Mayoral Candidate Shares Plan for Cuyahoga Falls' Future

Cuyahoga Falls mayoral nominee Don Walters answers three questions that lay out his 2013 campaign.

Don Walters
Don Walters
Editor's note: Democratic candidate Don Walters is running head-to-head against Republican incumbent Don Robart for the Cuyahoga Falls mayoral seat. In this letter to the editor, Walters offers answers to some of the most-asked questions from voters. 

Why are you running for Mayor?

It’s time to turn our good city into a great city! I have the skills and vision to take us there and beyond with fresh new leadership, innovative ideas, and a vibrant pro-active approach to the future. Having recently conducted neighborhood meetings throughout Cuyahoga Falls, I was alarmed at the residents’ frustration about the direction we are heading and I realize it is time for me to act. Complacency is not an option.

What makes you qualified to serve as Mayor?

I have the unique combination of private sector management experience coupled with 12 years public experience on City Council. My service on City Council puts me in daily contact with the residents, which allows me to monitor the important issues that affect their quality of life. A Ward Councilperson truly has their finger on the pulse of our city and must be a constant problem solver. On City Council, I have bravely stood up for property owner’s rights amongst strong opposition and stopped eminent domain in its tracks. This year, for the third time, City Council unanimously voted for me to be their leader as City Council President, a responsibility I am honored to have bestowed on me. As a lifetime resident, I have a deep passion for Cuyahoga Falls.

What will you do differently as Mayor?

• Reinstitute Senior Snow Removal
• Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Program
• “Junior City Council” Giving Our Youth a Voice
• “CF 911” Residential Alarm Monitoring; Yard Sign/Window Decals*
• “Cuyahoga Falls Crime Fighters” Cash Reward Tip Hotline
• “Healthy Employee Wellness” Healthcare Savings Program*
• Open Front Street Mall to Traffic (During Non-Events) 
• Internship Program
• “Shop Locally” Incentive Dollars*
• Annual Citywide Public Opinion Survey
• Expand Street Paving Budget
• New Homeowner City Incentive Packet (Owner Occupied Only)
• Permanently Eliminate Mayors City Provided Car*

