CANTON CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT
ALLEN SCHULMAN JR.
Education: Graduate, Miami University (Ohio); law degree, University of Akron School of Law
Job title and employer: President, Allen Schulman and Associates
Elected office experience: President, Canton City Council since 2006
Political or community activities: Executive committee, Stark County Democratic Party
1. Why are you running for this elected position?
I believe that I bring a wealth of experience from my community and legal background. My career has been spent fighting for the rights of local families and small businesses. In addition, as president of city council for the last three years, I understand the pressing issues facing our city and have been responsible for many innovative policies that have affected our citizens.
2. What have you done that demonstrates your ability to be effective?
I have fought for the greening of Canton through the MIT study – a collaborative effort between public and private stakeholders. These policies of city sustainability will reap tremendous savings of taxpayer dollars as well as resultant employment for our community. In the area of jobs, I was actively involved in the passage of the project labor agreement which imposes a hiring of local labor. Finally, I was an outspoken opponent of the mayor’s initiative to install traffic cameras, which ultimately was defeated by a vote of council.
3. What would you do to solve the financial problems facing the city now and in the future?
We must concentrate on assisting our local businesses, which too often are ignored, as well as trying to capture new business ventures. Moreover, the jobs of the 21st Century will be found in green technology, which is why sustainability is the key to our future. Secondly, government must be streamlined and made more responsive to the public needs. We must adjust our budget priorities to the shrinking size of our city. Lastly, a budding arts community is gaining ground in both improving the spirit of our downtown area and also attracting outsiders who shop and eat at the downtown establishments. We must nurture this colony of artists who are providing an engine of growth to the urban center.
4. What would you do to rejuvenate residential development in the city?
The most important issue facing our residential neighborhoods is safety and crime. A neighborhood cannot flourish if its residents are in fear of their safety. We need local policing and an increase in safety forces, which are now dangerously understaffed. We must root out the criminal elements that are literally attacking our neighbors. Police presence is the only answer. Neighborhood crime watch programs should be a part of every residential area and our safety forces should assist every neighborhood in starting them. As part of the crime watch effort, neighborhoods should select a contact to receive weekly police and fire bulletins advising as to criminal activity so that these crime watch programs are able to know what is happening and where. Safety forces must become smarter and more responsive to crime when it occurs.
5. If county commissioners take over emergency dispatch services, how should the city use the money it had been spending on dispatching?
On bolstering our safety forces.