Three candidates for Huber Heights mayor will face off in Ohio’s May 2 primary election.
Jeff Gore, Albert Griggs Jr. and David Wilson are candidates to fill the seat currently held by Mayor Tom McMasters, who is not seeking re-election.
Voters in the primary will cast ballots for one candidate, and the top two will compete head-to-head in November’s general election.
The candidates collectively identified economic development and growth among their top priorities. The Dayton Daily News asked the candidates to fill out a voter guide of questions crafted by the newsroom.
Portions of those responses are part of this story, and the full voter guide is available online at vote.daytondailynews.com. There, the candidates weighed in on issues including the decision to forego the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, the role of social media among elected officials, and residential chickens.
The newspaper asked the candidates to name their top three priorities if elected. Responses generally touched on economic development and growth.
Gore said his top priorities are making sure residents have a good understanding of the city’s financial situation, restoring relationships with the business community to promote economic growth, and strengthening and enforcing the city’s zoning codes and ordinances.
Griggs said his top priorities are developing effective and efficient city government, strong public schools and continued economic growth for the city.
Wilson’s top three priorities are revitalizing parks, economic development and responsible growth.
In past months, council members have engaged in disagreements, insults and accusations between members. Council members often refer to themselves as “old council” or “new council” to describe their perspectives. The newspaper asked candidates to identify the major source of the disagreement and how they would lessen fractures.
Gore said he believes fresh ideas and perspectives are good, but experience and knowledge are also needed.
“Based on my observations, the source of the disagreement comes from differing visions for the city,” Gore said. “I think it’s great that we have competing visions, and I think there is room for disagreement.” He suggested leadership is needed to promote compromise.
Griggs also said council needs to work to find common ground, but he also said he sees the disagreements as each council member’s passion for what he or she believes.
“People with passion are what we need on the council,” Griggs said. “The question is, ‘what is the best way to show this passion?’ I believe you work to understand the passion.”
Wilson focused on the non-partisanship of the council and said his job as mayor would “not include divining anyone as working for one ‘team’ or another.”
“My job as mayor is to treat all members of council equally and with respect,” he said.
The candidates generally agreed Huber Heights should seek measured growth.
Gore emphasized taking advantage of the city’s proximity to the Interstate highways “or our neighbors will.”
Griggs said there is “no such thing as too much growth,” but said it should be “controlled to ensure infrastructure keeps up with it.”
Wilson said he believes the city will primarily see increases in residential housing and light industry in the next 10 years.
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