Mentor City Council Election 2011 Candidate Profile: Ronald Micchia
As part of our election coverage, Mentor Patch will provide profiles of each of the candidates for local office
Editor's Note: As part of Mentor Patch's local election coverage, we will provide profiles of each of the candidates running for office. These profiles will offer biographical and issue-oriented details about each of the candidates to help you, the voters, make more-informed decisions at the ballot box.
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Name: Ronald L. Micchia
Occupation: Dental Practitioner
Education: B.S., Youngstown State University; M.S. State University of New York: D.D.S., Case Western Reserve University
Office Sought: Ward 4
Elected Experience: Mentor Ward 4 Councilman, 1990-1999; Mentor Councilman At Large, 2001-2005; Mentor Ward 4 Councilman, 2007-2009; Mentor Councilman At Large, 2010-2011; Mentor Ward 4 Councilman, 2011 to present
Three terms as Mentor Vice President of Council 1997-1999, 2001-2003, 2010 to present
Candidate Statement: A combination of my past experience as Mentor Ward 4 councilman and councilman at large has prepared me to continue my public service to both the citzens and businesses of Mentor.
I am also serving in my sixth year of leadership as vice president of Mentor Council. During this time on council, I have developed the necessary working relationships with many residents, neighborhoods, businesses and the city's administrative directors.
I have demonstrated respect, responsibility and always remained accountable to Mentor's voters.
Throughout my term on council, I have served on many committees and helped to balance 15 city budgets. Currently, I serve on Mentor's Economic and Lagoons Committees.
I have proposed, participated and fully understand the many issues regarding city improvement projects. Since 1990, I have continually strived to productively serve with council colleagues and the city administration on a wide variety of legislative matters.
My additional qualifications include my educational training and professional practice within the Mentor community for 33 years.
My service as councilman always includes doing thorough research and review of all issues to reach the most beneficial, fair decision for all Mentor citizens and businesses.
My campaign platform consists of the following:
Effective City Economics
The city budgets, both capital and operating, require some additional modification in the preparation timing. Presently, these budget meetings are being held too close to the time that they are required for adoption by City Council.
These two budgets comprise the economic management of the city and therefore require that the preparation process commence earlier in the year to allow sufficient time for council approval.
I continually work towards improving this vital area by establishing earlier and ongoing city finance work sessions. This step would allow the necessarytime for a more thorough review of both these budgets.
Additionally, I recommend that both of these budgets become part of the regular council agenda. In particular, a section in the agenda wherein the finance director provides commentary as to the city's economic status.
City Council meetings require four additional changes:
1. We need advanced heads-up on addendum legislation. This would provide the necessary time requirements for council members to review the legislation being brought forward.
2. Advance notice of and information pertaining to the request for an executive session is needed to allow council members time to prepare their inquiries of the subject to be discussed. This action would bring all council members up to the current level of the day-to-day operations of the city administration issues.
3. The police and practice of work sessions requires some clarifications. Case in point, whenever work sessions are held, the rule of who can and cannot speak needs to be defined. This would allow for more public input for whom the work session, in greater part, is being held. This policy can be modified so the public can be assured their voice will always be included in work sessions.
4. On the council agenda, there are sections for legislation, committees and commissions, and the city manager's report. But what's missing is a section that I refer to as "The President of Council Report."
The public and council both deserve a brief report from the president of council on matters that are coming before him or her. Council members frequently do not have all the necessary facts.
Concurrent with this is the additional need for a written report from the council president. Example: council expects the city manager to write a weekly narrative of issues that are both upcoming or in process. It is very informative and keeps council posted on the administrations and their efforts.
In support, city council members would greatly benefit by a regular report from the council president. The information would brief council on the activities of that office.
The succesful working relationship of all council and administration members greatly depend upon the leadership. It is my firm belief that it is communication that keeps all members informed and will produce better public trust and benefits. All four of these changes are an important part of my campaign objectives.
Responsive City Council action:
Many issues that can improve the city are not always generated by either the City Council and/or the administration. Some of the best ideas often originate from outside of these two entities.
Being responsive and always accessible to public resources remains very high on my list of councilman duties. I will continually encourage persons and listen to their input on matters that effect their neighborhoods and businesses.
Making accurate council judgments greatly depends upon knowing as much and all about the legislative issues appearing before council. The sources of information are both wide, varied and often from the public.
Dwight D. Eisenhower said it clearly: "Government is just too important to leave only to the elected officials."
I will continue using this method-process that emphasizes the inclusion of information between City Council, businesses and residents of Mentor.
Police, Fire & Public Safety:
Nothing ranks higher than the protection of persons and property in Mentor.
More than ever, the need to continually improve the training for personnel and equipment remains at the very top of my campaign platform.
During my entire term on City Council (since 1990,) I have established a trusting and working relationship with the police chief, fire chief and city manager.
I continue to support their programs which provide the bet in city public safety services for all of Mentor. We have accomplished many improvements and I pledge to keep this process ongoing.
