LIMA — The two candidates running for 6th Ward Lima council squared off in a candidates night event at the Lima Towers Tuesday night.
The event was sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Neighborhood Association.
Incumbent Derry Glenn is facing a challenge from Cleven Jones.
Glenn wants voters to elect him to a fifth term on council.
Jones, a pastor at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, is hoping to breathe new life into the ward.
After each candidate gave a two-minute introduction they fielded written questions from the audience.
A variety of topics were discussed including economic development, safety and security and housing.
Each candidate was asked about the most important issue facing the 6th Ward and what specifically would they do to address that.
Jones cited housing concerns.
“One of the issues is blighted houses in the 6th Ward, houses that cause the area’s property rates to go down, neighborhoods to go down so we would hope that we could make an attempt, now my opponent happens to own one of the blighted houses in the neighborhood that somebody would complain about and we would hope to get these houses torn down and get them rebuilt,” said Jones.
Glenn agreed housing is a big issue.
“We spent $15 million to be taking down these homes in the 6th Ward and the City of Lima. We’re very excited about that. We are also working on a study right now how would you bring upscale houses to the City of Lima,” said Glenn.
At times the discussion turned testy.
On the topic of police relations, Jones, a member of the Lima Area Black Ministerial Alliance, blasted his opponent.
“We worked with the Lima Police Department,” said Jones. “We came to the floor of Lima City Council and talked about Community Oriented Policing. We talked about body cameras and we talked about the Citizens Review Board. Now we left that meeting as a ministerial alliance and Mr. Glenn was there and Glenn and council said there was no funding to support the initiatives that we were trying to initiate. He talks about his care for the community and we’re there trying to improve the community and two councilmen came to talk with us (afterward) and suggested we re-present the proposal and see if we can get it done a different way. He (Glenn) was not one of those two people. He talks about what I don’t do and what he does. He takes credit for things that he’s not responsible for doing.”
“What have you done?” countered Glenn. “Right now we need to see what’s important for the ward. He knows it. Everyone in here knows it. I don’t have to lie about what I do. I’m not with no committee. I present the programs. We need to help our families out and help our kids out.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.