LIMA — Candidates for Lima City Council gathered at Grace Worldwide Ministries on Wells Drive to participate in a forum sponsored by the Lima NAACP.
There are races in the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th wards.
In the 1st Ward, incumbent Todd Gordon faces Ray Magnus.
The 3rd Ward race has incumbent Jesse J. Lowe II facing off against Carla A. Thompson.
The 5th Ward sees incumbent Theresa G. Adams going up against Jamie Dixon.
In the 7th Ward, incumbent C. Ann Miles faces a challenge from Jon M. Neeper.
The first question was “If you could create a new law what would that be?”
Magnus said he would create “term limits” for the mayor’s position.
Another question: “Why does your ward need you and what is your advantage?”
Thompson said she “feels like my ward needs me because I see the breakdown in relationships and we’re not working together. When people have problems they know they can come to me, I will be fair and won’t take sides,” Thompson said.
Adams said she has worked with the city and the county on various projects. She pointed to improvements to Cook Park. She says she’s been for “infrastructure improvements” in the city, and the demolition of dilapidated structures in her ward.
Dixon said he’s lived in Lima for 23 years and criticized Adams saying she ran because the seat was vacant. He says “even though the seat is occupied, it is still vacant.”
Neeper pointed out a problem he sees regarding economic development with many companies running out due to problems with city government.
Miles has lived in the 7th Ward for 20 years and said she believes what she brings to 7th Ward is she is accessible to her constituents.
Gordon said the first year he was on the council, Councilman Derry Glenn of the 6th Ward told him that he should get to know the different people in the ward and heard from people in the ward that are “just like you and me” that have problems. “I care about people,” Gordon said.
Another question: Do you feel the city’s crime rate went up or down and what role did you play in it?
Lowe says the “crime rate has definitely went up. Come March it will be 10 years since I stood at St. Johns and Catalpa. People don’t know that we were able to get people in rehab,” thanks to Lowe’s Drugs Bring Death campaign.
Other council members also expressed concerns about how the crime rate affects anything from housing problems to poverty and there was discussion about minority issues splitting the Lima community.
Reach Sam Shriver 567-242-0409.