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Published: Thursday, October 17, 2019 @ 7:16 PM
Butler Twp. Trustee Joe Flanagan is facing a challenge in the November election from Vandalia-Butler School Board member Missy Pruszynski.
We asked both candidates about their plans if elected. Here’s a look at them:
Experience: My 30-plus year career in public service was not something I stumbled into; it was my chosen field in college. My career started out as code enforcement officer with Madison Township and Trotwood, followed by Englewood. My next move was to the city of Beavercreek where I was zoning inspector/planner, then as economic development director with Harrison Township. Finally, I was the first administrator with Butler Township serving in that position for 10 years, gaining experience with each step.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Wright State, Urban Studies/City Planning Master Degree, Central Michigan University, Public Administration
Experience: I am currently a Vandalia-Butler Board of Education member. My vocational experience includes over 32 years with the City of Vandalia and I am a long time community member.
Education: I am Vandalia-Butler High School graduate and I have a B.S. Criminal Justice Administration.
Q: What are the biggest problems facing the community? What do you propose doing to tackle these challenges?
Joe Flanagan: One problem the plagues many jurisdictions is how to maintain a high level of service while keeping costs in check.
There are two ways to fund those services, increase taxes or pursue economic development and the resulting increase in tax base. I choose economic development, which when done properly in an orderly, planned manner will have no negative impact on the community.
Our biggest challenge facing the township is the need to redevelop areas of Miller Lane, north of Maxton Road. This is the problem child of the township; an area that is greatly underutilized, but holds great promise.
In order to ensure the Miller Lane/Dixie Drive corridor remains a vibrant and healthy commercial area and that the northern area of Miller Lane is redeveloped properly, we have undertaken a Marketing/Business Development plan for the township. That plan is expected to be released spring of 2020.
Missy Pruszynski: Development is an on-going concern. Our community is constantly changing and we need to create a frame work for development that complements our township. Utilizing community engagement is the best course of action.
What can you do if elected to help grow the local economy and add jobs? What ideas do you have for attracting new jobs and investment?
Joe Flanagan: People need to understand that growing a local economy by adding jobs is not necessarily an asset to townships. Only areas within a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) allow townships to capture any income tax from those created jobs.
If not in a JEDD, building an employment generator in the township will mainly benefit surrounding cities. Why? Because cities will collect the income tax from people living in their community, but working in the township.
Yes, we will collect some additional property taxes, but that is generally much lower than the income taxes collected.
Since we receive a majority of our revenue from property taxes, a well developed residential district will produce more revenue than an employment generator with less impact to our community.
Ultimately, there is a need to balance growth so that a commercial development solely for the sake of jobs does not outweigh a residential development, which may actually have a higher return on our investment.
Missy Pruszynski: In order to understand how to grow the local economy and add jobs, an update of the 2006 Comprehensive Land Use Plan is needed.
It is necessary to engage the community to hear how they would like their township to grow or change and then work with respected developers who specialize in the types of development preferred by our community.
Learn more about these candidates and the hundreds of other local candidates and issues on the November ballot from around the region in our interactive voters guide at vote.daytondailynews.com