COAST hereby issues its 2009 candidate and issue endorsements, enthusiastically backing Brad Wenstrup to be our next Mayor, Chris Monzel and Charlie Winburn to be re-elected to City Council. We wholeheartedly endorse Charlie Norman for re-election to Treasurer of Cheviot, John Banner and Christopher McDowell for CPS school board, Arnold Engel, Victor Erik Rivera and Tony Steer for the Board of Fairfield City Schools, Jennifer Miller for re-election to the Mason School Board, and Shannon Hartkemeyer and Jeremy Furniss for Fairfield Township Trustee. Our suggested sample ballot is listed below.
Mayor of Cincinnati - Brad Wenstrup
Wenstrup was instrumental in cleaning up the Abu Ghraib mess in Iraq. He won the praises of his adversaries at an enemy prison in the middle of a hot war zone. That's the kind of leadership we need! Wenstrup has also pledged not to raise taxes or fees during his term. The man he'll replace has made an enemy of his own police force and labor unions, and brought at least one beleaguered neighborhood to the brink of secession. This choice is a no-brainer.
Cincinnati City Council - Chris Monzel, Charlie Winburn
Both have taken strong public positions to advance responsible spending, and have pledged not to raise taxes or fees. They also strongly advocate that the people should have a right to vote on any sale of the Water Works, or major passenger rail purchase. Other candidates who have pledged not to raise taxes or fees, but who have not affirmed our right to vote on expensive, long term public policy issues are Leslie Ghiz, Amy Murray, LaMarque Ward, and George Zamary.
Cheviot Treasurer - Charlie Norman
Charlie is a COAST Board Member, and a very strong fiscal conservative. As a lifelong Cheviot resident and former City Council Member, he has the qualifications and credentials to continue leading Cheviot to even better financial health. Norman has been an unwavering taxpayer watchdog, and a consistent advocate for responsible government.
Cincinnati School Board - John Banner, Christopher McDowell
John is a proud member of COAST who embodies the ideals of fiscal restraint and excellence in education. Both will be strong voices on the board to make sure that taxpayers receive value for their investment in public education.
Fairfield School Board - Arnold Engel, Victor Rivera, Tony Steer*
All three candidates promote excellent education, accountability and balanced budgets. Incumbent Arnold Engel has proposed 33 ideas that could save or generate over $10,000,000 for the district. They deserve your vote.
Mason School Board - Jennifer Miller
Mason has grown a lot, and spent a lot. But they enjoy some of the highest education rankings in Ohio. Clearly they are doing a lot of things right, and Jennifer Miller has been a key ingredient in that success. Often she is the lone voice advocating fiscal restraint and accountability. And she's just as demanding on educational excellence. She doesn't back down from uncomfortable situations, and that vigor has led Mason to new heights. Voters are lucky to have her, and would be wise to return her to the board.
Fairfield Twp Trustee - Shannon Hartkemeyer, Jeremy Furniss**
Shannon believes in conservative values such as fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets. She has worked in the private sector as an industrial engineer and with The Cincinnati Tea Party. Her experience would be beneficial to the township. Jeremy is also active in the 9/12 and Tea Party movements. He beleives in fiscal conservative values, and also deserves your vote
Issue 7, Public Library - AGAINST THE TAX LEVY
Saves the owner of a $100,000 home about $31 a year if it fails. The library has shown no willingness whatsoever to reduce its costs or economize its operations. Click here for full story. The state reduced the overall library budget by 15%. We recommend giving them a year to adjust to the new funding level to see how much they really need.
Issue 8, Water Works Charter Amendment - Yes
Requires the city to get voter approval before selling or otherwise disposing of our 170 year old, award-winning Water Works utility. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. This decision is too far-reaching to entrust solely to a group of two and four year elected officials. The public owns it, and must be consulted prior to any change in ownership.
Issue 9, Trolley or Streetcar Charter Amendment - Yes
Requires the city to get voter approval before spending money on the two most expensive aspects of a passenger rail transportation system. In 93 years the city has undertaken three major passenger rail projects. All were complete failures costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. All signs indicate that the proposed streetcar plan will be the fourth such expensive failure. A vote will allow the public to speak with one voice to either accept or reject such a plan, and the massive long term debt that goes with it.
Issue 52, Cincinnati School Levy - AGAINST THE TAX LEVY
Saves the owner of a $100,000 home about $279 a year if it fails. Over the last several years enrollment has declined by over 20%, but their tax levy has remained virtually the same. In fact, this proposed levy remains the same as the one it replaces. Failure of this levy would reduce their overall budget by about 15%. Now would be an ideal time to help them make the necessary adjustment.
*2009-10-01 Correction: Engel, Rivera & Steer are running as a slate.
**2009-10-09 Addition: Furniss requested and received COAST endorsement.