FOX19 called current Cincinnati City Council Member Chris Seelbach to ask him our five questions for city council candidates. Seelbach is one of 21 candidates vying for 9 seats on the council in November election. His responses are below.
Tell us about yourself.
Seelbach has been a homeowner in Over-the-Rhine since 2004. He graduated with a business degree from Xavier University and went on to receive his Juris Doctor degree at the University of Dayton School of Law.
Seelbach began working for The Seidewitz Group in 2007 and currently holds the title CFO and VP. He is the former campaign manager for Vice-Mayor David Crowley. He was elected to Cincinnati City Council in 2011.
Do you think privatized parking is a good idea?
Seelbach voted against the proposal to privatize the city's parking system.
Do you support the streetcar project?
Seelbach says he's very critical of city council's handling of the project, as it was decided before he was elected to council, and believes the project has been mismanaged.
"At this point, it's just not honest to say you can stop the streetcar," he says. Seelbach points out contracts have been signed and money spent, so the city needs to be sure the project is done on time and under budget, which is something Seelbach says he's committed to doing.
What do you think about the condition of our public schools?
Seelbach points out we've lost population in the last 50 years, and he believes one part of attracting people back to Cincinnati is having a better school system. He says not only should city council continue to fund school nurses, but also invest in good, early childhood education.
Seelbach strongly believes in having a preschool promise for Cincinnati, modeled after a similar program in Denver. Every 4 to 6-year-old child living in Cincinnati would have access to a free, or substantially subsidized, preschool program. Seelbach says funding would come from the city, the school board and the philanthropic community.
What do you think would make Cincinnati a better place to live?
Seelbach believes we need to make Cincinnati a place more young people want to live. He says we should look at the success in Over-the-Rhine and use that same model in other neighborhoods, such as the initiative Focus on 52.
By using casino revenue, he believes the city should invest in more safe, clean streets and sidewalks as well as help businesses open in vacant store fronts. He states this will leverage private dollars and invite more people to live in Cincinnati.
You can learn more about Chris Seelbach on his campaign website.
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