5 candidates seek 3 Centerville council seats

Five candidates are running for three available seats on Centerville City Council.

Only one, Brooks Compton, is an incumbent. Two others whose four-year terms expire in December, Douglas Cline and James Singer, are not seeking re-election.

Compton, who is also the city’s deputy mayor, is running for a new four-year term.

Among the four others, Kim Birdseye and JoAnne Rau are first-time office seekers, Joy Brush ran for Centerville council in 2009 and John Palcher ran unsuccessfully in 2005 and 2007.

But each of them has been involved in the community.

Birdseye has been a board member of the Centerville Washington Park District for nine years, five as president.

Brush is a past board member and president of the annual Americana Festival.

Palcher has been part of both the Centerville Planning Commission and the city Charter Review Committee.

Rau is a member of the Centerville Planning Commission after previously serving on Centerville’s Board of Architectural Review.

None of the challengers has criticized the policies or performance of current city leadership.

Mayor Mark Kingseed and council members John Beals, Paul Gresham and Belinda Kenley are all serving terms that end in 2015.

“Vote for any three of us and you can’t lose,” Compton said during a Meet the Candidates Forum in Centerville.

An attorney with Murr, Compton, Claypoole and Macbeth, he has had two extended runs on council: 1984 through 1997 and back again in 2004, when he was appointed to fill an opening. He won elections in 2005 and 2009.

His goal, if chosen again, will be a continued focus on “a 30-year track record of no new taxes, balanced budgets and no city shutdowns,” he said.

He will oppose further changes that would undermine local control of taxpayer dollars.

Compton has been a member of the Dayton Bar Association’s Ethics Committee, Volunteer Lawyers Project and chaired its Fee Dispute Committee.

Birdseye, chief financial officer for Fender Construction Co. of Dayton for 10 years and a homebuilder in the Centerville-Washington Twp. community for two decades, said he has worked on three levies for the park district.

“I believe it’s important to give back to the community. If elected, I want to continue the efforts of the present council and staff. They’ve done a marvelous job,” he said. “I would like to help keep that going.”

He identified fiscal issues and community relations as his top two priorities and believes Centerville needs to improve relations with other communities and stretch taxpayer dollars by collaborating with them.

Brush owns Mobile Health Services, which provides drug and alcohol testing, DNA testing, background checks and employee health initiatives. She is a past president of Dayton AMBUCS (American Business Clubs).

“I will do my best for both individuals and businesses. If elected, I will ask a lot of questions, get as much information as I can, process that, form an opinion and then take that to the others I work with. I favor a team approach,” she said.

She favors promoting employment opportunities that will attract young people to live and work in Centerville.

Palcher, who is is director of purchasing and transportation for the Goshen Rubber Co., said he believes his background in strategic planning would be a strength for the city.

“The current council and staff are doing an excellent job. I’m hoping for a little luck and a lot of votes,” he told the audience for the candidates’ forum.

Palcher listed working with developers on completing plans for the former Dille property (Cornerstone of Centerville) and the 65 acres at Sheehan, Social Row and Paragon roads as priorities, in part because both will produce revenue at a time when the state continues to reduce local funding.

Rau, who is director of environmental safety management for the Dayton Power & Light Co, and a member of the 2011 class of Leadership Dayton, was previously facilities engineer for the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Mound facility and environmental coordinator for Delphi in Dayton.

Due to her work on the planning commission and the board of architectural review, “I’m familiar with how the city works and what the issues are. I would take a common sense approach to long-term objectives,” she said at the forum.

“Centerville City Council needs to represent all 24,000 residents of the city. I would like to take on a larger role in keeping the city a great place to live.”

She said that while the city has new commercial and residential development, it also needs to keep its aging neighborhoods vital.