Economic development and flooding problems are among the top issues in Northwood, according to five Northwood City Council candidates vying for four council seats this November.
“The economy will get better,” said Councilman Dave Gallaher, who is seeking a fifth term on council. “Businesses may not be spending the money right this minute. But you have to believe they are going to spend money either by building new businesses, or by growing. What we want to do is get the word out there and let people know what kind of place Northwood is, let them know all we have going for us and what we have to offer, so that when that money becomes available and they’re ready to invest in the community, we have things in line to attract those businesses.”
The city should also be more aggressive in helping Woodville Mall and the Great Eastern Shopping Center, or they will fade away, said Gallaher, 51, of Ritter Avenue.
“We have to be able to sell what we have to offer,” said Gallaher, a machinist at New Die Inc. “We have two expressways, railroads, and Woodville Road. Woodville Mall and Great Eastern will be dead if we don’t do something about it. We have to get out there and make things happen.”
Councilman Randy Kozina, who is seeking a second term on council, agrees.
“We can only do so much to get them on track,” Kozina, 56, said of Great Eastern and the mall.
He’d also like to continue addressing drainage problems in the city.
“We’re starting to get a handle on some of the drainage and flooding issues from last year. We’ve made some changes and done a few things that, hopefully in the future, will alleviate flooding.”
The city has already expanded the detention pond on the west end, behind the fire station off Tracy Road, to improve drainage, added Kozina, a Toledo policeman who lives on Eden East Drive.
Councilman Mike Myers, who is seeking a third term, said the city has to find ways to increase revenue, which has fallen compared to last year.
“We need to bring more businesses into the city,” said Myers, 60. “Our revenue is down by eight percent so far this year.”
Myers, of Curtice Road, also wants to ensure public safety services are “top notch.”
“With the economy going down, we just have to watch what we spend. We might have to cut somewhere else to keep the public safety services going strong,” said Myers, who will be retiring this week as a supervisor for Toledo Edison.
Councilman Connie Hughes, 55, also wants to focus on increasing city revenues.
“The revenues are down $197,000 for the first six months of this year,” said Hughes, an elementary playground aide.
“We need to look at the budget in the fall and get it ready for next year. I would love nothing more than to revitalize Woodville Mall. I still shop there in the stores that are left. It’s sad,” said Hughes, of Bordeaux Rue.
Rick Radocy, who was on council for three terms until he was defeated for re-election in 2007, said economic development is the “first and foremost” issue in Northwood.
“That’s significant, considering the percentage of vacancies, especially commercial buildings,” said Radocy, 57.
“Unfortunately, with today’s recession, that’s a very difficult task in anyone’s book,” he said.
“We’ve taken some steps making the Woodville Road strip into a downtown commercial district, and that’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Radocy, publisher of Sport, a bowling magazine.
The city should also pay more attention, he said, to Great Eastern and the Woodville Mall.
“I think there’s eventually going to be some good development there. I just don’t want the city to figure that it’s a recession, and we can’t do much with this. Let’s try to at least keep the business district on the stove economically and not hidden on the shelf somewhere.
Radocy, of Farnstead Avenue, is also concerned about drainage problems.
“When we get heavy rains in different sections of our community, sometimes basements get flooded. We have to pay attention. This hasn’t happened overnight. It’s been going on for years,” he said.