Eight seek voter support in 3 contested Kettering City Council elections

Eight Kettering City Council candidates’ names are on the ballot in three contested this fall. FILE
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Eight Kettering City Council candidates’ names are on the ballot in three contested this fall. FILE

Credit: Staff

KETTERING — Voters in the city will see three contested Kettering City Council races this fall and an unopposed one for the highest elected local office.

Three candidates are vying for two at-large council slots while a combined five others are seeking to fill seats in Districts 1 and 2. The district seats have been vacant for months after a pair of resignations earlier this year.

Meanwhile, former state Senator Peggy Lehner is the only candidate on the ballot to succeed four-term Mayor Don Patterson, who is term limited.

At-large Councilwoman Jacque Fisher is seeking a second term, competing for two city-wide seats with Jyl Hall and Joseph Patak, both first-time candidates. Councilman Bill Lauter is term limited after being elected twice.

In District 1, David Brown, and first-time candidates Lisa M. Duvall and Darrell Meshew want to fill the unexpired term of Rob Scott.

Scott, elected to three four-year terms, resigned in January to become Kettering Municipal Court clerk, filling the seat Andrea White vacated after being elected state representative.

The District 2 race to fill the unexpired term of Joe Wanamaker is between Bob Scott, the father of Rob Scott, and former state Rep. John White, the husband of Andrea White.

Wanamaker, who was in his fifth term, retired from the seat in June citing health reasons. Both district seats have been vacant per city charter guidelines.

Beginning in January, Kettering council members will earn $12,000 a year and the mayor $18,000, both 50% increases from the current rates. The pay hikes were approved by council in May with Fisher abstaining.

The following are brief profiles of each council candidate:

AT-LARGE

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Jacque Fisher. FILE

Credit: FILE

Jacque Fisher. FILE
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Jacque Fisher. FILE

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

•Fisher, 56, retired from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base after 38 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University and a master’s from the University of Dayton.

Fisher founded the Kettering Backpack Program, which feeds children, and has volunteered in Kettering for more than 20 years. She gained the most votes in a three-way race for the at-large seats in 2017.

One of the key issues for Fisher is the working poor.

“We need to focus on the most at-need in our community,” she said. “Dollars from our federal government have assisted, but not everyone has been able to navigate the unemployment side of the house.”

Kettering “can always give more sweat equity to our neighborhoods, businesses and infrastructure to increase property values,” Fisher said.

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Jyl Hall. FILE

Credit: FILE

Jyl Hall. FILE
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Jyl Hall. FILE

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

•Hall, 45, is an adjunct professor at the United Theological Seminary. She is the daughter of former U.S. Rep. and former U.S. Ambassador Tony Hall.

Hall received her bachelor’s degree after attending Marymount and Miami University. She earned a master’s and PhD from Asbury Theological Seminary.

Hall is trustee on Dayton’s County Corp., which offers affordable housing and economic programs for residents and small businesses.

A key way the city can “alleviate the tax burden on working families is to attract new jobs and businesses,” and build more homes, she said.

“We need more market-rate housing that accommodates working from home,” Hall said. “We also need higher price-point condos that will allow our retired citizens to downsize and stay in the city.”

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Joseph Patak. FILE

Credit: FILE

Joseph Patak. FILE
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Joseph Patak. FILE

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

•Patak, 53, is general manager at R.S. Hill Construction, Inc. He earned a bachelor’s degree in geophysics from Wright State.

Patak was an Ohio Army National Guard combat medic for six years and is campaigning as a “pro-life, pro-family, pro-2nd Amendment” conservative.

A Kettering resident for 16 years, he said his top priorities are public safety, high property values and low taxes, and helping small businesses.

Patak said he would “fight to make high crime locations held accountable” and “work to restrict the ability to build more multi-unit government housing through zoning and planning.”

Patak said he would work to help small businesses by creating “shop local” programs and events, and hold job fairs for Kettering businesses that need workers.

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David Brown. FILE

Credit: FILE

David Brown. FILE
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David Brown. FILE

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

DISTRICT 1

•Brown, 59, finishing second in 2011 to Rob Scott by 56 votes in a three-way race.

He said among his top concerns for the district, located predominantly in Kettering’s northeast quadrant, is housing upkeep.

“Ninety percent of the…residents I’ve spoken with say property maintenance problems are their number one issue,” Brown said.

Many residential units are rental properties, he said. “and most are poorly maintained.”

Council can help increase its income tax revenue losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting local small businesses, according to Brown.

It could also “make sure our Kettering business development team has all the tools and resources it needs” to attract jobs, he said.

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Lisa M. Duvall. FILE

Credit: STEPHEN LEWIS

Lisa M. Duvall. FILE
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Lisa M. Duvall. FILE

Credit: STEPHEN LEWIS

Credit: STEPHEN LEWIS

•Duvall, 45, is a coordinator at Edict Systems, Inc. She attended Bowling Green State University with a major in secondary education.

A 15-year resident of Kettering, Duvall is on the Kettering Board of Community Relations and the Kettering Parks Advisory Council.

District 1 has been underrepresented, Duvall said, she wants “to serve as a voice and true representative for my neighbors.”

The city needs to improve its infrastructure, attract large and small businesses while addressing a growing mental health issues, Duvall said.

“Kettering can improve the lives of our citizens by addressing the underlying causes of economic instability, including housing, the economy, transportation issues and mental health,” she said.

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Darrell Meshew. FILE

Credit: FILE

Darrell Meshew. FILE
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Darrell Meshew. FILE

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

•Meshew, 69, is a semi-retired high school government teacher who instructs part time.

He has a bachelor’s degree in education from Wright State and has lived in Kettering for more than 30 years.

Meshew said his priorities include improving internet access across the city, something “our students desperately need.”

In addition, allocating infrastructure funds and maintaining low taxes is key, he said.

“Too many families are hurting now and municipal taxes tend to hurt lower income families more when they are raised,” Meshew said.

He said the city can also improve its recreation programs.

“I believe every neighborhood in Kettering should have a park within walking distance,” Meshew said.

DISTRICT 2

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Bob Scott. FILE

Credit: FILE

Bob Scott. FILE
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Bob Scott. FILE

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Credit: FILE

•Scott, 63, is a senior product manager with BJG Electronics and owner of Scott Associates LLC. He grew up in Kettering, graduated from Fairmont West High School and attended Sinclair Community College.

Scott said the most important issues facing the city include income tax revenue losses from the work-from-home that has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city’s empty retail storefronts and attracting new businesses.

He said Kettering can provide incentives and create a more “business-friendly environment to aid and attract” small business growth to help offset tax revenue losses.

Scott also is in favor of rolling back the 50% council pay increase approved this year.

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John White. FILE

Credit: FILE

John White. FILE
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John White. FILE

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

•White, 62, is director of partnerships at Think Tank Inc. He is an Alter High School graduate and earned a bachelor’s degree from Wright State.

He served five years on Kettering council before being elected as a state representative in 2000, serving eight years.

White said the city faces challenges in bringing back jobs and income tax revenue while “restoring learning lost” in the coronavirus pandemic.

“I will champion attracting businesses and rallying community support for students to ensure our workforce has jobs and our graduates are prepared to fill them,” he said.

A “business-friendly culture with limited regulations” will help Kettering keep and attract jobs, White said.

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