Tuesday, May 15, 2007

An invitation to meet a mayoral candidate

Do I want to go meet Joe Finley, and hear about his vision for Akron? Someone from the Save the Highland Theatre campaign thinks he has the answers to solving Akron's problems. From the email received today:
Akron is a nice place to live, but it can, and should be a great place to live. When I discovered the potential loss of the Highland Theater I began looking into ways to not only save the historic land mark, a profitable business model was equally as important. To writing the business plan I began to research any data about Akron I could get my hands on.

The research I found cast light on how the City of Akron spends our tax dollars, frankly I was shocked by how much is spent on parking decks in relation to the money spent on the community. I discovered most of the federal HUD Community Development Block Grants have been spent on street and side walk improvements, land acquisition and demolition and administration. Only 5% is spent on programs like senior and youth services and a mere .73% on fair housing activities. Our streets are important, but only a fraction of the grants went to housing and social services. The city's economic development policies are not working and people are leaving Akron in droves, our population is just over 200,000.

So, when I heard Joe Finley would be running for mayor I wanted to know if he would be able to turn Akron around. After meeting with him and learning how he has viable alternatives to the fiscally irresponsible practices of the current administration, I am excited for our future. We have a new governor, who is making positive change for Ohio, and Joe is ready to lead Akron in a new direction.
Well, it is interesting to see that some grass roots campaigning is going on and that the long-time incumbent may have to run harder than in the past. The current mayor's tax plan was all money-grab with very little specificity. I'm looking for a local government that takes action to make my hometown greener and a more pleasant place to live for all.

I took a look at Finley's web and see that his support of Right to Life issues is considered a qualification -- yikes! It was a terrible day when political candidates began to make this part of their individual philosophies public information. Because that means that they feel obligated to turn their religious views into public law -- and that is why Joe Finley is going to have a real hard time winning my vote.

Finally, I'd be very interested in any comments about the content of the above email regarding the claims about how the city spends its HUD grants. If true, that is something that needs to be addressed.

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