LIMA — The Lima City Council race for the 6th ward is lining up to be a fierce one with Councilor Derry Glenn’s opponent, Pastor Cleven Jones, recently highlighting actions Jones said are in conflict with Glenn’s public statements regarding affordable housing projects, wages and blight.
“He hasn’t been consistent on just one side of any issue,” Jones said in a recent interview with The Lima News. “Just say: ‘No, I’m here. And I’m not going to move from here.”
The first example of such flip-flopping, Jones said, is the current New Lima Homes situation, which council members recently discussed in a neighborhood concerns committee meeting on July 8.
Jones said Glenn has recently worked as an advocate for Chestnut residents while also being partially at fault for approving the deal in the first place.
Under the initial deal, Chestnut residents had entered a rent-to-own agreement that would open up funds that could be used toward a house’s purchase if the resident stayed in the house for a full 15 years. Now that the 15-year time limit is approaching, Chestnut residents have publicly called the issue into question after the property’s management company told Chestnut residents they had no knowledge of the agreement. At the time, Glenn had threatened to file legal action.
Glenn, who had served on council for decades, vetted the original deal.
“I thought it was a bad idea then, it’s kind of showing now that it’s a bad idea now,” Jones said.
Glenn said the company in charge of the properties have since resumed communication with Chestnut residents with residents being told they would have at least $15,000 to be used toward the purchase price of their residences. Glenn said he is now dealing with local banks to secure financing for the four households affected, and he is awaiting for the appraisal prices to be determined.
“It could be a home run hit if the appraisal is real low,” Glenn said.
Jones said many of the Chestnut houses most likely need major reinvestment — some homes had been equipped with blue tarps to replace missing shingles — and in the end, those residents have most likely have paid for the price of the property and will be required to pay more for homes that need costly repairs.
“I saw the handwriting on the wall when they first initiated it,” Jones said. “Someone is not doing too bad. And it’s not the homeowners. They’re paying for that now.”
Jones also called into question Glenn’s stance on both wages and blight.
On wages, Jones pointed to Glenn’s public support of mayoral candidate Keith Cheney, who is also the Allen County Republican Chairman. The GOP has typically fought for “Right to Work” legislation, which Jones said keeps wages down.
“I did what I feel I can work with to get things done in the ward,” Glenn said after pointing out that mayoral races are non-partisan. “You can’t just use the Cheney move all the time. Give me your work, baby. Show me what you’ve been doing.”
Glenn also brought up his own public votes on the city’s use of temporary workers, which Glenn has historically opposed.
On blight, Jones said that Glenn’s ownership of the house at 218 E. Third St. — the former residence of Tarika Wilson — also called into question Glenn’s statements on blight.
In 2009, the City of Lima had fined Glenn on property maintenance violations regarding the house, and the property currently sits on the city’s list of houses that need demolition.
“You can’t have a blighted house and stand up and say you’re against blighted houses,” Jones said.
Glenn said he has held the house to protect the trust fund established for Wilson’s six children. Wilson was shot and killed by a police officer in 2008 during a drug raid against her boyfriend. The family received a $2.5 million settlement in 2011.
“I will not mess with the trust fund. I will not do that.” Glenn said. “That’s not an option I want to pursue because it wouldn’t have money for the kids.”
“My opponent has always over exaggerated to his benefit regardless to whatever it is,” Jones said.
“Where have you been over the years?” Glenn said of Jones. “Show what you have done for the Sixth Ward. What are you doing? You’re the pastor of a church. Come out and help.”
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.