Editor’s note: Each candidate for 4th Ward Urbana City Council seat on the May 3 ballot was invited by the Urbana Daily Citizen to participate in a survey. The candidates are Holly Curnutte and Stephanie Truelove.
Name: Stephanie Truelove
Address: 707 N. Oakland St., Urbana
Qualifications: I was born and raised in Urbana and attended Urbana South Elementary and graduated from Urbana High School. I graduated from Community Hospital School of Nursing, served as a Nurse Supervisor for 10 years at Community Hospital and at Heartland of Urbana for 21 years as a Nurse Supervisor, later serving as Director of Nursing. Recently, I developed an interest in our electoral process and accepted the opportunity to serve as a part-time clerk for the Champaign County Board of Elections, which I enjoyed for 12 years. On a personal note, Urbana is the place where my late husband George and I decided to make our home and lives together. I reside with my stepson, for whom I care for, and our 7 animals.
My passion and dedication to Urbana also led me to begin getting involved in local government. For the past few years, I have regularly attended City Council meetings, staying up to date with issues effecting residents of Urbana. Because of my involvement, I have been selected to serve on the City of Urbana Charter Review Committee, Salary Committee, Tree Commission, and the Cemetery Committee.
To the citizens of Urbana’s 4th ward, I see you, I hear you, and I know you. I am not afraid to speak up and take your voice to City Hall. If elected, I will be ready to serve you on day one. I look forward to the opportunity to put people above politics and find solutions that move Urbana forward.
Question: What is the biggest challenge facing Urbana in the next 2 years?
I think one of the biggest challenges facing Urbana is our city’s aging infrastructure. Our city currently has water lines that are over 100 years old and sewer lines that need upgrading. Some of our city streets are in desperate need of repair. Public ran facilities such as our swimming pool need to be upgraded to continue operation in the future. Doing so requires funding and appropriations to ensure projects are completed and done so efficiently. Our duty as Urbana Council members is to legislate and appropriate funds for projects that improve our infrastructure, but many times there isn’t enough to complete all the projects that we wish to complete. I would work with other members of council and our city administration to find grants to help take the burden off Urbana residents and accomplish our goals. I will always strive to find solutions to solve our problems in a way that is fiscally responsible and beneficial to our residents.
Question: What makes Urbana a special place to live?
Urbana has been the city I have called home my entire life. I have been blessed to travel and explore, yet I am always excited to get home to Urbana. My late husband George was born in Connecticut and also fell in love with the small-town charm Urbana offers. Urbana is a place everyone can call home. The welcoming nature of our citizens creates an environment where neighbors are friends. This is an added piece of security, knowing that everyone is looking out for everyone’s best interest. With all the chaos in today’s world, Urbana is a place I know is safe, secure, and peaceful. The accessibility of two of Ohio’s major cities (Columbus and Dayton) makes Urbana a place where residents can have small town life with big city amenities. Our access to our local stores and facilities ensures our residents can meet everyday needs without leaving our city limits. These qualities, in my opinion, make Urbana one of Ohio’s best small towns. The City Administration and Council have shown great dedication to keeping Urbana moving forward. Urbana will continue to progress because of the vision so many of our elected leaders have for our community. With your vote, I will continue to strive to keep Urbana a town where everyone can feel safe, raise a family, and call home.
Question: How important is expansion of affordable housing opportunities in Urbana?
This is an ambiguous question. Are you asking if I object to establishing low-income communities because of where they may be located, or do I support establishing communities because they are needed? The answer is the same for both. If the need arose for more affordable housing, I would take the issue seriously. I would address the issue with facts and seek the best solution possible. The Urbana I know is a city where we do what is necessary to fulfill the needs of our youth, working families, and seniors. I believe that everyone, no matter where they reside, is entitled to affordable housing. Our current economic situation is extremely volatile and Urbana families are feeling the impact. The rising cost of all basic needs has created great difficulty in finding affordable housing, which is a crisis no Urbana family should face. Urbana currently has 11 low income housing communities, offering 402 affordable apartments for rent, 162 that are income based and 240 that are subsidized. I believe these opportunities should be maintained and remain available, with our community leaders continuously seeking opportunities to grow Urbana. My vision is to make Urbana a city where all citizens can live, work, and raise their families with a good quality of life.