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 third candidate, Brendan T. King, is featured below.
Brendan T. King
What’s your vision for a potential Community Recreation Center?
Personally, I would love to find a way to create additional indoor community space for families and individuals. However, any future Community Recreation Center cannot be about my vision or the vision of any single person, it has to be the vision of the community. As a member of Council, I have helped empanel a group of highly qualified residents to study the feasibility of a Community Recreation Center. This group will determine (a) whether the community needs a center, (b) whether the community will support a center and then (c) what a center would look like. If Upper Arlington has a vision for a Community Center, it will be determined though this transparent and community-driven process and, again, it cannot be the vision of a single individual. Furthermore, I support the initiative of a prior Council that promised that any decision on indoor recreation space would be placed before the voters.
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?
The pressure of development and its impact on UA is the single most difficult issue I’ve faced during my term on City Council. Change is happening in UA, and the City needs to lead the community through the changes in a responsive and collaborative way. The process of modernizing cannot be thrust upon the residents by the City and the byproducts and unintended consequences of modernization, such as increased traffic and impacted neighborhoods, must be carefully considered. Furthermore, because every development project is unique and every neighborhood is impacted differently, we cannot apply a one-size-fits-all approach to solving these problems. We must dive-in, study the particular project and work with the neighbors and the developers to achieve a balance between the interests of the neighbors, the developer and the City. Recently, we are proud to have hired a new City Manager that is uniquely qualified to help navigate these exact issues and through his experience in other roles we are excited to have his expertise to aid Council in creating a vision for development.
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?
There is no debating that the CompuServe property is a great opportunity for the City to increase the income tax revenue. In order to maximize the income tax revenue on that property, we need to take our time and carefully consider all of the potential options. The worst mistake we could make would be to make a quick decision that results in a long-term under-utilization of the property. Let’s engage the community of residents and developers to help us realize the full potential of that space. When the property was generating 35% of our income tax, City leaders learned that UA was not properly diversified, and that has resulted in the increased emphasis on economic development in our other commercial corridors.
If there’s one thing you could fix within our parks and recreation, what would it be?
Upper Arlington’s parks are, and will forever be, a source of pride for residents. We saw up-close a few years ago when the tension that bubbled that our parks are both community parks and neighborhood parks. The challenge for the City is to improve the parks while juggling the competing interests of the community at large and the neighbors. That being said, the one thing that I would fix is to find additional field space outside our current park footprint. The pressure that the ever-increasing need for fields puts on the existing parks makes it difficult to satisfy all of UA’s field sports demands while still preserving the neighborhood atmosphere and passive park spaces.
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?
Finally, an easy question! The best concert I’ve ever been to is a three-way tie between my son Will’s choir concert at Jones, my daughter Ellie’s choir concert at Tremont and my daughter Annie’s second grade class play.
Pencilstorm would like to thank Brendan King for taking the time to answer our questions. Learn more about Brendan at his website: www.uaforbrendanking.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.