FORT LORAMIE — Voters in Fort Loramie will see five candidates running for council on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Patrick Goldschmidt, of Fort Loramie, is a 1980 graduate of Fort Loramie Local Schools and is a distinguished alumni of the Upper Valley Career Center. He currently works as a store manager of Casey’s General Store.
Goldschmidt is a retired master sergeant of the United States Air Force with 23 years of service, a member of the American Legion; a life member of the Non-Commissioned Officers Association, a life member of the Langley Air Force Base Senior Non-Commissioned Officers Association, and has 32 years of volunteer public safety experience with fire and emergency medical service.
He has previously been part of the Shelby County Republican Party Central Committee and Shelby County Republican Party Executive Committee.
Sam Grassbaugh, Tim Siegel, Ryan Simon and Chad Wray are also running for village council. The Sidney Daily News reached out to each candidate for comment and received none as of press time.
Why are you running for office?
Goldschmidt: I was born and raised in the Village of Fort Loramie and I plan to remain here. I want to continue to serve my community as a member of village council. A member of council plays an important part in the shaping of our Village and surrounding community and I have some ideas that I think will help grow the village and attract business into the industrial park and would like to be involved in that process.
Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to serve as a council member?
Goldschmidt: I have a very diverse background in dealing with problem solving and public relations, not only with my military service but that of my public safety and business background as well. I have ideas to not only spur economic and business development in the village, but that of residential expansion as well. I feel that with our excellent schools and support we have here in the village, the future is bright and I think I am the best candidate to make the future even brighter.
How can you improve communication with village residents?
Goldschmidt: The village newsletters on the village website are from 2014 and 2017, these should be updated at least quarterly. I also think the village council meeting should be aired live on a local village cable channel or recorded and uploaded to the village council website. There are a large number of people I have talked to that don’t know what is going on with council and village happenings.
What is the biggest challenge the village is facing?
Goldschmidt: With the current economic climate, we are in, the wise use of tax dollars is paramount. We must scrutinize all expenditures and spend wisely now and in the future. We must maintain our basic infrastructure (water, sewer & streets) as well as keep our streets and parks safe for anyone using them. The other is a safe, clean, reliable and odor free water supply; continuing education and training of the plant operators is essential.
How do you bring more funding to the village?
Goldschmidt: We must also energetically seek companies to locate into the village industrial park and further expand the new home construction options available to future village residents. I would also like to improve on the current working relationship the Village has with the Shelby County Regional Planning Commission, the Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership Council and the State of Ohio Department of Development to attract businesses to the area that would benefit both the Village and that of the Shelby County area. Enlist the services of a grant writer to aggressively seek out grants at the local, state and federal level including current community development block grants
What are the current strengths of council?
Goldschmidt: There is a great mix of talent currently on council, all seem to be engaged in their committees.
What are the current weaknesses of council?
Goldschmidt: There needs to be more emphasis place on opportunities for youth activities in the parks. Possible options are a BMX bike park and a skateboard park. The tennis courts and basketball courts need upgraded, and pickleball courts need added. Enhanced electronic surveillance of the parks need to be added to reduce the amount of vandalism going on and hold those accountable for their actions.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Goldschmidt: I would like to look for ways to enhance the activities for the youth in the village. The development of the new park across from the high school and the new water plant are both attractive features of our community to attract both new businesses and residents to the Village. The new park operations can self-sustaining if operated properly with appropriate user fees and concession stand operation policies. Public safety is an issue that I am also concerned with, the contract agreement with the county sheriff, the township and the village should be given another look to ensure our village taxpayers are getting what we are paying for. What I’m hearing from discussions I have had with a few council members is that we may not be getting what we are paying for and our village police officers are spending a large amount of time out in the township on calls that exceed that of the agreement that is in place. I know firsthand that officers are sometimes not in the village and able to respond when needed and I am also hearing that from numerous village residents. The police department now has three police cruisers and rarely has more than one officer on duty at a time.
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