Take a drive down Coles Boulevard in Portsmouth and you’ll see why this is an issue. The city’s roads are in terrible condition. Potholes and bumps are everywhere. Road signs are in disrepair. Sidewalks are littered with weed-filled cracks. This infrastructure crisis is not only a safety issue, it’s an economic development problem as well. Who would want to start a business in a city with such a decrepit built environment? Infrastructure improvement must be a priority.
The most important area of focus for the City of Portsmouth is economic development. For decades, Portsmouth’s economy has been transitioning from a manufacturing economy into a service economy. While this transition is inevitable due to national trends, we can do better to ensure that new job opportunities are available to our citizens.
As city councilman, I will do everything in my power to spur economic growth by adopting policies that are friendly to businesses large and small. In addition, I will work with the Scioto County Economic Development Department, Shawnee State University, the Kricker Innovation Hub, and the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce to attract new economic activity to Portsmouth and the surrounding area.
Litter in the streets and blighted property cause a number of issues for the community. First, they make our city less beautiful and they take away from the beauty of our riverfront and historic downtown area. Secondly, it discourages many businesses and people from moving into the area.
The city of Portsmouth is in desperate need for rezoning. It has been many decades since the city in its entirety has implemented new zoning. The biggest issue with the current zoning that is in place is that it allows drug rehabilitation centers to move into residential areas making them less safe for our children and families, while also driving property value down. This is causing the residents of Portsmouth to lose thousands of dollars in their property value.