I was born and raised in Hillsboro, which is why I love this community and the people who live here. Hillsboro has been good to my family and me, so I feel it’s time to give back.
I’ve heard some criticism from supporters of the current mayor that electing a “local, hometown” person would not be a good thing. That we, as a city, will go backward.
What does that really mean? That a person who grew up in Hillsboro doesn’t have the ability or creativity to serve as mayor? Isn’t it possible that a long-time resident can also bring new ideas and innovation to the administration of Hillsboro?
You see, although I’ve always called Hillsboro my home, I also realize the world is changing quickly and we must be prepared to change with it. Can we be progressive without losing the “essence” of Hillsboro? Absolutely. Will it be easy? No. Can we do it? Yes, together we can.
I’ve spent a lot of time listening to people who have shared their concerns. My vision for Hillsboro will be driven by the things that are most important to you. I will:
• Work hard to find resources to address the drug problem that hurts so many people and their families. Give support to the groups and individuals within the city and county who continue to combat this problem. Addiction is a health issue that is damaging our community and most importantly destroying the lives of many of our citizens.
• Make economic development a priority. I’ll work closely with not only city officials, but also county, regional and state agencies to find opportunities for community, industrial and entrepreneurship growth. I don’t agree with the current mayor’s philosophy that Hillsboro should be a “feeder” community to Wilmington and other larger cities. (Note: Pepsi is the latest business that has announced it is leaving Hillsboro.) When we lose companies, we lose revenue for our town. When we bring business into Hillsboro, we increase revenue and provide employment for our residents.
• Work to upgrade the infrastructure, using the latest technology so industry and people will choose to come to Hillsboro and Highland County. Let’s become known as the most hi-tech small, rural city/county in Ohio.
• Fund our current parks and recreational areas. It’s important to do this for everyone, especially for our youth.
So what do I stand for? What do I believe? I will:
• Adhere to ethical, legal and moral codes of honesty and fairness.
• Ensure the ordinances of Hillsboro as well as state and federal laws are enforced.
• Use a competitive bidding process, hiring local contractors and businesses whenever possible.
• Treat all city employees with respect and dignity. They are our friends and family and they bring great value to the community.
• Listen to everyone with an open mind.
I am running for mayor to put community above politics and personal agendas. Let’s bring some kindness back to city government. Kindness does not mean weakness. Tough decisions still need to be made sometimes, but kindness frees people to openly share their ideas and concerns.
And when we encourage a culture of listening to people, really listening, we can learn a lot. There’s experience and knowledge out there just waiting to flow. The guiding force for all decisions will be doing what is best for Hillsboro.
And finally, on a personal note, I knew running for public office would be difficult and require God’s grace. I believe gratitude is a big part of grace. So, I am grateful for this opportunity to run for mayor of our city. I stepped out of my comfort zone to enter the race and am a better person for it in so many ways.
In February, I was asked to speak to the Junior National Honor Society inductees, and as I shared with them, many things I have done in my life started out with me saying, “I can’t do that.” And now, as I have done in the past, I faced my fears, got in the arena, and can proudly say “I did it.” Thank you for the opportunity.
I will not make promises to you that I am uncertain I can keep. But here’s one promise I can make. I will always do my best to serve you and the city. And, if elected, I will work every day to bring integrity, honesty, trust, respect, and common sense governing to the office of mayor.
Thank for taking the time to read this guest column. I hope I have the opportunity to represent Hillsboro and would appreciate your vote on November 3.
Pam Limes is the Democratic candidate for mayor of Hillsboro.