I’m endorsing Republican Randy Morris for Athens City Council’s Fourth Ward.
This will be the first time I have ever voted for a Republican. Yet I feel that there are compelling reasons to vote for Morris rather than his Democratic opponent, incumbent Christine Fahl.
Perhaps the most compelling reason to elect Morris is that he promises to be much more development friendly than Fahl has proven. Even before she replaced State Rep. Debbie Phillips on council, she helped undermine the construction of a retirement community that would have provided a convenient service to Athens seniors and jobs for Athens residents. In this economic climate, Athens needs council representation that will speak up for development. Randy Morris says he’ll do that; Christine Fahl has already proven she won’t.
There are other good reasons to vote for Morris. If you believe like I do that the choke hold the Athens County Democratic Party currently enjoys over the city and the county are unhealthy, it’s time for a fresh face on council. The Democratic Party’s domination of our local political climate has allowed Athens County Democrats to become so complacent that they’re allowing alleged felon Susan Gwinn to stay on the job as party chair for the county. Given how significant a political force the Athens County Democratic Party is in Southeastern Ohio and thus Ohio at large, it is irresponsible for Christine Fahl and other elected Athens Democrats not to demand that Gwinn at least temporarily step down.
Electing Randy Morris to council will help shake Athens County Democrats out of their complacency and provide a voice of dissent on council. He’ll have something to say about development, about budget priorities, about taxes, and about numerous other issues that have for far too long been decided only by Democrats. Lately Athens County Democrats have been proving again and again that the responsibility they’ve been given by Athens voters has gone to their heads. It’s time to give someone else a chance to lead, and right now that someone is Randy Morris.