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5 after 3 council at-large seats

October 17, 2009
By Sam Shawver,

Marietta City Council's three at-large representatives are running for re-election this year, facing two challengers.

Unlike ward representatives, at-large members are elected citywide.

Harley Noland

Democrat incumbent Harley Noland, completing his first term on council, says his accomplishments over the last two years have made more progress feasible.

"I wanted to streamline and make the building permit process more efficient," he said. "We did that after having weekly early morning meetings at my restaurant with developers, contractors and businesspeople to find out what they needed. Then council approved the legislation (turning the permit process over to the county)."

Noland said he has followed up with those affected by the improvements and "they say the process is working much better now."

Fact Box

Harley Noland

Age: 57.

Office sought: Council at-large (incumbent).

Party: Democratic.

Address: 434 Bellevue St.

Occupation: Architectural designer and restaurant owner/operator.

Family: Single

Contact: 374-2233 or 376-9820

Josh Schlicher

Age: 32.

Office sought: Council at-large.

Party: Republican.

Address: 909 Lancaster St.

Occupation: Owner, Schlicher Construction and Development LLC.

Family: Single.

Contact: 376-0019, 350-1337 or

Debbie Scott

Age: 53

Office sought: Council at-large

Party: Independent

Address: 626 Ninth St.

Occupation: Marketing coordinator for Kardex USA Inc.

Family: Divorced, two sons, five grandchildren.

Contact: 350-8354.

Kathy Shively

Age: 57.

Office sought: Council at-large (incumbent).

Party: Democratic.

Address: 108 Rathbone Terrace.

Occupation: Retired from UPS.

Family: Husband, Larry Shively; one daughter; two grandchildren.

Contact: 373-8430.

Andy Thompson

Age: 46.

Office sought: Council at-large (incumbent).

Party: Republican.

Address: 729 Sixth St.

Occupation: Publisher, Bird Watcher's Digest.

Family: Wife, Jade; three children.

Contact: 373-1764 or

But he added that improving the permitting process had a greater goal.

"That is getting more businesses and people into the vacant second- and third-floor areas of buildings in downtown Marietta," Noland said.

Also during his first term, Noland spearheaded efforts to develop a city parking lot design ordinance to provide more green space and better stormwater runoff control for new and rebuilt parking lots. Council is expected to vote on the legislation within the next two weeks.

Other first-term accomplishments include helping to get the long-awaited municipal court and Armory Square projects under way, as well as supporting tax incentives for downtown development projects.

"A lot has been done, but this is just the beginning," Noland said. "We need to continue to look at the long-term and move ahead."

Josh Schlicher

Republican Josh Schlicher is making his first bid for office this year, but he's been serving the city since 2005 as a volunteer member of the Marietta Traffic Commission.

"I enjoy working on the commission, dealing with traffic issues, hearing people's needs and concerns, and trying to help solve problems," he said. "And I think I could do a good job on council, too. I've paid attention, especially to the big issues council deals with, and I've been thinking about running for some time."

Schlicher said he likes to familiarize himself with issues before making decisions.

"I like to get the facts first, to see how things work. I don't like making hasty decisions," he said.

After a recent tour to gather details on the city's water and wastewater treatment plants, Schlicher noted that it would take approximately $110 million, according to the city engineer, to completely replace those systems.

"But the city is proposing a $12 million project, which is a small price to pay for needed upgrades," he said. "The wastewater plant was built in the 1950s and definitely needs work."

Schlicher said he's also concerned about operating city government more efficiently; regular maintenance scheduling for all city parks, buildings and other facilities; and holding contractors to a timeline by using incentives and significant penalties. He would also like to see the city take over trash hauling services.

Debbie Scott

Independent candidate Debbie Scott said she's had plenty of experience dealing with City Council and the local planning commission on various issues over the last six or seven years.

"I believe some decisions aren't being made based on the city code," she said. "And I feel that personalities often come into play when the current council members discuss issues. Their decisions should be based on what's best for Marietta.

"My focus will be on creating jobs and protecting small business as well as protecting property owners' rights," said Scott, who has clashed with council over city zoning regulations that prevent recreational vehicle parks on certain properties, including land she owns.

As marketing coordinator for Kardex USA, Scott said she deals with a lot of people on a daily basis, and can work with people from many different backgrounds.

"I have worked in customer service for 30 years now," she said. "You learn to compromise and to get along with people you may disagree with. But you have to work things out."

Scott said she's not running with the idea that being a City Council member will be easy.

"I know it will take a lot of work and time," she said. "But I'm not a politician, I'm just a citizen who wants to make things better for this community, and I think Marietta is ready for a change - for some new ideas and new council members."

Kathy Shively

Democrat Kathy Shively is seeking her ninth term on council, having served as both an at-large representative and as council president.

"I have also been assigned to most of the council committees at some point during that time, either as chair or as a member," she said.

"I gather the facts, study the issues, ask questions, and debate the subject matter," Shively added. "I respect differing opinions, but I'm not a 'rubber stamp' for issues before council."

Now retired, Shively said she has more time to devote to serving the community.

"I've been working to develop a noise ordinance, something that's been requested by a lot of people across the city," she said. "And... we are moving into a new municipal court facility."

Shively noted that during her tenure as chairwoman of the police and fire committee, council has developed an ordinance to regulate door-to-door peddlers and solicitors, "which helps keep our citizens safe and secure."

The committee has also helped develop legislation allowing grants to obtain new turnout gear for the fire department, renewed the DARE and school resource officer grants, and approved the application for a grant to provide laptop computers for police cruisers, she said.

She's concerned about the amount of legislation council has considered this term, even though new members pledged to cut down on the paperwork, and Shively said she believes too many projects and issues are rushed through the legislative process, causing the need for revisions and change orders.

Andy Thompson

Two-term incumbent and small businessman Andy Thompson, a Republican, said he initially ran for council "because I realized the key to improving Marietta was empathy for the people who create the city's tax base. And we needed more small business persons on council."

He said serving as chairman of the National Federation of Independent Businesses' local Area Action Council helped influence his decision to give small businesses a voice in local government.

"These are the people who create jobs, and they're conscious of issues with cash flow and barriers that can stand in the way of getting things done," Thompson said. "I'm most proud of the team we have on council now, and I would hate to break up this team."

He noted accomplishments like getting the vacated showboat Becky Thatcher moved off of city property, obtaining contracts to renovate the Mound Cemetery fence and Parking Partners lot, as well as pedestrian safety and paving upgrades to the first two blocks of Front Street.

Thompson, the chairman of council's finance committee, said $180,000 in funding has been set aside to cover a 27th pay period in 2013, along with another $180,000 to provide maintenance and capital improvements at the aquatic center.

"I think we're providing an energetic, thoughtful approach to solving the problems of the past," he said. "And I hope people will find that their needs are being addressed."



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