Five candidates answered questions about the most pressing issues in Oxford at the second-ever Oxford City Council debate, hosted by The Miami Student.
The candidates — who are running for three open seats — discussed the lack of variety of housing in Oxford, the status of the town’s relationship with Miami University and environmental sustainability.
Three of the candidates, Jason Bracken, Glenn Ellerbe and Bill Snavely, called on Miami President Gregory Crawford to sign the Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments, a commitment to making the university more sustainable and carbon-neutral.
Jason Bracken emphasized his belief in compassion, empathy and evidence-based decision-making during the debate. He stressed the need to gather good data on the homeless population in Oxford, stating it was necessary in order to aid “the most vulnerable members of our community.
Current Councilor Glenn Ellerbe has spent four years on council. He describes himself as a realist and a centrist who believes in making decisions with a municipal focus. Ellerbe said when making any decision on council he first considers whether that decision will move Oxford forward.
He said he plans to work to improve strategic alignment between the city and Miami.
Hueston Kyger described himself as a “townie and proud” and stressed the need for additional housing in Oxford to promote growth. He said that he hoped to especially encourage young professionals and people with young families to move to the city because they have the most disposable income.
Chris Skoglind moved to Oxford three years ago and previously served as a public servant for twenty years in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania. Skoglind emphasized his desire to expand the Butler County Regional Transit Authority (BCRTA) routes in Oxford and look into alternatively-fueled vehicles for Oxford’s public transportation in the future.
Bill Snavely served 12 years on City Council starting in the 1980s, and he spent six of those years as Oxford’s mayor. He said he hopes to address housing affordability with planned unit developments in the Oxford neighborhood overlay that cover a variety of types of housing so that not all spaces become housing for students.
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Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5 and polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.