By Zach Krauss
International studies professor Dr. Glen Duerr is campaigning to become a member of the Beavercreek City Council.
Duerr is one of four candidates running for three open spots for the election taking place this November. He views the chance to run for council as a way to serve his city, especially during a time when his three children are entering the school system. His platform is founded on “strong community, thriving businesses, and local issues.”
Duerr described that generally, the main model of local government that Beavercreek follows uses a city manager advised by a city council that includes a mayor. Council members discuss zoning issues, new businesses, observance days and important initiatives taken on by the city. The council also helps make decisions related to city expenses and day-to-day function of the city.
Political science professor Dr. David Rich said that local government is crucial for making decisions that help to provide not only safety services like police, fire, EMS and strategic planning for disasters, but also for safe living and working situations in neighborhoods and businesses. Further, Rich said that public servants on a local level have the opportunity to lead the public by being a source for moral solutions.
“God has called us to all be salt and light, and what better place than as a public servant?” Rich said. “As a gatekeeper in the community, you can be an influencer for good . . . not just doing things, but doing what is right and for the right reasons.”
Rich discussed the significance of city council and the strategic placing of public servants in such positions. He said that many who run for government office do it for all the wrong reasons and that few understand the true meaning of being of public servant.
“Local government politics has been the political training ground for most political leaders,” Rich said. “Learning how to be a good public servant ought to be required training for all of our public officials.”
While city council primarily focuses on the mundane tasks of daily living, Duerr mentioned that there are also larger issues that need to be addressed by the city council, especially in a growing city like Beavercreek. For instance, Duerr said, the potential for domestic terrorism is a real threat in an area like Beavercreek.
“For some more serious conversations, we wouldn’t think that something dangerous could happen in our area, but we know that there are examples of domestic terrorism or threats happening every year,” Duerr said. “There are lots of different ways that this role could be useful in order to help people become confident in their safety and security.”
Rich said the public should be looking for individuals who have a high level of civic duty, integrity, and competency. He stressed the importance of communication skills, as well as the importance of skill in long- and short-term planning.
“Voters are not looking for political competency, but rather financial and problem solving skills,” Rich said. “Good communication is more about listening than talking, and constituents need a leader that is willing to listen, evaluate problems and recommend efficient and effective solutions.”
Zach Upton, current senior member of the Beavercreek City Council, said city councils can have a huge indirect impact on the individuals on a daily basis.
Duerr is excited for the potential to be involved in his community in such a unique way and for the chance to get to know Beavercreek better.
“I tend to be a people person; I’ve always loved going around my neighborhood and just chatting with people and getting to know them,” Duerr said. “So this process of campaigning has been fairly comfortable for me.”
Overall, Duerr has expressed that the entire campaign process will be a positive learning experience for him regardless of the outcome. Duerr said that he has already learned so much about the process of campaigning from doing it himself so far, and that even if he doesn’t win the election, it will give him much information to share with his students in the classroom in future semesters.
Zach Krauss is a first year professional student in the School of Pharmacy from Temple, Texas, and serves as an on- and off-campus reporter for Cedars. He enjoys music, theatre, biology and building community.