Five of the six seats on Beavercreek City Council could be filled by new members next year, depending on the outcome of the November election.
Four people are vying for three seats that are up for re-election — incumbent Charles “Chuck” Curran and challengers Glen Duerr, Peter Bales and Don Adams.
Councilman Ryan Rushing, who has two years remaining in his term, is running unopposed for the Beavercreek Twp. fiscal office. If Rushing’s bid is successful, his seat will be filled by appointment.
The fifth potential new member of council could come if Mayor Bob Stone wins his bid for re-election. Stone has two years remaining on his council seat, which he would retain if he loses the mayor’s race. If he wins the mayor’s race, council would make an appointment to fill his council seat.
Stone is running against Councilwoman Julie Vann. Vann’s is one of the council seats that’s up for re-election, and she has decided to relinquish the seat in a bid for the mayorship.
Beavercreek City Council members will earn an annual salary of $10,800 starting next year after the current council voted to increase the compensation from $6,000.
Common themes in this council race are continued recovery from the Memorial Day tornado and reevaluating how the city is funded in light of the strain the tornado put on the city’s coffers. Beavercreek is one of the few cities in the state, and by far the largest, that is funded entirely by property taxes as voters have never supported an earnings tax.
The city’s fund for street maintenance was drained by the tornado’s clean-up costs and some capital projects are on-hold because of it.
A former state senator, Montgomery County commissioner and Dayton council member, Charles “Chuck” Curran has been involved in local and state politics since the 1970s.
He was appointed to council in 2018. What he sees as a priority hasn’t changed from what he told this news organization at that time, that economic development for a city funded by property taxes is “the big challenge.”
Building infrastructure to attract businesses to Research Park is key, Curran said.
“What I want to see in my next term is to get infrastructure in place on almost 500 acres of land — water, roads, sewers — so property taxes will grow to help offset the tax burden the people feel in the city of Beavercreek,” Curran said.
After a 50-year career as a traveling salesman in the optical industry, Don Adams has devoted his retirement years to volunteering and serving the community.
Adams said he has lived in Beavercreek since before it was a city, logging in thousands of hours volunteering at the high school and with the police department.
Adams said $200 million worth of projects are being shelved because of the street funds shortfall, which will “eventually create a bigger problem.”
He said it will be important to thoroughly evaluate city funding options before any changes are considered
“I want to keep Beavercreek as affordable as possible. It’s got a good reputation. That’s the reason I’ve stayed here for so many years,” Adams said. “I want to do everything I can to maintain a balance and give people an opportunity to have a good home-life, as well as a good place to play and work.”
A professor with tenure of political science and international relations at Cedarville University, Glen Duerr has lived in Ohio for 14 years after immigrating from the United Kingdom, where he was born and raised.
Duerr has served on the city’s charter review committee and the board of zoning appeals. He said he wants a larger role in local government with three young children entering the Beavercreek school system.
Duerr said continued tornado recovery is one of the biggest issues facing the city, adding that he brings a “common sense approach” to economic growth and development.
“Beavercreek is a very blessed area. We have a lot going well but there are a range of different issues on the horizon,” Duerr said. “I want to propose a new marketing plan to align with what we’re doing now and what the kids are learning in the schools.”
At the beginning of his 24 years in local government, Peter Bales started his career in Beavercreek’s parks and recreation department before landing jobs in the city of Fairborn as director of parks and recreation and public works director.
Bales resigned in July as Fairborn’s assistant city manager. He said he’s currently doing consulting work.
A lifelong resident, Bales calls Beavercreek the “city of choice” in the Miami Valley, and he wants to keep the city affordable while preserving property values.
Bales said if he wins he plans to work with other council members and staff to “seek alternate funding opportunities” to alleviate the property tax burden on residents, increase opportunities for senior citizens and improve the condition of the city’s infrastructure.
“City Council must prioritize and reduce capital improvement projects for the next couple of years while waiting for FEMA to reimburse expenses related to the tornado,” Bales said. “The general fund balances have been depleted and finding a way to meet funding obligations while preserving important services our residents appreciate will be challenging.”
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