Citizen groups square off on Kettering ballot issues

The issues would limit Kettering’s mayor and council members to two consecutive terms in office before requiring them to sit out a four-year term and would reduce their pay to about half their current levels.

Launched in February, Citizens for a Better Kettering is the group whose petitions led to placing the charter amendments on the ballot.

Citizens to Protect Kettering’s Future surfaced in October to campaign against the amendments, which also have been opposed officially by Mayor Don Patterson and four council members. City councilmen Ashley Webb and Rob Scott have endorsed both issues.

CBK spokesman Ron Alban charged last week that Citizens to Protect Kettering’s Future has been secretive about its funding and leadership. He said election finance reports filed through Oct. 17 “showed only token contributions and no expenditures,” although “mailers and signs worth thousands of dollars appeared in early October. This group has no website, email address, phone number or social media site.”

Citizens to Protect Kettering’s Future spokesman Charles Shanesy has said CBK’s intent “is to undermine city government so they can install their own candidates.”

Alban said that would be illegal. “Our group is a non-partisan, ballot issue political action committee. We are prohibited from backing candidates or engaging in partisan politics. Under Ohio law, we will disband after this election. We are not an ongoing entity. There is no long-term hidden agenda our organization will be pursuing.”

Shanesy said Citizens to Protect Kettering’s Future “has complied with all laws that govern the filing of our pre-general campaign report and disclosed all activity through Oct. 17. Our organization will also file the post-general campaign finance report to the Montgomery County Board of Elections on or prior to the Dec. 14 deadline.”

He added that his group will remain secretive about one thing. “We will not share our campaign strategy for the last week of the campaign. We are not aware of any candidate that would be willing to provide such information to its competitor.”

Citizens for a Better Kettering proposed a debate on the issues last week.

Shanesy said the invitation was delivered to his home at 9:10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, when he was at work and included a deadline to respond by 10 pm that night. CBK leader Ron Alban said the tight deadline was because of the closeness of election day.

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