City’s Ward 1 council seat a hot ticket

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      BOCHKOR                   BROCK                 CARPENTER             ZWIEZINSKI

 

Editor’s note: The following is the third installment in a continuing series of articles about issues and candidates that will appear before voters on the Novembers ballot.

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Marysville’s Ward 1 represents Mill Valley as well as a small portion of the city south of U.S. 33. Scott Brock currently represents these residents. Scott Brock was selected in January to fill the spot vacated when Tracy Richardson was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives. Brock, along with Joshua Ray Bochkor, Aaron J. Carpenter and Scott Zwiezinski are running for the seat.

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When Josh Bochkor says he truly values selfless service, it is more than just words.

“I am driven by continuing to serve my community, state and country,” Bochkor said.

A captain in the Ohio Army National Guard, Bochkor is running for Marysville City Council’s Ward 1 seat. He currently works as the program coordinator for resiliency, risk reduction and suicide prevention for the Ohio Army National Guard.

Bochkor graduated from the University of Akron, majoring in political science with an emphasis in criminal justice.

Shortly after graduation, he was deployed to Afghanistan. As a platoon leader, he earned a bronze star leading security missions.

Bochkor spent a second deployment, this one to Kosovo, serving as the Chief of Current Operations, leading a multi-national group of about 900 soldiers.

When he returned in 2017, he moved to Marysville. He said that gives him “a fresh perspective.”

“A lot of people remember what things used to be and I see the potential of what that could be and I want to work toward that,” Bochkor said.

He said that city council needs to be “more proactive with our planning and executing,” specifically mentioning debt issuance and infrastructure.

“I don’t think we are forward thinking enough,” Bochkor said.

He said communication also needs to be proactive. He said residents need to know they are welcome at council and committee meetings. They also need to know they can talk to staff and council members.

“I would like to see more engagement by city officials and city leaders,” Bochkor said.

One issue Bochkor said officials need to communicate about is the community recreation center. He said citizens have asked for a new recreation center.

“I am not saying we need to go out and pass a bond right now and build it,” Bochkor said. “What I am saying is the citizens are owed a response on what they have said they wanted.”

Bockhor said the city is growing and balancing growth while preserving “the essence” of the community is key to building a community.

“The city is in a key transitional period,” Bockhor said. “I feel like my life experiences and my leadership can help move the city into the future.”

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Scott Brock believes he has a unique set of skills and experiences that make him qualified to represent Marysville’s Ward 1 on council.

“It is important that we have someone with some experience — professional experience and life experience,” Brock said.

Brock, who was appointed to council in January, has served as the chief information officer for several cities in central Ohio, including Marysville. He was one of the driving forces behind moving the city to cloud-based computing and to partner with the schools and county for tech. When former Marysville Mayor Chris Schmenk had the opportunity, she brought him on as the Chief Information Officer for the State’s Development Services Agency.

He said that as more tech companies look at Marysville, having a council member with more than 20 years in IT and 12 years in economic development will be “huge” to the community and to the developers.

He said that decisions the city makes now with regard to direction and growth, specifically mentioning the U.S. 33 Smart Mobility Corridor, will be “transformational.”

“The opportunity we have on the economic development front is enormous,” Brock said. “The decisions we will be making on this will be as big as any we have made since Honda decided to locate here.”

He said that while he has a career in technology and economic development, public safety is his top priority. He said the city’s crime rate is very low, but that doesn’t just happen.

“We have to make sure our police force is properly staffed and equipped and, moving forward, we need to make sure out police force is properly prepared for a changing Marysville,” Brock said.

He said the changing Marysville is not just about the police force either. He compared a local government to an ecosystem where everything must be in balance and decisions on things like a commuter tax credit, which he supports and believes will happen in the near future, can impact public safety and schools and economic development and housing.

Brock said he has “really, really enjoyed” his time on council and believes he is the best choice to remain.

“I am a problem solver. I am an innovator. I am a creator,” Brock said.

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Aaron Carpenter believes he has the experience that makes him the most qualified candidate for Marysville City Council’s Ward 1 seat.

“I am very in-touch with our residents’ interests and what affects them, unafraid to stand by my beliefs and offer new ideas to Council, grew up and graduated from Marysville, and have a plethora of political experience on a national, state and local level,” Carpenter said.

When Carpenter graduated, he went to The Ohio State University, graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering.

“I think it would be valuable for city council to have someone who looks at problems in a pragmatic way,” Carpenter said.

He said that while he is young, he has “a lot of good ideas” and has “done quite a bit in my 23 years.”

Carpenter said that while in school, he interned for Congressman Jim Jordan and at the Ohio Senate.

He said the he hopes to one day run for president, but wants to help the local community now. He said his platform is “shaped 100% by the voters.”

He said he has knocked on every door in the ward.

Carpenter said he believes the city’s council members “have run out of new ideas.”

He said that if elected he will push for a two-term limit for council members.

Additionally, he said he will support a tax for residents working outside the city.

“Commuters are unfairly penalized,” Carpenter said. “If you work out of Marysville you deserve lower taxes.”

He said he is in favor of getting a theatre, whether it is the Avalon or a new one, and opposed to what he called, “the $4 million YMCA bailout.”

Carpenter said he believes that no amount of growth will change Marysville’s small-town feel. He said it is important to “cut red tape so businesses can thrive” and take advantage of the growth opportunities in front of the community.

The candidate said he will work to communicate with members of the public, listening to their concerns and making council meetings available on the Internet.

Carpenter said he believes he has “the strong work ethic, passion, and determination to make Marysville great” that voters of Ward 1 want.

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Scott Zwiezinski says he just wants to help people — it’s why he serves on a variety of local boards, why he does what he does professionally and why he is running for Marysville City Council.

“The more I got involved with certain boards, the more I enjoyed feeling like I was helping,” Zwiezinski said. “I just feel like moving onto city council was the next logical progression to continue helping the city.”

Zwiezinski has a degree in political science from Cleveland State University and is nearing completion of a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from Tiffin University. He works as a court services coordinator at West Central Community Based Correctional Facility. He said he is a “high-energy guy” who, “like(s) to feel like I am contributing and improving not only my quality of life, but the entire community around me.”

He said the time he spends actively in the community helps the organizations he works with, but also gives him a wide variety of contacts with a variety of viewpoints, which “makes me in tune with what is needed and what needs to happen in the community.”

Zwiezinski said he favors a “common sense” approach to development, using available space and increasing the city footprint “to ensure appropriate things are going into appropriate areas.”

“I’d like to continue to develop the city and I’d like to see an assertive plan to develop Innovation Park, to bring viable, sustainable, diverse jobs,” Zwiezinski said.

He said more jobs would increase city’s income tax.

“I’d like to use some of that money to slowly scale back income tax paid by commuters,” Zwiezinski said, calling the commuter tax credit, “one of the biggest issues in the community.”

Zwiezinski said the lack of a credit hinders growth.

Zwiezinski said increased development would “keep sewer and water rates from increasing as much as possible.”

He said he worries about how the city will pay for projects like the proposed water plant.

Zwiezinski said most of all, he wants to be “approachable, open and honest, and able to give something back to the community that has meant so much to me and provided so many great opportunities for me and my family.”



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