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MainStreetMonroe Endorses Candidates Dame, Rubin, Birdwell, Others
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 3:04:57 PM - Monroe Ohio

by Monroe Editorial Staff

The Main Street Monroe editorial board endorses Peter Dame and Tom Birdwell as it's top pics for city council and school board respectively. Their were 4 criteria that were used to evaluate each candidate, transparency, experience, issues and community cooperation. Dame scored 15 and Birdwell scored 12 points out of a possible 16 (4 points per criteria). They scored more than the other candidates in their race.

Here are the four criteria again, each worth 4 points:
1. Transparency
2. Experience
3. The specific issues
4. Cooperation

Council Recommendation: Pete Dame

Dame is seeking his first term on council, but his experience in Monroe city finances and rational thought on the SunCoke Lawsuit, ST RT 63 Extension, city finances and economic development plans are our reasons for choosing Pete as our top candidate in the council race.

Pete has promised to be accessible in person, and to not only share information, but to provide important information before being asked. With Pete Dame we believe council will move to more transparency than what council currently provides. 

Pete's financial experience is very important. Monroe has an unacceptable 5 year deficit spending plan. Dame will focus like a laser on controlling Monroe's spending, fixing the deficit and thus protecting Monroe's future wellbeing.

Regarding cooperation, Pete is likely to mend fences with the county and our neighbors to the north and west of us as he is a strong advocate of The Chamber and other economic development projects affecting Monroe.


School Board Recommendation: Tom Birdwell

Tom Birdwell's last school board meeting as an elected member was December 14, 2009. He retired with great distinction and was honored by such people as Dan Hare of the BECC. We made Tom Birdwell our top choice for school board for a number of reasons. First of all his transparency. Ask Tom any question and he will answer you with so much detail it will take you the rest of the day to read his answer. Even Superintendent Lolly said of Tom, "He is very detail oriented".  Monroe needs a transparent, experienced candidate that is detail oriented.

As far as experience, Tom boasts, “Being on two boards, I packed 18 years of board experiences into 10 years." We agree and consider Tom the Most experienced school board candidate and will become the most experienced board member if he is elected.

On specific issues, we believe he is the right man to get to the bottom of the reason that the ODE put MLS is in Fiscal Caution. Although we don't agree on other issues, we think the current problem at hand will be more skillfully handled by Tom Birdwell.

Since Tom has a decade of experience working on the Butler Tech board, we believe Tom is the best candidate to 'not antagonize' our neighbors and Butler County.

Here are the report Cards. Grades are in order: Transparency, Experience, Issues, Cooperation

Dame ABAA 15
Rubin AADB 12
Black ABDB 11
Baker CDAA 11

Stillman DBCD 7
Kelley DBDD 5

School Board:
Birdwell BACB 12
Lane CCCC 8
Leeds DCCC 7

Township Candidates were not evaluated.

Other Noteworthy Candidates:

Suzi Rubin scored high marks in transparency because of her newspaper, website and information posted on forums. While we don't agree with her on all the issues, Suzi Rubin generally makes the best points in favor of her position. Additionally she sells rather than tells her usually rational opinion. For council to be balanced, we need people on more than one side of an issue. With her friends at SunCokeWatch, the Sierra Club and various special interest groups, Suzi represents a strong north-western Monroe constituency. That constituency needs representation on council. Lastly, Suzi Rubin has shown she can work with state and local people, deal with conflict and come out ahead. We are referring to her role in getting Monroe it's own school district. Side note: Suzi Rubin would be a better candidate, more experienced candidate for school board than Lane or Leeds.

Steve Black scored well in transparency and anyone who has ever read The Voice, knows why. Steve is first with a well researched answer on anything that has to do with city council. For that reason we believe that Steve will continue that trend and be perhaps the most transparent member of council. He does lack experience, but he does make up by being prepared for council. He studies every issue to the nth degree. Although we don't agree with Steve on all the issues, we do think he makes compelling arguments for his stance on any given issue. Steve may be the best candidate to fix the city web and social networking disasters. No one seems to care about the lack of effort to utilize the web as a marketing (read economic development) tool. Perhaps Steve is the city's one best hope.

Tommy Baker is most noteworthy on the issues and cooperation. The editorial staff agree with Tommy on his approach to SunCoke and State Rt 63. Additionally, we see Tommy as a person who will be perceived in a more positive way by our neighbors to the north and Butler County in general. If elected we believe that Mr. Baker will earn higher marks in experience and transparency next time. Mr. Baker has promised access for any question we have regarding council business. While we would like to see Tommy engage the community, we believe he will be more accessible than other the 'alternative' candidates.

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