Anthony Mattox Jr., candidate for Cleveland Heights City Council At Large
ANTHONY MATTOX JR.
Cleveland Heights Age: 37
Education: Training Certification, Cleveland State University
Current Occupation: Senior Pastor of The Empowerment Church in East Cleveland, Ohio.
Qualifications for Office: Cleveland Heights Planning Commission since 2015; 15 years as a Pastor and Community Activist.
QUESTIONS and RESPONSES:
1. Top issues: Development: We need to work on development on all sides of the city. This includes the Noble Neighborhood, Severance, Taylor as well as our other areas. Many areas in this city have been overlooked for many years. Specifically the Noble Area. As a Councilman, I will work to ensure that all areas of this city see development and improvements. We need a strong healthy business district on Noble and Taylor Roads. We must attract businesses and market these areas. Severance needs a strategic plan that will spur growth. This could come in the form of business startups, athletic facilities, new retail, dining and housing. We need to explore all options. The first question is, what do citizens want? Housing: Landlords should be tracked and held accountable. There should be required classes the city gives out as well as an easier way to report bad landlords. We should also create programs that will create new homeowners. We must be proactive about turning any renter that wants to become one, a home owner. We need more funding on programs that will assist seniors and others with home repairs. We need to ensure that there is pride in ownership but also accountability. Transparency: Citizens deserve all the facts. I will create monthly town halls to keep citizens informed, hold block meetings, create a newsletter and schedule business events to ensure I have the pulse of the community. I want the citizens to always know where I stand and that I am available.
2. Position on form of city government ballot issue: I am for an elected Mayor. I believe in order to take this city to the next level, it requires a visionary. Many times things stall or die because everything is left up to City Council. Citizens deserve to have someone accountable to them, that works directly for them. Our city is surrounded by competition. We need someone who is willing to work everyday to push the city forward. Council Members are part time and look to the City Manager to lead. I believe the citizens deserve to have someone leading that they can truly hold accountable. Electing a Mayor give the citizens even more control over their city. Citizens can choose the CEO who they believe has the best vision for the city. The city has not moved backwards under the current form of Government, but it is not moving forward as it could either. Communities across this country have elected Mayors without seeing their communities crumble. I have faith that if citizens can elect their own Council Members, they will do a great job electing their own Mayor. There are simply too many people involved with the decisions to make any change happen quickly. The city deserves a great Council and a great Mayor to lead us into the future.
3. New residential and commercial development: We need to ensure we do market studies to find what development is needed and where. In addition, we need a strong team that will connect us with new businesses that need locations and developers with ideas for improvement. We should also include residents at every phase of the conversation. They have a right to speak out on what happens in their back yards. In many cases the city has pushed development through while many citizens feel there needs to be more discussion. We cannot save a city by ignoring its citizens. I want to ensure that diverse members of our community are at the table when things get discussed. We need a strong website that will attract businesses with marketing that showcases the city. We should partner with existing businesses looking to expand and work with business startups on coaching, partnerships and education. These small business startups in our own community can grow and flourish here with our help. Above all, we need to consider how new projects will transform this community. We don't want to lose our identity due to development, but we also need to be relevant in the region. Projects should be designed with our history in mind but with the future in our sights. There must be balance, communication as well as accountability with all development.
4. Privatization of city services: The city should find ways to save money, while also ensuring the same level of service or better. Everyone understands that cities are getting less funding, however we don't want to be quick in privatizing things. There is current discussion about trash collection for instance. There may be cost savings there, but jobs may be lost, some don't want trash cans and some think it's fine the way it is. We need to make smart choices with every decision and ensure they are based on facts. I have no issue privatizing services, however we need to count the cost.
5. Regionalization efforts: Regionalization is a necessity. There are fewer funds and people are moving further out. Resources should be shared when they can. In doing so, it makes all of our communities better. Regional partnerships can bring new employment, development and grant funding. All of this should be explored. The key is that we need to weigh the options and not take a "Regionalize All" approach. Partnerships with East Cleveland, Shaker, South Euclid and University Heights can strengthen us and improve services if done in the right areas. There is no way around regionalism, funds are lower and competition is higher. We must come together and explore new opportunities.
League of Women Voters
The 2019 Voters Guide to Candidates and Issues is published as a public service by the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, CH-UH and FutureHeights. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to encourage the informed participation by citizens in government. FutureHeights is a nonprofit community development organization. Election Day is Nov. 5, 2019. Polls are open 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.