Business development opportunities:
Today businesses are facing ever increasing global competition. Many manufacturing jobs are outsourced from Mentor either to other communities or countries.
Industrial manufacturing has declined and cities are facing stiff competition in acquiring new businesses.
I have worked to help implement the Mentor Incentive Grant, which encourages businesses to locate in Mentor. Mostly, these grants have involved very large corporations.
In Mentor and most communities, the largest segment of business is those with fewer than 10 employees, which can use some attention to their economic needs. These comprise some 80 percent of Mentor's business community.
Some methods that have proved successful in other cities include the development of programs to recruit both new and upcoming technology and talent. I plan to continue devoting the time and efforts necessart to help attract these new long-range businesses to Mentor.
Quality neighborhood programs:
Throughout Mentor you'll find many fine neighborhoods. In each and every ward of Mentor, there are found a variety of housing developments.
I have participated in working along with the developers, Planning Commission, City Council, administration and local residents to achieve a very high quality blend of housing.
Only through this process of careful planning and design will we always be able to maintain the quality of our residential areas and our neighborhoods.
Parks, recreation & wellness improvements:
The third largest expenditure for the Mentor government is that of Parks, Recreation and Public Lands. The most recent park acquisitions included the purchase of Black Brook Golf Course and additional green space at Morton Park. (The city purchased them with financial assistance from the Trust for Public Lands.)
From the very young through senior citizens age, I remain firmly committed to enhancing the quality of life for all Mentor residents. The utilization of Mentor's recreational programs continues to grow to where more than 10,000 people are in someway involved.
Today, we see many wellness programs for all ages and, in particular, our senior citizens recognize the importance of maintaining good health. I will continue to take a leadership role before City Council to continue providing additional, beneficial wellness programs for all ages.
Roadways, traffic & city infrastructure:
These public works projects are under continual review by both the administration and council.
In general, new roadway infrastructure always follows behind economic development. My efforts focus on decreasing the time period for needed construction and managing costs for roadway improvements.
Along with projecting the needs for future roadways, I place strong emphasis on the installation of intelligent traffic management systems. These upgrades can help best manage and inform drivers of roadway conditions and traffic patterns.
Safe and sustainable environmental programs:
No matter where you live or work within Mentor, the obligation for providing a clean safe environment is an ongoing priority. I will always apply, improve and/or modify the necessary local regulations that will provide for the proper care, protection and preservation of our water, air, plant and animal life within Mentor.
New business creation and economid development:
Point one, economic development: During many discussions, I will talk about the various departments in the city and all have their importance. But there is one department where it all begins and that is the economic development department.
Each year, when establishing the city budget, it is well known that I place a great emphasis on building up this department in several ways.
One, the need to expand the advertising and marketing budget so information on what the city has to offer is published in more periodicals.
Two, since many business owners seek information about a city, we need to continually improve our website to make it the most appealing of any location to move a business into or expand an existing one.
An important point to keep in mind here is that about 85 percent of all new jobs that are created will come fron entrepreneurs who typically reside in your city already. Therefore, putting together legislation that provides "scalable" business incentives to help start up business is a high priority of mine.
Point two, the Planning Commission:
Since the business world is changing so quickly, more efficient procedures need to be made so the Planning Commission can successfully streamline the process.
Businesses today need to confidently know that the process of expansion or developing a new technology will proceed productively. The administration and Planning Commission, before advancing a new plan, have all the potential problems solved.
Information in these departments needs to be better shared to keep City Council thoroughly informed on existing and new business development.
Point three, city comprehensive plan:
City Council, the administration and Planning Commission need to update the comprehensive plan to better fit within today's changing residential, commercial and industrial zones.
This need, in greater part, stems from the fact that most the land in Mentor is already developed. A new plan that includes some broader mixed use in such areas at the mall and commercial districts is overdue.
Point four, city manager:
The hiring of a "new" city mangager is completed. The selection process was successful in finding a knowledgeable and experienced manager.
The residents and businesses can be assured that the city is run on a day-to-day basis with a highly professional manager. His guidance and decision making has proven itself during his time as manager.
He is responsive, dedicated and understands the direction Mentor needs to go. I and other council members can say we thoroughly appreciate and enjoy his management style and respect his attention to making Mentor even better.
Having a positive and productive working relationship with the city manager is and will always be a top priority with me.
In conclusion, the primary job of an elected official is that of being a legislator. Many issues will come before City Council and it is important to always make the right and fair judgment for all of Mentor.
To fully achieve this purpose, a councilman must also be a good city planner with a far-reaching vision towards shaping Mentor's future.
I am the only candidate for the Ward 4 seat with 18 years of proven elected sevice to the residents of the ward and businesses of Mentor.
I am the only candidate for this seat with the necessary legislative experience and background to better serve the residents of Ward 4.
I pledge, as councilman, to always serve in the most respectable professional manner, combined with the respect and honor for all of the residents of Ward 4 and Mentor.
More information is available at www.Vote4Micchia.com.