Marietta City Council Third Ward

Stan Lang

¯ Age: 65

¯ Address: 1009 Colegate Drive

¯ Political party: Republican.

¯ Occupation: Independent Contractor–Merchandiser for Metrie Industries.

¯ Previous public office held: None.

1. There has been some progress made on blighted properties in the third ward. What could you do to further aid this progress and prevent future blight?

With it having been reported that 80+ properties have been identified as empty or blighted within the city, blight is a city-wide issue and not confined to Ward 3. Blight is actually an owner issue that affects neighborhoods and the city.

In order to control and reverse the blight of Marietta, we must have a clear-cut, clearly-defined maintenance code. At this time (the first part of October) the city is using the International Property Maintenance Code, which everyone seems to admit is not very clear and really does not help the situation, even though it is being used. A clearly defined code will help the owners know what is required and not just desired, will give clear guidelines for enforcement and will help encourage new residents to our fine city.

Several properties have been razed, and several more need to be. Recently, the city was provided property that will be razed, but this is a cost to the city, although the cleared property will hopefully be sold and the money spent for demolition will be reclaimed and utilized for the next demolition. Such a program needs to stay in place. It is good that individuals are buying and razing many of these properties at no cost to the city.

With many properties in the flood zone, incentives for repairing properties will need to be explored in order to provide more benefit to the city than clearing a property. Benefits such as: keeping much-needed housing, encouragement for owners to maintain and improve their properties, help maintain our much-needed tax base, increase the value of neighboring properties which will encourage people to want to live in the city are benefits of restoration.

2. As a councilman, how would you make yourself available to constituents and ensure that you hear their needs and accurately represent them? How would you reach out to them?

Once elected, my telephone number will be public record, and that will be one means for constituents to contact me.

I will try to post a regular update on a Facebook page. I know that will not work for all, but those who it will reach will have availability to message me and comment on the things that affect them.

I will begin walking the neighborhoods. This will allow me the opportunity to see issues first-hand and hopefully things can be noticed before they become major. Another benefit will be seeing constituents and being able to talk to them.

I would like to see if there would be any interest in having neighborhood round table meetings. I would like these to be in homes in different neighborhoods, which would keep the groups smaller and allow for discussion of issues particular to the individual areas. I would like to include the At-Large councilors if they are available for these meetings.

Steve Thomas

¯ Age: 62.

¯ Address: 713 Warren St.

¯ Political Party: Democrat.

¯ Occupation: Retired.

¯ Previous public offices held: Three terms as third ward city councilman.

1. There has been some progress made on blighted properties in the third ward. What could you do to further aid this progress and prevent future blight?

I am very proud of the third ward as they have taken it to help with the blighted houses on their own. Of five that were auctioned off three have been torn down and two are stated for remodeling. A house on Warren Street has been bought by a family from Colorado and is being remodeled. Another place on Muskingum Drive is being remodeled– it is the old gas station and house. This is being done by the Medley family. To help keep going on working on blighted houses in my ward I will let my residents know about the CHIP program, Paint program and the cities emergency repair program. I am hoping with help from these programs that we will not have to tear down every blighted house in the third ward. Our community block grant money is based on population so if we keep tearing down houses the monies from that fund may decrease and the city does not need to lose any more funds. These funds help with ADA curb ramps and things for our parks. So as you can see with help from the community and the city blighted house can be taken care if we do not wait to long to do something.

2. As a councilman, how would you make yourself available to constituents and ensure that you hear their needs and accurately represent them? How would you reach out to them?

As a councilman for the third ward I have let it be known that I will always answer my phone no matter where I am. I have answered my phone when I have been in the hospital getting my ankle wrapped and also when I have been ready to reel in a big fish at the lake. I take it upon myself to be a good listener and advocate for my residents. I look out for all of my residents, be they elderly, disabled and just anyone who has a problem. I also will take hand written letters or emails no matter how they want to tell about a problem. I have even had many talks on my own front porch about the problems that they have. As a social worker I enjoy working with people and many times I have stepped outside the box as a councilman and had to put on my social work shoes to handle a problem. I work hard with the administration and the department heads to help solve the problems that my residents bring to me. I think that if I keep doing what I am doing now that I will have good communication with my residents. Being a councilman and a social worker in one gives me the thought that they say I am the Little Guy with the Big Heart. I always put my heart and soul into the third ward to make it the best ward in the city.