UPDATE @ 11 p.m.
Deputy Mayor Paul Keller will be the next mayor of Fairborn, according to unofficial election results.
Keller won 80 percent of the vote against challenger Ethan Long.
Robert Hoffman and Donna Wilson will return to city council along with Colin Morrow. Rodney McCubbins has come in fourth, edging him out of the three seats up for grabs.
UPDATE @ 8 p.m.
Fairborn Deputy Mayor Paul Keller has a commanding early vote lead in the race for mayor, according to unofficial early election results.
Keller leads Ethan Long with 204 votes to 49 votes, according to the election results.
The Fairborn deputy mayor and a recent Fairborn High School graduate are facing off to be the next mayor in today’s election.
Paul M. Keller and Ethan Long are running for a two-year term to succeed Mayor Dan Kirkpatrick.
Keller, the deputy mayor, is finishing his first term on city council. Keller is a local businessman with residential and commercial investments in Fairborn and three decades of government experience, including civil service and active duty and reserve Air Force. He has an associate degree from the Community College of the Air Force, associate degree from Sinclair Community College and bachelor’s degree in business management from Park College.
Long said he is a 2010 graduate of Fariborn High School and the Greene County Career Center. He is a former associate pastor, studies business management at Clark State Community College and served on the Fairborn Police Advisory Council.
As a public service to readers, the Dayton Daily News asked the candidates to respond to a series of questions about the race. Below are excerpts of their answers presented in alphabetical order. Additional questions and full responses are available online at vote.daytondailynews.com.
Q: What are the two biggest challenges facing the community and how would you deal with them?
Paul M Keller: Economic development is a challenge I fully embrace. We have welcomed 15 new businesses to Fairborn in the last two years and have had 28 current businesses expand or remodel. We have added over 350 new homes in Fairborn. These new homes support our schools through the property tax they generate; raise our median income; and offer a larger housing selection. I will continue supporting our strategic city plan that establishes economic development goals and objectives to move Fairborn forward. This strategic plan is our road map to Fairborn’s economic future and how we will revitalize our city. My action strategy also includes improvements to our building permit process and customer service.
Opioids are a challenge not only in our city but surrounding cities, counties and states. I will continue to work with local support groups, churches, clinics, county and state offices to stem the flow of drugs into our community. I will work to assist those fighting the addiction and better educate our children to make more sound decisions about drugs. Removal of over 100 blighted properties, residential and commercial, reduce the opportunity for drug hang outs and safety hazards. I will continue to involve our citizens in local forums to both inform them and engage them in moving our city forward. We have the finest fire/EMS and police force around and are continually working to make our city a safe place to live, work and play.
Ethan Long: The two biggest challenges I see facing the community are drugs and crime. I believe the drugs issue is a big challenge because every family in our community knows someone affected by addiction and I would deal with our drug issue by continuing to encourage our fantastic police department to combat crime and to encourage the coordination of the Fairborn police department and our county sheriff’s department to keep drugs from coming in from Dayton and Montgomery County.
Q: What would you do to bring jobs to the community?
Paul M Keller: We have a strategic action plan that lays out our road map for Fairborn’s Economic Future. Our economic development plan is backed by a staff that is energized and working to connect with current and future businesses. We visit current business and search for future businesses that we can attract to Fairborn. Our staff is in constant contact with Jobs Ohio, the Dayton Development Coalition, Greene County Development Department, and other organizations that seek new businesses for our area. We are investing in our community by removing blighted buildings to make way for future businesses. These old buildings are functionally obsolete and contain asbestos and other hazardous material that make them and the site unattractive for a new business. We have established a Kitchen Incubator to attract food related businesses to try out their ideas. And when successful, we will help them find a location in Fairborn to open a business. We are working to help our current businesses succeed and expand by holding bigger and better events that bring people to our city. This offers an opportunity to showcase our community and create interest in our city. More foot traffic and shoppers boost sales and help our current businesses expand. We are working to attract new entrepreneurs to our City in Motion.
Ethan Long: To bring jobs to our community I would first bring business leaders in our community together to discuss what regulations and business taxes need cut and then follow that up with cutting regulations and taxes. I believe businesses want to come to Fairborn but the regulations and taxes keep them away.