Saunders for District 9
Cuyahoga County Council District 9 in OH https://www.facebook.com/DonSaundersCuyahoga
205 Logan Ave.
Primary Election Date: 2014-05-06 General Election Date: 2014-11-04
Who am I?
I have worked on a variety of government levels and understand how government works. I have been in some part of the government for over 35 years, primarily working as an engineer. Engineers are trained to solve problems. I worked as an engineer for 25 years for the County, over 16 years on City Council for Bedford and as a Zoning Inspector for two Townships now for almost 9 years. I held the office of president for the Northeast Ohio City Council Association twice. I have been very actively involved in my community and received the honor of being chosen the Bedford Citizen of the year in 2005 and many other honors also both Civic and Professional. I am a single father of 2 teenage boys. I know adversity since my wife passed away unexpectedly almost 9 years ago leaving me the boys to raise on my own. My administrative and legislative experience makes me an ideal candidate for this position. If elected I will expand this involvement to all the communities in the District as the Council schedule allows.
Why am I running?
District 9 is a well diverse District made up of 10 communities. I ran for this position 4 years ago and am running again because I feel I could put my very diverse experience to help this ailing District. The district with all its abandoned structures and land lends itself to crime. Ward one and four in Cleveland have a number of shootings, murders and other crime. People are hurting in this economic slowdown and have not felt any of the recovery going on in the Country yet except in a few of the communities in this District. Entire companies are closing down tossing their employees to the streets. Infrastructure issues are plenty in this district also. The County needs to learn to live within its budget and follow the Charter on how to spend money. My opponents have very little municipal experience and no County experience. I felt I had to get involved.
First, is to get the County Council back to regulating the Budget. Recent audit by the state showed many departments not only spent more than what was budgeted but in some cases significantly and purchases where made without the Fiscal Officers approval. This violates the Charter for the County. In the 16 years I have been on City Council we have had a balanced budget every year maintaining a surplus.
Second, the County needs to bring in jobs that are better than just minimum wage jobs. The County needs to sell itself across the Country and the world. Cuyahoga County is one the hidden gems in this Country. The old theme of this being the best location in the nation needs to be brought back and promoted. We are the crossroads for transportation with a port to the north, several major rail lines run through the County and a several major Interstate Highway systems that stretches to within 500 miles of most of the major Cities in the country. With our arts facilities, museums, entertainment and sports and being the home to some of the leading world class health systems, this area should be booming in development. Jobs would help slow down the Crime rate that is occurring in many parts of District 9 also. It would also help provide funds for those that need them to get by like single parents who desperately need help in Day Care and Preschool assistance and provide necessities like food.
Third, the County has to handle the large abandoned buildings in Commercial, Business and foreclosed and abandoned homes. District 9 is full of all of these. Tearing down of entire neighborhoods isn’t always the best thing for an area at least not without a redevelopment plan in place. Recent news of the tearing down for an industrial park of Randall mall is promising for District 9, but there are a lot of Industrial Parks now that are empty, so once again it comes back to PR of what a great part of the country this is, affordable housing, reasonable cost of living, arts and related functions, health facilities and something parts of the country are struggling for right now, Water.
My DFA Values
A united people gets things done. If everyone is going in different directions things run amok. I feel I have the experience to not only help turn around this District but the entire County. Much work is needed in rebuilding neighborhoods and getting jobs to the area which would then reduce the crime being experienced in certain parts of this District. A community involved can change an area quickly. It just needs someone to lead them and I feel I have the background to achieve this.
My Campaign is People Powered!
District 9 is a very diverse District. It has very poor and poverty stricken sections in Clevelands Wards 1 & 4 and stretches to some very well off areas like Pepper Pike and raps back around to middle class areas that are primarily blue collar such as in Bedford. Each area has its own needs and concerns. Neighborhood coalitions need to be formed to work on each specific areas problems since they know their area the best. The area is also very well integrated which raises issues of its own. Being an engineer I have spent time with the people of these areas listening to them and engaging them in the campaign to seek solutions. Engineers are trained problem solvers. I have been running the campaign on the ground through personal contact not just mailings and paid ads. Working with people is how issues get solved.