GREEN Residents in Ward 3 in Green will narrow the race for city council from four candidates to two during the Sept. 12 primary election. The top two vote getters then will move on to the General Election in November.
Jeananne Chadsey, Rick Miller, Susan Ridgeway and Rocco Yeargin will square off in the primary because four or more candidates are running for the seat. Other wards will not have a primary and will be decided in November. Ward 3 covers the southwestern portion of the city.
The Suburbanite caught up with the candidates ahead of Tuesday's vote and asked for their thoughts on several topics:
LIFE AND INVOLVEMENT IN GREEN
Chadsey: She and her husband Mike built in Green four-years-ago. She has been involved with the Green Professionals Association, Relay for Life and Green Rotary.
Miller: He grew up in Green before moving to Ellet in high school and then moved back to Green in 2010. He has coached more than 50 youth sports teams in Green. He also has been a Cub Scout leader, a member of the Green School's Safety Committee, Superintendent Roundtable and Central Park Steering Committee. He and his wife received the 2017 Friends of Children Award from the Green Intermediate School PTSA and he was also a candidate for Green Board of Education in 2013.
Ridgeway: She was born and raised in Green and graduated in 1974. She then served in the U.S. Navy for three years and lived in California for 17 years. Moving back to Green in 2000, she taught in Green Local Schools and served one term as ward councilperson in Ward 3. She has been active in Green Historic Prevention Commission, Green Arts Council, Green Historical Society and the Coalition to Reroute NEXUS group.
Yeargin: He has lived in Green 11 years and has served as president of the Summit County Trial Lawyers’ Association for Justice and also serves currently as chair of the Akron Bar Association Estate Planning, Probate and Elder Law section. In addition, he has served as president of the local Italian-American Professional/Businessmen’s Club, been active with Hiram College boards and a Sunday school teacher and deacon at his church. Green Youth Association baseball and soccer, the Green Schools Foundation and Green Historical Society are other organizations he has been involved with.
WHY RUNNING FOR COUNCIL
Chadsey: "The city of Green is a progressive and prospering community, and we feel privileged to raise our family here. I want to give back to our great city and believe this is a good way to do so, get more involved, and be an agent of positive, productive change."
Miller: "I truly want the opportunity for my voice and my convictions to have an impact on the lives of those around me; Green residents, my neighbors, my friends, my kids and their friends. That's important to me. I want to be an example to our kids that when you stand up for right and when you put right first, great things happen. I'm committed to being a checks and balance system for the city's administration and to being a leader in the City Council room. My heart is to be an advocate for the Ward 3 residents and the remainder of Green as well. Some feel that too often when people have gotten a position like this, they feel a blind allegiance to the city or to existing leadership or they feel a blind dislike or distrust for the city or for existing leadership. I want to be in that room to be the voice of my fellow community members and to be a difference maker."
Ridgeway: "I am running for Green City Council because I am a professional researcher and a proven problem solver and felt that Ward 3 did not have adequate representation on city council that was supporting our efforts to stop the NEXUS pipeline. This pipeline will destroy the American dream for many property owners in Ward 3 and will put many residents within the blast zone if the pipeline should explode, which has happened in many states already. I felt that we were being undermined by present representation and a change was needed."
Yeargin: "Green is an exciting community for civic minded people. We have beautiful parks, good schools, so many quality residents, and a strong tax base. Yet our progress poses some challenges such as maintaining balanced and orderly growth for all sectors of the community. I have spent my career solving problems and I would like to use that experience working with my neighbors to make the city of Green a better place."
THREE BIGGEST CONCERNS
Chadsey: 1. Growth 2. Taxes 3. Traffic
Miller: 1. Proper placement of development 2. Infrastructure 3. City and schools partnership
Ridgeway: 1. NEXUS Pipeline 2. Ramming through development 3. Excess cash beyond the rainy day fund
Yeargin: 1. Zoning laws and codes 2. Infrastructure and growth 3. Sidewalk connectivity
Chadsey: "I am against the NEXUS route and support the stance the city has taken to move the pipeline."
