SHELBY – Voters in the city of Shelby will decide two contested races on the Nov. 5 ballot, in addition to two tax levy renewals.
Shelby's parks department and health department are both seeking to renew a 1-mill tax levy for five years to cover general operations expenses.
In another citywide vote, Shelby citizens will write in the name of either Brian Crum or Teresa Scott for director of finance and public record. The winner will take over official duties from Steve Lifer, who was appointed interim director of finance in July 2015 and retained his seat after the following November election.
According to Paulette Hankins, director of the Richland County Board of Elections, Lifer had taken out a petition and planned on running for reelection until a disagreement with Shelby City Council prompted him to withdraw from the ballot. Due to the last minute shake-up, both Crum and Scott had not filed to appear on the ballot by the February 21 official filing deadline, but both filed a declaration of intent by the Aug. 26 filing deadline for write-in candidates.
Residents of the second ward in the city of Shelby will decide between incumbent Derrin Roberts and challenger Lane Winters for their next representative on Shelby City Council. The second ward is the only contested race for Shelby City Council this election season.
According to Lifer, the salary for a member of council is $7,920 per year. The salary for the director of finance and public record is $58,408 per year.
Each candidate was contacted by Richland Source and asked to answer the following questions:
- Tell me a little about yourself - where you grew up, went to school, where you live now, about your family, etc.
- What is the most important issue facing the city of Shelby that needs addressed?
- Anything else you'd like to add?
Candidates running for director of finance and public record were asked:
- Why do you want to be the next finance director for the city of Shelby?
- As a candidate for this position, what would you do differently should you be elected?
Candidates running for second ward councilman were asked the following questions tailored to either the challenger or the incumbent:
- Why do you want to be a councilman for Ward 2 in the city of Shelby?
- Why do you want to continue your work as councilman for Ward 2 in Shelby?
- As the challenger, what would you do differently should you be elected?
- As the incumbent, what are you most proud of about your past service as a councilman for Ward 2 in Shelby?
The four candidates included in this story responded to these questions via email. Candidates were not given any restrictions on word counts for their answers.
The following answers are listed in alphabetical order, organized according to each race, and have been lightly edited for clarity and length. To read each candidate's response in full, click the link below:
Click to read the unedited answers from the candidates for Shelby's director of finance & public record and second ward councilman.
Brian Crum - Director of Finance & Public Record
Crum, 35, is a native of Shelby and graduate of The Ohio State University with a triple concentration in accounting, marketing, and transportation and logistics. He currently works as a certified public accountant and owns Roselawn Miniature Golf in town. Crum and his wife Kelly have a 3-year-old daughter, Ruby, and just welcomed twin sons James and Daniel.
"I feel that the finance director position is another way for me to give back to the community using my industry background," Crum said. "Through my work in public accounting, I have become very familiar with generally accepted accounting principles as well as governmental accounting practices. I work with a wide variety of accounting software programs and I do tax returns for numerous municipalities.
"I hope that this knowledge will allow me to provide insight to city council to help them with their financial decisions and perhaps find some ways to find some cost savings in the city’s operations," he said.
Crum said his goal as finance director would be to provide accurate and timely information to council to assist with their decision-making processes. He also hopes his experience will allow council to find more cost-saving measures and operate more efficiently.
Crum believes the most important issue facing the city of Shelby from a finance perspective is streamlining the tax collection process and increasing efficiencies on the expense side. More generally, Crum personally believes the most important issue facing Shelby is the growth of the community.
"I think that as individuals we need realize that we have the power to shape our own destiny," Crum said. "If we all decide to visit our local shops and restaurants on a regular basis those businesses will grow and more will join them to create a very homely downtown atmosphere."
Teresa Scott - Director of Finance & Public Record
Scott, 53, grew up in the Clear Fork Valley and graduated from Clear Fork High School. She has worked in the accounting field for both businesses and not-for-profits for more than 20 years, and has a college background in business and computer science. She currently lives in Shelby and has three children and 10 grandchildren.
"I want to be the next finance director for the city of Shelby because I fell in love with this community and their huge hearts," Scott said. "I wanted to give back to a community that does so much for their citizens. I decided to use my strengths to accomplish this with my experience in accounting and computer science."
Scott said she would like to see the computer software and network for the city of Shelby be modernized to make the director of finance position more efficient. She also would like to offer more of her own time to community involvement to better understand how to serve the citizens of Shelby.
Scott believes the most important issue facing the city of Shelby is finding ways to have the funds to meet the community's needs for future growth and development without raising taxes.
"I understand I work for every citizen of Shelby and I will give them 100 percent," Scott said. "I also realize that this position demands a minimum of 40 hours a week."
Derrin Roberts - Second Ward Councilman
Roberts, 49, was born and raised in Shelby and graduated from Shelby City Schools. He and his wife Wanda have been married for 29 years, and the couple raised one daughter and two sons. They currently have six grandchildren.
"The city is moving forward in many ways," Roberts said. "I want to continue on council to make sure the progress continues."
Roberts said he is most proud of his work on council to lower electric costs and bring some financial relief to the residents of Shelby.
Roberts believes the most important issue facing the city of Shelby is jobs. He said he would like to see more higher-paying jobs come to town with the work of an economic development plan and a forward-thinking council.
"I have lived in the city of Shelby for my entire 49 years," Roberts said. "I am dedicated to the residents of the second ward and the entire city. I will continue to work to move us forward."
Lane Winters - Second Ward Councilman
Winters, 37, was raised in Mansfield and moved to Shelby when his children were toddlers. He currently works as a railroader and serves as the legislative representative for his local SMART (sheet metal, air, rail, transportation) union. Winters and his wife have three sons and two daughters ranging in age from 13 to 3 years.
"As a councilman for Ward 2 in Shelby I would focus on being transparent, communicating city issues within our community, and listening to not just the concerns of our community, but also listening to their ideas," Winters said. "While a city councilman is a community leader, they are also a community member and must take the time to get to know, listen to, communicate, and help those in their community."
As the challenger, Winters said his goal is to bring to council new ideas and a renewed energy to continue the growth and change that has already been started.
"A leader's job is not simply to be a leader, but to encourage and lay the groundwork for the next generation of leaders," he said. "Once a person has accomplished that, they have accomplished their goal as a leader."
Winters believes the most important issue facing the city of Shelby is continued efforts to lower utility bills. He also believes the city needs additional high speed internet sources, and plans to work with the Shelby Foundation to continue to encourage community growth and small business.