Friday, October 19, 2001

Hamilton theme is new jobs

Candidates focus on economic issue

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Most of the candidates for mayor and City Council view economic development as one of the city's most important challenges.

        One candidate after another who participated in a televised candidates forum Thursday at Miami University's Hamilton campus spoke about the need to attract businesses to the city, which has lost about 3,000 jobs in three years.

        “We need to change the way we do business to bring businesses to Hamilton,” said Donald Ryan, a councilman who is running for mayor. “Businesses don't need us. We need them.”

        Both of his opponents, Mayor Adolf Olivas and Vice Mayor Thomas Nye, talked on the same theme.

        Mr. Olivas said the city needs to create a more business-friendly environment by eliminating bureaucratic red tape. Mr. Nye said he would like to establish a panel of CEOs to help push Hamilton along the trail of economic recovery.

        Mr. Olivas, Mr. Nye and Mr. Ryan are competing to become the city's first directly elected mayor. Before this election, the top council vote-getter became mayor.

        Fifteen candidates are vying for six council seats. The mayor and the top three council vote-getters will serve four-year terms, and the next three vote-getters will serve two-year terms.

        The incumbent council members on the ballot are Richard Holzberger, George McNally, Katherine Becker and Archie Johnson.

        The challengers are Daniel Acton, Christopher Flaig, Phillip Grubb, Shawn Hamilton, Patrick Moeller, James Noonan, Art Sauerwein, Jane Schlichter, Edward Shelton, Robert Weber and Robert Wittman.

        Ms. Schlichter said low-interest loans and tax abatement are among the many tools the city must use to boost development.


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