Oberlin’s Future Reliant on Changing Status Quo

Bryan Burgess, Councilman

To the Editors:

Oberlin has a wonderfully diverse citizenry, and that diversity has been well represented on City Council during my tenure. Members of Council come from an array of backgrounds but work together for a common purpose — the betterment of the Oberlin community. Although we sometimes have differing views, I believe that is preferable to unanimity in groupthink.

We have experienced a paradigm shift in terms of the economy, energy and politics such that the previous approaches will only serve to exacerbate our problems. Old Oberlin appreciated sprawl development, relied upon an expanding economy, expected plentiful cheap energy and maintained a general satisfaction with the status quo. This is still a pervasive belief and is well represented in city government but does not acknowledge the reality of the world we live in today.

Our new challenges are to create opportunities for businesses supporting local employment, bolster home values by investing in our existing neighborhoods, diversify clean energy sources while reducing consumption and generally strive to better our community despite an era of economic uncertainty.

These have been my driving motivations while serving on City Council for the past six years. I have always believed that my role on Council was to vote my conscience, represent the long-term interests of the entire community and encourage others to do the same. This upcoming election is going to test Oberlin’s commitment to a progressive future.

Please vote for candidates that share your values! Oberlin College students are an integral part of this community, and your opinions, aspirations and actions serve to shape our town’s future. I encourage everyone to seek out information on the candidates and issues via YouTube, SoundCloud and the League of Women Voters.

Your vote matters!

Bryan Burgess

Councilman, City of Oberlin