Posted: 5:17 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012
By Joanne Huist Smith
Name: Deborah Ann Lieberman
Education: Undergraduate degree, Indiana Central University (now University of Indianapolis) 1983; University of Dayton Law School 1986
Current employment: Montgomery County Commissioner
Political Experience: Serving second term on the Montgomery County Commission; Selected in 1998 to serve on the Randolph Township Planning Commission that led to the merger effort resulting in the creation of the city of Clayton. Elected twice to the Clayton City Council serving terms beginning in 1998 and 2001. Resigned from council in 2005 after election to county commission. Current president of the County Commissioner’s Association of Ohio; appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court Task Force charged with looking at court funding.
Name: Stephen Ashley Webb
Education: Undergraduate degree, West Point 1993; Wright State University, Masters in Business Administration 2007; Army Command and General Staff College 2007.
Current employment: Kettering City Council 2010-present; Ohio National Guard supply and services chief, April 2012-present
Political experience: Kettering City Council member since Jan. 1, 2010; Kettering Board of Community Relations, June 2005- Dec 2008; Ohio National Guard Association Legislative Task Force, 2009-2011; Miami Valley Communications Council, Jan 2010-Dec 2011; Miami Valley Military Affairs Association, Jan 2010 to present.
Political party: Republican
QUESTION: In recent years, the county commission and employee unions have negotiated lump sum payments between $200 and $400 per employee, instead of across-the-board raises. Do you think this practice should continue?
Lieberman: Welfare rolls are down. Unemployment is down. Sales taxe receipts are up. I think we will be able to do raises in 2013 to the board of county commission employees. We evaluated salaries a few years ago and I think we are competitive. We want to stay that way.
Webb: We need to be competitive. We need to have good employees. We should compare all county employees’ salaries to those doing similar work in the private sector to see how they compare.
QUESTION: What are your thoughts on financial support of the arts?
Lieberman: We are earmarking money from the Casino Revenue Tax to help fund our EDGE program (money the county commission sets aside for economic development projects) and for the arts, so they can grow.
Webb: I think the arts are a valuable amenity to the qualify of life in Montgomery County. We need to continue to fund as many of our arts organization as we can through private donations and focus efforts of government on those areas that citizens can’t take care of themselves. I have no intention of pushing for additional cuts. If we can turn our economy around and resources are available, I’d like to see arts funding restored.
QUESTION: Would you support an in increase in property taxes to benefit a Montgomery County Human Services Levy in 2014?
Lieberman: We have to hold all of these programs more accountable. If they can’t show me outcomes, why should we share our precious resources. Before a levy is placed on the ballot, we get a needs presentation made to us. The process is driven by people in the community, people receiving services and others providing services. If compelling evidence is there, of course I would support an increase.
Webb: I would like to see human services agencies have more money and I would like to see that coming from our property values going up. I get the fact that no matter how we fund it, the most vulnerable among us are going to need assistance. We have to work together to be able to provide it.