Zanesville Candidates Forum: City Council at Large

by Danielle Cotterman on October 20, 2011 at 5:07 am

Candidates in the running for Zanesville City Council at Large met earlier this week at a public forum to answer the questions and hear the concerns of the community.

There are five candidates in the running for three available positions. Candidates include Independent Chris Balsley, Democrats D.J Dittmar and Ted Zakany, and Republicans Ann Gildow and Andrew Roberts.

Chris Balsley spoke on his military background and education in Criminal Justice. He said these experiences play into the city’s needs to support the jails and police forces.

"To deal with the budget issues we have right now, I’ve got education in terms of dealing with different types of budgets and bringing that to the table," emphasized Balsley. "I think would be a different perspective."

Former Councilman, D.J Dittmar spoke on the experiences gained while previously serving the 1st Ward. He said he knows first-hand the frustration of not being able to get ahold of city officials. He spoke on his motivation to make a safer city and to be available to answer any questions and concerns of the public.

"I think I could bring a lot of my business background to help balance the budget," said Dittmar. "I help people get the information they need because I think the government really is for us."

With a background in banking Ann Gildow prides herself on community involvement and encourages others to do the same. She said the city needs to become as self sufficient as possible rather than relying on state and federal funding.

"We obviously can’t control what happens at the federal level other than voting and writing our Congressman," expressed Gildow, "but I’d like to see more people get involved and step-up to the plate for local government."

Serving 2 years on council Andrew Roberts believes he knows the ins and outs of government. He said when it comes to the city’s budget now is the time to do more with less and to stop relying on state and federal sources. Roberts pushed for the upkeep and appearance of they city, as well as community involvement.

"I’ve tried to show through my actions what I’ve done for the last 2 years," said Roberts. "I think I’ve done a fairly decent job at being on council the last 2 years, I think actions speak louder than words."

Former President and long standing City Councilman Ted Zakany spoke on his efforts to maintain adequate police and fire protection, continue to upgrade the city’s water and sewer system and take notice of the city’s cemeteries and parks.

"I have supported legislation that benefits the city," said Zakany. "I am aware of the responsible spending of the city’s money, while is it important we don’t over spend and watch the budget very, very closely."

For the latest in local candidate coverage tune in to WHIZ news at 6:00.