There are five candidates running for three 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 leading up to the election and reposting all their answers together the last week of October. Answers will be posted in order they're received. Our fourth candidate, Angela M. Lanctot, is featured below.
Angela M. Lanctot
What’s your vision for a potential Community Recreation Center?
Many of us as UA residents are excited about the ideas that we could include in a Community Recreation Center, including athletic amenities, meeting space, indoor pool, and a dedicated Senior Center. Since we have neither unlimited space or resources, we would need to have the proper research and community involvement to determine the features that would provide maximum utilization and benefit to the community for a right-sized community center. To this end, I support the City’s recent formation of a Community Center Feasibility Task Force to establish whether residents are in favor of a community center, whether it is feasible and if so, what options are available for location, funding, and management. In all cases, it would be crucial that any decision on moving forward would be properly voted on by residents.
Upper Arlington has had a record amount of development this year and continues to have increasing development pressure. How do modernize our city while controlling the traffic and maintaining the community feel that makes us special?
It is all about balance. While it is vitally important that we preserve the things about Upper Arlington that compel people to move to, return to or never leave this City, it may not be possible to meet the needs of today’s residents with the way things have always been. Our society desires greater access to amenities, recreation, shopping, and dining, among other things and this demand will only be greater for future generations. With the correct balance of responsible development and receiving and accounting for public input, particularly those neighboring potential development, we can meet these expectations. It is impossible to please everyone, but it is possible to give all residents a voice. This participation, coupled with professional and reliable resources, will allow City staff and council to make the appropriate recommendations concerning traffic and density. We have a great opportunity before us with the hiring of our new City Manager. The experience and expertise of Steve Schoeny in development will give us the best tools to make the right decisions for our community as a whole.
When Compuserve was still headquartered in Upper Arlington, local income taxes from that commercial property represented approximately 35% of the City’s income tax revenue stream. Now that the Tree of Life court case is over, what should the city do to maximize that property and significantly boost our income?
As a private landowner, Tree of Life has the ultimate decision-making power on how that property is utilized. Notwithstanding, the City should work with Tree of Life to provide opportunities on how it can have a better result for all parties. This prized piece of commercial property would supply needed revenue to support the needs and priorities of the City and its residents. Ideally, the space would again host high-end technology jobs. This discourse between the City and Tree of Life is another example of the benefit of our new City Manager, Steve Schoeny, who can facilitate these discussions and negotiations to achieve a way through the situation.
If there’s one thing you could fix within our parks and recreation, what would it be?
For the amount of demand we have on our parks, we just don’t have enough of it. While we can’t fabricate more green space, we can continue to look for creative solutions to the problems. This could include annexing neighboring space or establishing connections to nearby amenities. The Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks Quarry Trails on the west side of the Scioto River and north of Trabue Road will be 118 acres in phase one alone, with another 100 acres planned in total and will be awesomely close to Upper Arlington. It will be imperative that City Council and City Staff prioritize making a connection for Upper Arlington residents to utilize the vast resources that will be available in this development. The exact connection is yet to be determined but could include a pedestrian bridge, an underground tunnel or any configuration that the experts determine can safely get people access to the Park. Furthermore, the entire west side of Upper Arlington follows along the Scioto River with miles of recreation available. If additional connections are made from our neighborhoods to provide safe passage, it will multiply the space available for all generations to enjoy.
Remembering that Pencilstorm is typically a Rock N Roll blog, we’d like to end with a music question. What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to and why?
It was actually two concerts, but the same artist. When I was in middle school, my father took my sisters and me to see Garth Brooks perform in Cleveland. At the time, I might have been the only of my sisters who truly listened to country music, and Garth, but we had the most memorable night together, even being stuck for hours in traffic leaving Cleveland on a school night. Flash forward, twenty-five years later, Garth Brooks was once again touring and my dad and sisters and I made a return trip to Cleveland to see the epic performance. Not only has his performance improved with time, it is one of those rare artists for me that I can sing all the lyrics to the songs – and this time we were all singing along! Time spent with my family and with Garth makes for the best concert I’ve ever been to!
Pencilstorm would like to thank Angela Lanctot for taking the time to answer our questions. Learn more about Angela at her website: www.UAForAngelaLanctot.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.