Miller: "This pipeline should have no place in Green. Period. There is likely nothing I can say about this topic that will be earthshattering or original. As we all know, the proposed pipeline will run through many of our community’s parks where our children are playing games and making lifelong friendships. Those same parks will now be torn up and used as an avenue for a foreign company to make millions and millions of dollars. It’s unfair to landowners and to our community as a whole to be used in these ways. That’s obvious and easy. We deserve better and I’m hopeful there is a way to win this battle. I understand that the city of Green and Coalition to Reroute NEXUS (CORN) are waging individual legal battles against NEXUS. Both parties acknowledge these are uphill climbs and are likely to end with unfortunate results. I support both parties in their efforts to fight this opponent and I certainly cannot find fault in either party for doing what they feel is right in the approach taken to protect our city’s landowners and residents."
Ridgeway: "This pipeline is the epitome of everything that is wrong with our attitudes about the source of our energy in America. To quote from my letter to the editor to the Canton Repository, "Methane gas emissions from compressor stations and pipelines with "acceptable" leaks will end up polluting our air at higher rates than coal emissions and will cause unprecedented health issues for whole communities. It has been discovered that existing pipelines are leaking consistently, and no one is monitoring how much. Clean energy, which could be used to supply customers instead, is being completely ignored. Property and homes are becoming valueless and cannot be resold thus rendering the American Dream a pathetic joke. These new pipelines are large in width, huge with high pressure, and if there is a breach, everything will be incinerated within 1,500 feet on either side of the pipeline. Communities don’t have safety contingency plans, or the emergency equipment to put out forests fires or whole neighborhoods. The closest air tanker, used to fight large fires is west of the Mississippi. Pipeline safety corridors have not been mandated. Foreign companies that have ownership in these gas lines will be taking our land by eminent domain, in direct violation of the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. FERC is funded and catered to, by the very industry it is required to police. FERC is known to ignore the Nation Environmental Policy Act and was rebuked by the Obama administration for having done so, yet government oversight is non-existent, and FERC does whatever the industry asks." This pipeline will be devastating to Ward 3 and the city as a whole. To put it in a nutshell, we must fight this pipeline from as many fronts as possible and the city must support all efforts, not just their own in getting this pipeline rerouted.
Yeargin: "I support the current administration’s approach to pulling all available social, environmental, administrative and legal levers to encourage the re-routing of the pipeline. It is well established that the city of Green will suffer disproportionately from the pipeline as proposed. Studies have established that if built on the currently proposed route, the pipeline will eventually cost the city many millions of dollars over time. Another route could be taken for about the same price with less economic and environmental impact. Our community should continue its efforts to direct a different route."
LIKE MOST ABOUT GREEN
Chadsey: "The people. Organizations like Green Good Neighbors and Blessings in a Backpack show the character and heart of a city, and Green's heart is pretty big. We fell in love with this community because it is a large city with a small town feel. How could you not want to live here?"
Miller: "I love our city. I value our community. I respect our administration and our school district leadership. Our frrst responders are second to none. I’m thrilled to raise my kids in Green and I’m thankful my family gets to call Green home."
Ridgeway: "There is so much to like about Green. Let me start by expressing our good fortune to have a great school system, a wonderful school board and an outstanding superintendent that has, in my opinion, improved our schools tremendously in the past four years. We also have some beautiful neighborhoods and parks that are a pure joy to walk and bike through as well as having some nice bike trails. Honestly, the biggest asset is our residents who have been so kind as I knock on their doors during their dinner time, or interrupt them as they try to cut their grass or clean their front porch. Truly, we are a friendly bunch and overall, it is a pretty nice place to live and raise a family."
Yeargin: "A community is best defined by its people. Green is richly blessed on this score. We have so many folks who are well-educated, talented, or just good neighbors, and who are invested in both our heritage and our future. Although our location, resources, and growth are notable, I continue to believe our people truly set Green apart. It’s up to our city leadership to make sure Green remains a place where our greatest resource, our residents, continue to live well at every stage of life."