There are eight candidates running for four seats on Upper Arlington City Council. Pencilstorm asked each of the candidates five specific questions centered around issues that impacted Upper Arlington residents and questions that were being raised by fellow voters. Pencilstorm will be posting their complete and unedited answers individually throughout October and reposting all their answers together in the first week of November. Answers will be posted in order they're received. Our fourth candidate, Michele Hoyle, is featured below.
If the election were today, would you vote for or against the school levy and why?
For it – our schools are our crown jewel, and whether we have children In the schools or- like me, have graduates - we need to invest in the future of our City by supporting our schools. The schools underwent an extensive process over two years, engaging citizens all along the way to hear our input and solicit our opinions, so we all have had the opportunity to be as educated as possible about the levy. The transparency of this process should serve as a model for community engagement. I’m aware that the ask is pretty big – I had an older gentleman share with me that he may have to sell his home and move if the levy passes – and I understand that in some cases support of the levy may not be based on support of the schools but on financial realities. But we all need to remember - a major reason why families are willing to pay for a home in UA is for the schools, so this investment also serves to protect the value of that which is our largest asset for most of us – our homes.
What qualifies you to be on Upper Arlington City Council?
My job for over 30 years was to develop balanced operating and capital budgets for presentation to City Councils in the Cities of Dublin and Columbus; therefore, I am well versed in all aspects of City government ranging from police and fire protection to street repair; from snow removal to recreation and parks. Serving on UA’s City Council will allow me to use financial skills honed over those years to provide needed and valuable expertise to my own community. Along with my professional credentials, I have a lengthy history of community service ranging from the Cultural Arts Commission to the Citizens’ Financial Review Task Force. I believe we need a City Council that values our past, celebrates what we have become, and has a vision for what we can be in our second century. A third generation resident of UA, I am the only candidate who will bring a unique combination of deep community roots, extensive municipal finance experience, and community service to City Council.
If you had a magic wand and an unlimited budget, what infrastructure project you would implement?
In my work experience, the two words “unlimited” and “budget” constitute an oxymoron. That said, with unlimited resources, and assuming as per City Council ordinance the people have voted in favor, I would bring a community center to UA. A community like ours deserves to have a community gathering place, as well as a place to encourage health and wellness. An inter-generational community center would provide residents of all ages with a place to meet and socialize. In our climate, our parks, while heavily used, are limited by weather for several months of the year. A community center would allow residents to remain active during inclement weather months. In addition, a lot of activities that by necessity go outside of UA to find facilities – such as swimming – would instead have a facility within the community.
Looking around Central Ohio, give an example of a community you think is doing it right and one that’s doing it wrong. What could Upper Arlington could learn from both?
Based on my experience, I have to say that Dublin does a lot of things well. Dublin has a lot of advantages, including many businesses that generate substantial income tax revenues and open space in which to grow. Specifically, though, I would like to bring the semi-annual cost of services analysis Dublin performs to UA; this process provides valuable quantitative data from which decisions as to funds allocated to specific programs and services can be made. As to not so well – Columbus does not handle snow well at all. They could in fact learn from UA.
At Pencilstorm, we all have a love of music. In that vein, what's your favorite album and why?
My favorite genres are jazz and Broadway musicals, but my playlists span a wide variety from Beyonce to U2. Right now my most-played play list is heavy with music from Hamilton. It reflects an expansive range of music types from rap and hip-hop to jazz to ballads, as well as telling a story that’s a powerful reminder of how we became the nation we are.
Pencilstorm would like to thank Michele Hoyle for taking the time to answer our questions. Learn more about Michele at her website: http://www.hoyleforua.com/. Look for responses from future candidates in the coming days. Pencilstorm is an independent news source and does not endorse any individual candidate.
Local UA Politics coverage provided by Wal Ozello. You can email him at Pencilstormstory@gmail.com or try to catch him at Colin's Coffee.
Check out coverage of all the candidates we've received responses from by clicking here.