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, UFCW Local 75, NABTU, Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, Matriots, UFSW75
Campaign Message The county is facing many issues that require a new set of eyes. My extensive tenure within the government system as a mayor and village manager will provide a diverse expertise. In addition my social work background provides a compassionate view along with a keen listening ear. My senior executive positions provide the ability to lead and make the hard decisions.
I'm running because I believe that the residents of Hamilton County deserve a full-time commissioner. My opponent works two full-time jobs, one of which is the commissioner. I'm retired and will not have to make a choice regarding where my energies will be spent. I campaigned in 2006 for commissioner and received one third of the votes. The interest to make an impact in this arena has been longstanding. The commission has oversight over areas that directly impact inner city, suburban and some remote areas. The commission should be reflective of the communities that it serves. The Commission has been in existence for 222 years and there has never been a person of color to help speak in behalf of close to 30% of our population. I've been a client rights advocate for children and speak publicly for those suffering from domestic violence.
I'm the best candidate because as mentioned previously, I'll be a full-time Commissioner. I have a unique perspective to bring to the commission. I started my life journey in the West End, then Avondale and now Forest Park where I reside. I can speak to the needs of the inner city and suburban area. My professional career has allowed me to work for the local, state and federal entities. Having the opportunity to function as the Mayor of Forest Park and the Village Manager of Lincoln Heights allowed me to make some key connections and partnerships with agencies and personnel in Cincinnati and the county. In addition, I've written and published two books to provide a road map for others to navigate through domestic violence and politics. My life and work experiences will allow me to bring a passion and a fresh perspective to this responsibility.
The essential services related to the health, safety and welfare of our citizens need to be preserved. The question for me is what services can be streamlined or combined with others. We need to look at ways to generate additional funding. The skills in one department can possibly be used to fill vacancies in others. I'm not naïve enough to think that if the solutions above and others are not utilized, there may have to be cuts. I've written and reviewed grants for approval and there are some that can be explored to offset costs.
Once elected I'll work within the box and spend time conducting additional research to determine the applicable fees and taxes that may be impacted.. Expansion of services would have to be done with new monies not from our current budget allocation.
Campaign Phone (513) 404-7877
Age 50
City/town Glendale, Ohio
Education/Degrees Purdue University, B.S. Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering; University of Cincinnati, M.S.Aerospace Engineering; Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Masters of Public Policy; Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (statistical process control specialist)
Community Involvement Community Civic Involvement: Cincinnati City Council Member -Neighborhoods Committee, Law and Public Safety Committee, Arts and Education Committee; Spring Grove Village Community Council Vice-President; Mt. Adams Civic Association, Trustee; St. Vivian’s PTA President. Community Volunteering Involvement: Angel Guardian Home Foster Care Agency, Brooklyn, NY – Taught independent living skills to foster care teens aging out of the foster care system; Bethany House, Oakland, CA- In charge of day to day operations of homeless shelter; Children of Chernobyl, Minsk, Belarus – helped those suffering from the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident; Habitat for Humanity, Fla – helped to rebuild homes after the devastating effects of Hurricane Andrew; New Orleans – helped to rebuild homes after Hurricane Katrina; Re-member, South Dakota – Helped to build wheelchair ramps, bunk beds and protection for housing for the Oglala Lakota Nation on Pine Ridge Reservation; Free Store Food Bank volunteer. I have also had the opportunity to coach basketball and baseball for the YMCA, Finneytown, North College Hill, Glendale, St. Gabriel Consolidated School and St. Vivian’s School.
Endorsements Fraternal Order of Police; Cincinnati Sentinel Police Association; Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors; Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati; Hamilton County Republican Party; Cincinnati City Councilmembers Amy Murray & Jeff Pastor; Anderson Township Trustees Josh Gerth & Andrew Pappas; Sycamore Township Trustee Tom Weidman; City of Reading Mayor Robert (Bo) Bemmes; City of Blue Ash Mayor Tom Adamec; City of Blue Ash City Councilmember Jeff Capell & Lee Czerwonka; Colerain Township Trustees Dan Unger & Raj Rajapaula; Green Township Trustees Tony Rosiello, Triffon Callos, David Linnenberg; Harrison City Councilmember Cindy Abrams; Delhi Township Trustees Rose Stertz, Cheryl Sieve, Mike Davis; Springfield Township Trustee Joe Honerlaw; St. Bernard City Councilmember Don Tobergte; Sharonville Mayor Kevin Hardman; Evendale Mayor Richard Finan;Silverton City Councilmember Mark Quarry; North College Hill City Councilmember Matt Wahlert
Campaign Message As Hamilton County Commissioner I have fought to keep taxes low, our sewer rates frozen for the past 3 years, and prioritized public safety. I helped create the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition to battle the opioid crisis. I supported the Hamilton County Commission on Women and Girls as well as Cradle Cincinnati to reduce infant mortality. As a father and a community leader with an extensive background in both the public and private sector, I have a proven record of success finding real-world solutions to the issues facing our community and making Hamilton County a better place to live.
I love Hamilton County and all of our unique communities. I believe it is an exceptional place to live, raise a family and operate a business. By serving in local government, I have the opportunity to help residents improve their quality of life and work towards improving Hamilton County for future generations. I have a life-long commitment of helping others. I’m running to be a voice for those struggling to keep up with the high cost of property and sales taxes in Hamilton County. I’m running to make sure our water and MSD rates are monitored and kept low. I'm running to make county government transparent and accountable while providing our residents with the most cost-effective government possible. And I'm running to keep all of the citizens of Hamilton County safe.
I bring the experience of managing budgets and improving delivery of services in the private sector to county government. I am an engineer and a problem solver. I believe Hamilton County residents want government to look for more efficient ways to deliver necessary services, rather than seeking additional taxes. My tenure on both Cincinnati City Council and as a Hamilton County Commissioner provide a clear record of placing taxpayers first. In 2015 & 2016 as President of the Board of County Commissioners I balanced the county budget without raising taxes and without decreasing county services. I voted against the 2017 budget which increased spending and over estimated the sales tax revenue growth warning that we would be forced to lay people off and reduce services. We are now seeing the effects of that budget coupled with state funding cuts which has resulted in a structural unbalanced budget. Finding solutions to this budget will be difficult but I'll keep public safety a priority.
Hamilton County has “right-sized” over the last several years without a reduction in services to the residents. I use the term “right-sizing” government to express the goal of achieving maximum efficiency in every department, just as the private sector must do, which includes finding ways to employ best practices and technology to do more with less. As staffing reaches the optimum level, we must continue to look for ways to consolidate or share services between local governments and the county.
While we face challenging finances at the county, we must continue to find ways to meet the needs of our citizens without raising taxes. I have been successful in showing that raising taxes is not the solution for every problem. I believe that government should operate much like a household or business in terms of budgeting and spending. Thousands of families across Hamilton County are forced to live within their means and must take a hard look at what they need and what they can afford. I have always believed that the County needs to reduce its budget first before asking citizens for more of their hard-earned money.
If you need any help as a candidate, please email Carl Weiser at cweiser@enquirer.com