LIMA — The two candidates for Lima City Council, 4th Ward, squared off in a forum at the LACNIP offices in Lima Tuesday night.
Incumbent Rebecca Kreher and challenger Peggy Ehora took on topics ranging from their involvement in the 4th Ward community to communicating with their constituents.
When asked about the top issues facing the 4th Ward, both agreed housing is right up there.
“Top two issues are depending on where you’re standing at in the fourth ward. Safety is one of them but so are the empty houses in the neighborhood and these issues overlap,” said Kreher.
“I think that the biggest issue is housing integrity, empty houses, houses occupied by less than stellar tenants. We need to develop a housing plan,” said Ehora.
Public safety was also a big concern for both candidates.
“We have really good safety services. Crime is down in Lima thanks to a pretty stellar police department. I trust the people that we have and I think we do it as well as anybody,” said Ehora.
Kreher encourages people to learn more about what our police do.
“I invite you to do a ride-along with Lima police. We need education and need when to know to call the police and when not to,“ said Kreher.
The housing situation in Lima was a recurring topic, with the landlord registry Being discussed.
“This (landlord registration) has been a big topic on council. In the last month or so the topic has come up but it doesn’t have to be a landlord registration done by the city. One of the things we need to know is education. Let the landlords and tenants know what their rights are,” said Kreher.
Ehora expects the condition of Lima’s housing stock would improve if more people owned their own homes.
“My goal would be to have a community with less than 67% of rentals. The best way to improve a neighborhood is to have homeownership. We need to have a plan for neighborhood development,” said Ehora.
Protecting housing values in Lima was also a big topic.
Other topics included questions about economic development, tax abatements and spending community development block grant funds.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.