Editor's Note: As part of Hillcrest Patch's election coverage, we will provide profiles of each of the candidates running for local office. These profiles will offer biographical and issue-oriented details about each of the candidates to help you, the voters, make more-informed decisions at the ballot box. Stay tuned for more coverage of the election.
Name: Doug Bletcher
Occupation: Owner and president of Ivy Garth Seeds & Plants, Inc.
Education: B.A. Miami University
Political affiliation: Independent
Office sought: Mayor, Gates Mills
Previous political office sought or held: Served on council from 1990-1994 and 2010 to present
Statement: As a 30-year resident, I want to preserve the values that make Gates Mills a wonderful place to live and raise a family. We enjoy the ambiance of open spaces and natural beauty. We have excellent police, fire, and road maintenance service.
But the new state budget reduces our village income by $1 million. Our challenge is, how will we maintain these services without raising taxes? The answer is, we must eliminate unneeded costs that do not contribute to service delivery.
Does the village need to spend over $500,000 on outside professional consulting fees? No. Should the village spend $25,000 on a political lobbyist to convince you to pass new taxes? No. Did the village really need two separate New tax levies between 2005 and 2008? No.
The other mayoral candidate says "to maintain the level of services we expect, without raising taxes, will take creativity and team effort." He's right. But it will take a lot more than that.
It will take business management skills. Managing budgets is what I do. I managed budgets as an executive in a billion dollar company, and I do it everyday as owner of my own business. If my business had the magnitude of wasteful costs as the village has, I would be out of business.
So who is better equipped to be mayor in these times of financial challenge? My opponent, who, after failing to pass a new tax voted for the village to stop paying for trash hauling/recycling services, or me, a professional business manager who will stop wasteful spending and balance our budget with no new taxes or fees?
The voters of Gates Mills are fortunate to have a clear choice.