On Nov. 8, Reynoldsburg residents will have two choices for mayor – incumbent Brad McCloud or challenger Richard Donovan.
Both candidates see plenty of challenges ahead if they win the election.
McCloud said he would continue to focus on the revitalization of the Brice Road and Livingston Avenue corridor, emphasize code enforcement and promote the city as a great place to do business.
“We will continue to be aggressive in attempting to locate new businesses to the city of Reynoldsburg,” McCloud said.
McCloud is finishing his first term as mayor.
“I decided I wanted to be part of the change,” McCloud said. “I am pleased with the changes that have occurred in the Brice Livingston area. We have made that area more vibrant, a functional part of the community.”
Also under his watch, Reynoldsburg stepped up its code enforcement efforts, McCloud said. He said he was pleased with the impact that had in making the city feel like a community.
McCloud said Reynoldsburg’s greatest infrastructure need is repaving city streets, with repairs needed in every geographic area of the city. Many of the city streets have reached their shelf life, he said.
McCloud was president of Reynoldsburg city council for 12 years before running for mayor. He said as a councilman, he had a firm grasp of all the issues the city is facing.
“I’m a long-time resident,” McCloud said. “I am able to look around and see how things are, how they used to be and where I would like to be. I also think I’m very approachable. My door is always open.”
McCloud has been a resident of Reynoldsburg for 35 years. His family moved to the city when he was 15-years-old.
“I like the city, the family feel, the community feel,” McCloud said. “I have roots here. This is my home.”
Donovan is concerned about Reynoldsburg youth. He wants to start a youth program for older kids in the city who have nothing to do in the evenings.
“I would like to figure out a way to acquire a youth center other than the street corner, an alternative to what they are doing now,” Donovan said.
Increasing business is also important to Donovan. He said Reynoldsburg needs to increase its tax base because the city is struggling financially.
Donovan is concerned about the direction of the city. He said the westside of Reynoldsburg is deteriorating and has not received the focus it should have. He said the crime rate is higher and there are greater infrastructure needs.
“It deserves the same comfort the rest of us have,” he said. “That doesn’t seem to be working that way over there right now.”
Donovan is concerned about the infrastructure needs of the city, especially city streets. He said it costs millions of dollars every year to just to mill and fill the streets. The city doesn’t have the funding necessary to make long term repairs.
“The state has cut back on their outlay,” Donovan said. “Naturally we have to cut back on that also.”
Donovan is retired from AT&T and a great percentage of his career was spent in crisis management as a technical support person.
“I believe my skills from that experience will help me bring organization (to the city),” Donovan said.
Donovan has lived in Reynoldsburg off and on since 1981. He was first sent to Reynoldsburg as part of his work with AT&T. His last move was from Arizona to Reynoldsburg.
“I fell in love with the place,” Donovan said. “While I was here, I couldn’t believe how nice it was to live here. The people here are so nice. I always seemed to be accepted.”