SIDNEY — When voters go to the polls Nov. 2 to decide who will serve on Sidney City Council, they will find only one candidate on the ballot to fill one of the two open seats.
Joseph Moniaci, of Sidney, is running for the open 2nd Ward City Council seat.
He was asked by the Sidney Daily News to answer questions about himself and why he is running for City Council.
Moniaci boasts that he is “a proud Yellow Jacket!” He is a 2002 graduate of Sidney High School. In 2008, he graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in education: intervention specialist. He is also a 2018 graduate of Concordia University-Chicago, with a Master of Arts in education: educational administration.
Moniaci has been married to his wife, Meghan, for 12 years, and they have five children.
He has been an intervention specialist for the past 15 years; nine of those years “right here at Sidney Middle School.” He is a second-generation intervention specialist, as his mother, Lorrie, taught in various school districts for 33 years before her retirement. He does not have any political history.
Why are you running for City Council?
“I’ve always been very interested in our city government and its workings. I’m a Sidney native and have always been very proud of our city. It will be awesome to be part of the decision-making process that helps guide our city’s present and future course.”
Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to serve as a council member?
“I am a high-energy person, and love Sidney. I hope to spread that high-energy when serving on council. I will always listen and try to find solutions that meets the needs of our residents. I always try to be optimistic, however I’m also the person who will ask questions when I don’t know the answer to something or need to find out more. I firmly believe that as a council member, I work for you, our residents. I’ll cover this topic more throughout the next question, but communication is a huge deal for me. I feel there is has been a ‘disconnect gap’ between our council and our residents over the years. I hope to work with my fellow council members in changing this mindset.”
How can you improve communication with city residents?
“I believe that communication has been an issue through many years, starting with council. I sincerely feel that there is a ‘disconnect’ between our council (as a whole) and residents, and it is a foremost goal of mine to help in changing this culture of thinking. I would love to see neighborhood (or ward) block parties being held at our city parks in the near future. These gatherings would be a chance where residents can come and be with others from their ward/neighborhood, while also talking with their council members. I believe this would help to bridge the ‘disconnect gap’ between council and city residents. I will also respond to residents’ comments, questions, and/or concerns as best I see fit. I have personally contacted our city councils (past and present) from time to time, with responses from only one or two members, and rarely a follow-up after that.”
What is the biggest challenge Sidney is facing?
“Again here, I feel that the disconnect between city government and our residents has continued to grow through the years. We are also overregulated within our ordinances. While I feel some ordinances have their place, I question where others have come from. Sidney is a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family. Our downtown is quickly becoming a destination place for residents and visitors alike-take a drive downtown on a Tuesday Night and look at the numerous cars parked around courthouse square! I want to continue that momentum moving forward — citywide. However, I feel that the disconnect between council and our residents has created a stagnant culture; not allowing Sidney to become what it ultimately could or should.”