3rd Ward candidate: Andy Cole

Staff report

Andy Cole

Candidate for 3rd Ward City Council Seat

1. Explain a little about yourself.

I grew up in Portsmouth and attended Portsmouth Public Schools. Graduated from Shawnee State University with a business degree. I am an operations manager for a business that I relocated to Portsmouth in 2006. My family including my wonderful wife, mom and dad, brothers and their families all live in Portsmouth. I have lived in Portsmouth over 40 years and in the 3rd ward for the last 14 years. I have deep ties to Portsmouth and am actively engaged in the betterment of our city.

2. What made you decide to run for public office?

Years ago, when pill mills showed up on our doorstep, we, as a community, didn’t stand together and say there is something wrong here and we need to address it. I realize what a mistake that was. As a small city full of great people, we have to stand together to be strong. When a for-profit suboxone clinic attempted to purchase a building in our residential neighborhood we successfully prevented the clinic from moving in with help from our neighbors. Fortunately Hill View Retirement Center purchased the building. It was then I realized I wanted to continue this mission of making sure our neighborhoods stay desirable and safe. It is imperative to change our zoning and ordinances to properly locate Drug Rehab housing to more appropriate commercial areas. It is important to keep promoting the continued successes of our neighbors and community leaders who have created groups dedicated to enchaining the beatification of our town. Like you we all would like nice streets and more small businesses. It is inspiring to see the amazing rebirth of community involvement and our historic district. I want Portsmouth to feel proud of our city and will do everything possible to make that happen.

3. What makes you qualified to run?

Based on my business experience I understand budgeting, personnel, forecasting for future needs and many other high-level business requirements. I have owned a business for over a decade. I have managed a multimillion-dollar business for fifteen years which employs over 20 local people. I have an out-of-the-box mentality that has made me extremely successful. In addition to my business experience I am familiar with and involved in many local community groups.

4. What do you feel are the top three concerns for your area?

My primary concerns are the safety of our residents, infrastructural needs (streets, water and sewer) and financial stability however there are many concerns facing our city.

5. How do you plan to address those concerns if elected?

I have already begun to work with city officials regarding their current strategic plan to implement repairs to our vital infrastructure including street, water and sewer. This will be a financial challenge for our city and I will work diligently to source funding through available grants and other sources. I will work with my fellow council members and administration to better understand our expenses and revenue streams for an overall better managed budget.

6. How do you plan to bring business into your area or help small businesses already there?

Having brought a business to Portsmouth I know what it takes to bring a business to our city and how to stay successful. I will strive to work with all available community resources including the engineering department, economic development, grant writers, city manager, council members, health department and other small business owners to network and find solutions to challenges and encourage small businesses growth in our area.

7. How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process?

I believe education and clear transparency of issues is imperative. Our city has a web presence and a Facebook page but we need additional outreach to our neighbors inviting them to get involved. Open communication and common goals will bring our neighbors together to achieve great things. I am supportive of groups dedicated to creating a better quality of life. I am and will continue to be active in our community and will share the successful events and hard work that is making Portsmouth a better place to live.

8. If elected, what three steps would you take to put your city/township on a firmer financial footing?

After multiple conversations with our city auditor and manager, I have found we need to manage expenses and source other revenue streams to better balance our budget. We can accomplish this through many avenues including increased grand funding and improving our purchasing efficiency. We must also manage the city’s expenses and live within our means.

9. What would be your first act of business if elected? I would first thank my neighbors for believing in me. As I have promised, I will do everything in my power to assure my neighbor’s safety and security. Being a city council member is not just about the 3rd ward. It’s about the future of ALL residents in Portsmouth.

10. Anything else you would like the voters to know?

This is a non partisan election. It doesn’t matter if you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent. I will represent you the same. I am only interested in the real problems of Portsmouth. I don’t have a personal agenda. Please vote for Andy Cole on November 2nd.


Staff report