LIMA — Tony Wilkerson, candidate for the 2nd ward Lima City Council seat, kicked off his campaign Tuesday afternoon by announcing his primary initiatives — making safe neighborhoods, retaining local talent and encouraging growth.
“I want to run because I think I can make a difference in the community,” Wilkerson said during a brief afternoon press conference at Robb Park. “I always said I’d do it one day, and I’m running out of days.”
Born in Lima, Wilkerson joined the United States Army at the age of 21, spent six years in the service, and returned to Lima to find employment with Dominion Energy as a meter reader. In the subsequent 30 years, Wilkerson gained multiple promotions and served as a construction maintenance crew member, crew leader, design engineer and inspector, which he still does today.
Wilkerson said throughout his career he has learned how to communicate well, how to manage million dollar projects and how to be fiscally responsible when moving initiatives forward.
If elected, Wilkerson said he would encourage growth especially in the downtown area to help reinvigorate Lima and change perceptions of safety. Other related initiatives include encouraging mentorship, becoming more involved in local schools and helping those involved with neighborhood associations.
On housing, Wilkerson said he’s seen a few landlords ignore faulty gas meter warnings during his time as a meter reader, and with such experience, he would like to see council consider what could be done to curb practices that could be harmful for tenants.
“There’s got to be accountability. There are more good landlords than bad, but we have to have standards,” Wilkerson said.
In November, Wilkerson will be challenging current 2nd ward incumbent Sam McLean, who has held the seat since 2008.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.