FIVE QUESTIONS: Amherst mayoral candidate David Kukucka

David C. Kukucka

David C. Kukucka

Age: 52

Current employment: P. C. Campana

1) Why have you chosen to run for Amherst’s top executive office? What issues are you passionate about?

I chose to run for mayor of Amherst because I have dedicated most of my adult life to serving the residents of Amherst both as a city councilman and as part of the administration as auditor. I feel that my experience and knowledge of city finances will be critical in moving Amherst forward.

I am most passionate about seeing Amherst grow and prosper. I would like to see Amherst become a destination city by bringing more businesses and places that attract more people to our city. By doing so, this will attract more people to come, live and raise a family here. This will also contribute funds to the city’s general fund, which finances the day-to-day operations of city services.

2) What must be accomplished to improve Amherst’s position in the next four years and what lesser projects should be accomplished if possible?

Amherst truly needs to enter the arena of vying for more of the businesses that are looking to expand and come to Lorain County. By attracting more business we will create a city that people will want to come, visit, and explore our many unique shops and dining options. If successful in attracting these businesses, some of their employees will live here and raise a family. All of these factors will add revenue to the bottom line for the city.

In conjunction with attracting growth we will continue the infrastructure projects that improve the services for our residents, such as storm water drainage improvements and continuing our street program.

3) Amherst’s budget has been lean and spending has been extremely guarded in the past decade. Are there areas (police, fire, roads, Office on Aging, utilities, community development, etc.) you think more money should be spent to improve services to residents and businesses?

This is one area that I’m most familiar with having been the auditor for 10 years. In many ways I have agreed with being more conservative in our spending. However, when it comes to our city services that help our citizens, I have always supported providing them with the resources they need to do their jobs properly and effectively. The police and fire departments are our most valuable resources and need to be supported.

Less than 20 percent of Amherst residents live and work here in the city and pay the 1.5 percent tax that pays into the general fund that supports the daily operations of the city, such as police, fire, and other city services. This is where we need to bring businesses into the city to bring the tax revenue that will directly affect the general fund.

4) Cuts without new revenue streams won’t solve Amherst’s problems. What would you as mayor propose to bring in more money?

I have seen many cuts, particularly from the state, such as the elimination of local government funds.

Amherst needs to be active in bringing new business to Amherst. We need to compete with the Avons and Sheffields for those businesses that are looking to expand their presence here in Lorain County. I will work with our current Main Street Amherst to boost the viability and marketability of Amherst to those businesses that are looking to seriously consider Amherst for their next location.

I want to make Amherst a destination for people to come and visit, shop, dine, live, and raise their families here. Amherst is a beautiful and exciting city. We need to let the rest of Lorain County know that we are here and that we are very receptive to business.

5) What previous experiences, memberships, unique qualifications, or other aspects make you the ideal candidate for mayor of Amherst?

I have proudly served the citizens of Amherst for 20 years. I served four years as Fourth Ward councilman and then I served six years as council at-large. During my time on council I chaired several committees including ordinance, community development, streets, and six years as finance chairman. Currently I am the city auditor, a position I have held for 10 years.

I have received the State of Ohio Auditor Award with Distinction for eight consecutive years, worked to establish the city’s Moody’s credit rating, and helped finance several major projects like the Jackson Street bridge and other infrastructure improvement, as well as navigating through the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009 without any loss of city services.

I served two years as the president of the Sandstone Joint Ambulance District.

I served one year on the Amherst Historical Society board and am a member of Main Street Amherst.

David C. Kukucka C. Kukucka