What follows is the press release that I shared with WLIO and The Lima News. Sources are attached (because I think you should be able to back up your claims).
I believe that my opponent always has someone or something else to blame for what goes on in his ward. It's not just time to find problems; let's fix them as well.
I have called this press conference to discuss my opponent’s misrepresentation of the facts and his voting record. I feel that the trend of relying on social media for our news, combined with shrinking resources for legitimate news organizations is contributing to a climate of misinformation being readily spread as facts.
For instance, Mr. Lowe has been so busy pointing fingers at and campaigning against the current administration that his own ward has suffered the consequences. Mr. Lowe claims to offer “real representation” while befriending the landlords, blaming the current administration for the poor quality of housing and suggesting a registration method that does not hold landlords accountable. He puts off a rental registry that could improve the home values in our area, promote and support our good landlords and increase the safety of citizens. No matter that our ward has the highest percentage of rental properties in the city. According to data presented from the Regional Planning Commission, (information that is part of the public record) Ward 3 is over %65 percent rental housing. When I am out canvassing, the poor upkeep of some of these properties is a concern for home owners and the renters alike. It comes up over and over again, and if Mr. Lowe was talking to his actual constituents, he would realize this. It is not a mayoral issue. It is not a tenant vs. landlord issue and Mayor Berger cannot pass this legislation, City Council has to. It is up to our elected officials to use whatever tools are at their disposal to regulate a business sector that contributes to the value of our homes, the opioid epidemic and the safety of some of our most vulnerable citizens. When he claims in committee meetings that renters could just put their rent in escrow or call code enforcement themselves, he is not taking into account the number of elderly, mentally ill, and developmentally or physically disabled people who are renters and terrified of losing their housing. Instead, he and his colleagues pander in fear of increasing rental rates when there is no such mandate and it is unnecessary unless dishonest landlords choose to do so. Council has the ability to help design a registry that would direct these people towards our upstanding landlords that don’t feel it’s necessary to provide substandard housing to make a profit.
In addition, Since Councilman Lowe took office the number of police service calls from Ward 3 has gone up 42%. This is according to the 2016 LPD Report, also a matter of public record. We currently have the highest number of service calls coming from our area, with 13,702 or 30% of police service calls coming from the third ward in 2016 alone. While his “Drugs bring death” death campaign was wonderful at calling attention to an issue, I don’t see the evidence in our ward that he has initiated any projects such as neighborhood associations or block watch groups that could help instill a sense of community and lower the amount of calls to the police force.
All while Mr. Lowe points misleading fingers at the administration on social media about trivial issues or items that he himself has voted to approve. His most recent post from an “anonymous” citizen criticized the approval of the downtown Rhodes State Project along with using the old bank building downtown for subsidized housing. Mr. Lowe never bothered to state that he voted “yes” on both projects. This is a lie by omission, and again, a matter of public record. The letter states that he (“the anonymous” citizen) is not sure if anyone asked the citizens if they wanted these projects approved. That is the direct responsibility of city council to make sure that they inform citizens of legislation and get their feedback on such issues. It is an effort that is sorely lacking from Mr. Lowe.
It is time for our citizens to not take everything at face value. Do your own research beyond social media posts. Check reliable sources. Just because someone says something on Facebook or in fancy language, doesn’t mean it’s the truth. Anyone who politics to you with fear and accusations instead of hope and determination is not working with your best interest in mind. Demand accountability. As Lima citizens and voters, we deserve that.
Whether or not I win on November 7th, my team and I will restore neighborhood associations to our area, reinstate block watches, and develop and promote teen programing that will make our youth an asset to our community. Hold me to it, and better yet, help me with it. Thank you.
Lima 2016 Police Report (Page 17 breaks down the amount of police service reports for the year)
2015 American Community Survey Data. These are housing statistics broken down by ward. Information was obtained from the Regional Planning Commission.