CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - FOX19 called Cincinnati City Council Candidate Shawn Butler to ask him our five questions for city council candidates. Butler is one of 21 candidates vying for 9 spots on the Cincinnati City Council in the November 2013 election. His responses are below.
Tell us about yourself.
Butler is a Cincinnati native growing up in Mt. Auburn. He graduated from Walnut Hills High School and holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati.
Butler has spent the last eight years as Mayor Mark Mallory's Director of Community Affairs, providing support through community initiatives related to Mayor Mallory's platform.
He also serves on a number of boards including the Hamilton County Community Action Agency, the Talbert House and Cincinnati Convention Visitor's Bureau.
Do you think privatized parking is a good idea?
Butler says the parking lease, not a sale, benefits Cincinnatians by modernizing the outdated parking system and allowing the city to retain ownership. As a public-public partnership, Butler points out the city will be represented on the board and ultimately make the major decisions regarding the parking system - including rate increases.
He says parking is not a core service of government, and the money from the parking lease can be used to refocus investment on the priorities of Cincinnatians. As part of his platform, he'd like a majority of the parking lease funds to be reinvested in the Cincinnati's 52 neighborhoods.
Do you support the streetcar project?
Butler supports the Cincinnati streetcar project as an economic development driver and as a way to attract new residents to the City of Cincinnati. He argues projects like the Cincinnati Streetcar help ensure Cincinnati's continued progress.
What do you think about the condition of our public schools?
As a product of Cincinnati Public Schools, Butler says he knows how important education is to the vitality of the city. He believes local government should continue its involvement in public schools through the school nurse program and other similar initiatives.
However, Butler says city government must also take whatever steps it can, including partnerships in the community, to begin to tackle the high dropout rate and the low graduation rate that plagues many schools in the community.
What do you think would make Cincinnati a better place to live?
Butler's platform is focused on three areas he feels are the most important to Cincinnatians: Job creation, neighborhood investment, and public safety.
He says Cincinnati has made a lot of progress, and he would like to continue that forward momentum.
You can learn more about Shawn Butler on his campaign website.