Jack Amrhein | Kent City Council

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Candidate Name
Jack Amrhein

Office Sought
Kent City Council - Ward 2

Why are your running for office, and what previous experience makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?

I have lived in Kent for over 40 years.I attended Kent State University. I met and married my wife in Kent. I raised my children in Kent. I worked in Kent for over 30 years. I love Kent Ohio and want to give back to the city as much as it’s given to me. I am the best qualified for this position because I have served in City Council for the past 12 years. During this time the city has undergone a significant transformation through re-development. I also hold a degree in government and history and feel that I have a good knowledge of how local government works.

If elected, what do you hope to accomplish in this position?

If elected, I hope to continue to work with the rest of City Council to make Kent Ohio the best place to live and work.

What are three policy initiatives you plan to focus on if elected?

Three policy initiatives I would like to focus on if elected:

1. The redevelopment of the Mill District in downtown Kent.
2. The research and implementation of redevelopment of the west side of Kent.
3.The enactment of neighborhood initiatives in Ward 2.

What can local governments do to encourage young people to stay in Northeast Ohio?

Local governments can encourage young people to stay in Northeastern Ohio by creating good well-paying jobs within the area.

Do you support nondiscrimination policies that protect individuals regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, veterans status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression?

I absolutely support non-discrimination policies within the city of Kent, Northeastern Ohio and the state of Ohio.

Should cities in Ohio be required to cooperate with U.S. Department of Immigration & Customs Enforcement? Should cities have the right to become a sanctuary city?

Cities around the country have faced threats of the loss of funding by the federal government if they are sanctuary cities. I believe cities have the right to decide whether or not they want to be sanctuary cities. The city of Kent put the measure on the ballot for the citizens of the city decide. The voters in the city rejected it.

What are your thoughts on public safety and your plans for crime prevention?

The city of Kent has been very fortunate to have a very low crime rate. We have an excellent police department. I am comfortable with the policies of crime prevention in the city of Kent.

Do you support reasonable regulations on firearms in the United States? Please explain.

I absolutely support reasonable regulations on firearms in the United States. We need to make sure that those applying for a gun license are thoroughly vetted.

Please respond "YES" or "NO" to the following questions/statements regarding the environment:

Do you recognize the existence of climate change?

YES

Do you believe the government has a responsiblity to respond to climate change?

YES

Do you support the use of "Fracking" (hydraulic fracturing) to extract oil or gas?

NO

Do you support the restoration of funding for the EPA at the state and federal level?

YES

Do you support state and federal governments incentivizing the adoption of clean/renewable energy sources over the use of fossil fuels?

YES

The state of Ohio has continually cut funds to local governemnts over the last eight years. How do you plan on operating within the confines of an already reduced local budget, without cutting critical services to tax payers?

Fortunately, the funds for local governments have been increased this year. All be it atvery minimal amount.

The City of Kent has been fortunate through redevelopment to have more funds available to operate the city. However, the city has lost over $1.4 million over the past eight years. The city still must plan carefully for fiscal spending.

What can be done to create new business and encourage existing business to expand and attract more companies with their tax base and employees?

I believe that through redevelopment the city of Kent has encouraged existing businesses to expand and we have attracted more companies to our city. We have become the model of redevelopment for Portage County.

Should your district reduce the cost of services by contracting out or privatizing government services such as street sweeping and garbage collection and professional services such as engineering and information technology services? Why or why not?

The city of Kent already contracts out garbage collection. We have an outstanding Engineering department. So, in terms of contracting out garbage collecting we save residence money yearly.

In terms of engineering, I believe that it is not beneficial to contract out those services. When you have an engineering department that works for the city I believe they have better understanding of the needs and wants of the city.

What will you do to actively engage young people in local government?

I believe being a college community the city of Kent is a natural for involving young people in local government.

Do you feel that housing in your city is affordable for young people? If not, what will you do to address this issue?

Housing in Kent tends to be a little more expensive than surrounding communities. This is largely due to the fact that we are a college town.