*Denotes a revenue producing and/or cost saving program
Walt Dailey June 20, 2013 at 04:35 AM
Our city has been doing quite well with modernization and all. I moved here in 1992 love it. Mayor Robart has been doing a great job. Why get in a "new" Democrat in? Did people forget what the Dems did to us when they got a useless man in as president? If the political wight shifts to the other side, all I can say is.............."TIME to move".
Lou Schott June 20, 2013 at 07:02 AM
To: Don Walters -- Candidate for Mayor, 1. How would a Junior City Council work? 2. Could it be a Council that held meetings online? 3. What if some of the people on the Junior City Council grow up and start to run for the positions on the City Council that allocates real money? I would think that would threaten your power -- as a mayor.
Gnostic Sage June 20, 2013 at 08:33 AM
My sources tell me that you are a pro-union dock worker at Yellow Freight. How will that help you to select talented and qualified people to help you run and develop the City in a financially responsible manner, knowing that you will "owe" the Unions for your election and they WILL want key jobs and serious wage increases that will put the limited City finances in peril?
David Morris June 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Let's see: 1) The "Front Street Mall" fountain is a destination for grandparents and parents throughout the summer. Sometimes I even see people on the skating rink. How are you going to open front Street for traffic with the fountains on both ends? Allowing cars on Front St won't solve the problem that is created by empty storefronts and unsavory commercial neighbors. 2) Where are you going to get the money to do all the things you want to do without raising taxes, something this community has voiced consistent opposition to where it counts: the voting booth. 3) One of the biggest problems facing all Governments today is Union presence. On the Federal Level, the unions refuse to obey a Presidential Order. How can we expect a union sympathizer to do anything but deepen the dip in our wallets?
Adam C. Miller June 20, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Maria Lukas June 20, 2013 at 05:09 PM
I think it is time for some new blood and new ideas. I for one, am look forward to hearing more of these from Don Walters . I think Unions have there place in our history and Robart already "owes" the Union he belongs to "the republican party" for his election and they do want and get key jobs. AI am glad to hear Don Walters will have a pro-active approach to the future. I am equally happy to read that Don also cares about the small things that help a city a wonderful community. Things like Senior snow removal programs.
Lou Schott June 20, 2013 at 05:19 PM
To: Don Walters -- Candidate for Mayor, I can see where Google Maps with an overlay to show what streets are being re-paved could save some people frustration and the need to re-route themselves around the construction. I am sure that many community members are concerned about the debt to equity ratio of our community. A chart showing this ratio could help people analyze our risk level. All of this is simple to do -- when we use the latest free tools on the Internet. But, we need a finance director who has been authorized to operate in an honest and open manner.
don walters June 20, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Hello all. It's the real Don Walters. I don't want to start a debate on Patch, but would like to respond to a few posts that contain questions. Lou, Junior City Council would be an informational exchange and Q&A session between City Council and the 8-member JCC following our Council meetings. They will take our seats following our meetings and have the opportunity to describe the city through their eyes as well as that of their peers in the 13-17 age group. I will provide topics of discussion in advance. They would serve for four consecutive meetings at which time each ward councilperson will appoint another. They are certainly eligible and encouraged to run for elected office at the age of 18. Gnostic, I don't "owe" anyone except the fine citizens of Cuyahoga Falls. As I stated in my bio, I have management as well as union experience. I have seen it all; the good, the bad, and the ugly. This rare commodity allows me to cut through the typical impasse we commonly experience. My current job is more of a freight coordinator. We deal with and offer efficient logistic shipping solutions to companies you may have heard of... Gojo, Technicote, Zorn Industries, Associated Materials, GBS, etc., all Cuyahoga Falls companies that thrive and create jobs using our services! Mr. Morris, Certainly, the mall property owners must first weigh in on the proposal. The fountains will remain. A small brick road with some angle parking can meander through with the removal of some concrete islands. Most storefronts are empty because people don't choose to park in a deck then walk to see what businesses are there (or not there), especially in February. Most cities with walking malls, especially in our climate, have reverted back to allowed limited vehicle access with huge success. Wmfr, Thank you! Mr. Miller, You are correct, NO NEW TAXES!!!! Respectfully, Don Walters City Council President 330-929-9399
Lou Schott June 20, 2013 at 05:59 PM
To: Don Walters, Don't hit the enter button because it causes a comment when I did not want comment. Please allow me to applaud your process of posting and commenting in a public forum. For whatever it is worth, I have posted some thoughts on how to handle the Nosty Sags of our community. You can see my post on, "Can we stomp out fear and anger in our community?" Meanwhile, I find the idea of the Junior City Council to be innovative. If the concept proves out then perhaps we should apply the same idea to our Board of Education and our Board of Trustees for our library.
Adam C. Miller June 20, 2013 at 06:16 PM
I like it!
wmfr June 20, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Haters are going to hate I see - I love the ignorant posters still bitter because their KING DEMON Romney lost. I like Robart BUT Walters has a few very valid points. I like how me mentioned that the mayor has a " company car" That alone should make the residents FURIOUS. If true that's completely unacceptable and an abuse of his position. I have not decided who I will vote for yet, but I suggest to keep an open mind and give Walters a shot. He has been a staple in the council for years and from what I can tell has a solid track record. Gnostic Sage - kissing up to the mayor, it's obvious you have some type of relationship with SOMEONE there. Robart is a good guy, good mayor - But I think people need to hear out Walters. He could be GREAT and at some point our Mayor will have to retire anyways.
Walt Dailey June 21, 2013 at 01:59 AM
Walters talks like a used car salesman...............All this money we put into the Riverfront (fountains, kids jumping water jets, the clock tower) all restrict a street. We have parking lots right near this, leave well enough alone. I like CF and one reason is a nice place to congregate for walks and fests. Why screw this up? Whene I want to go to a store or restaurant there, I simply park in one of the parking lots. They are both free and convenient. Stupid, stupid idea.
Lou Schott June 21, 2013 at 07:11 AM
To: Walt Dailey, My guess is the Riverfront Mall costs more to operate than it returns in revenue. Given the anxiety that I see in the eyes of our city public officials when I try to ask them questions about our debt to equity ratio, I can only assume that they have something to hide. Please try asking them for cost information on this one line item. And, then share with us your experience.
Lou Schott June 21, 2013 at 07:40 AM
To: Don Walters -- Candidate for Mayor, I can see where most of your proposals can be done at almost zero cost -- if you build a network of people who know how to use the latest free tools, techniques, and training available to us via the Internet. Actually, some of the proposals can be started right now. Start with the proposals that get the greatest gain from using the free tools ... and need little money to operate. For example, a simple free website to support the senior citizens snow removal proposal can be done with a few hours of time. My guess is that you will have many seniors who will volunteer to operate the website. It could 'store volunteer hours' and exchange the hours for other like kind volunteer hours. It does not need to handle money. Thus, it does not need to be a 'non profit' 501-C-3. The players can include 'less than physically able seniors' and 'neighbors with shovels and snow blowers'. The Mayor can positively reinforce the people who build up the most volunteer hours. I see this as a way to rebuild trust and respect in our community. More on this if you are intested.
wmfr June 21, 2013 at 08:28 AM
Walt - MOST PEOPLE DON'T SHOP THERE! That's because it's not convenient to park- What's up with the personal attacks? Walters addressed a group of people with letter and even replied to answer questions. Does he really sound like a car salesman? How is that? That statement is non-sense. Like I said, I think there may be other people capable of doing a great job with this city. Why not be open minded? I am not saying to vote for him, but at least you owe to yourself to hear what all of his plans on and vote for the person that will help our city the most. Robart has made plenty of decisions that I am not exactly thrilled about, but I am anxious to see how he runs for election this time around.
Tim June 21, 2013 at 08:34 AM
No UNION sympathizing Democrats!! Want to see CF look like Detroit? Well, that is EXACTLY what a UNION mayor will provide. Of course, as to be expected, the existing union employees will not agree. Who is going to fund all these grand ideas. Us, the tax payers, that's who.
Jeff June 21, 2013 at 12:26 PM
I'm willing to listen to him. I don't vote party lines; that is idiotic. Just because our president is a democrat, and a mayor is a democrat, does not mean they are carbon copies. Nor does it mean that all candidates in one's favored party are good people, and all those in a party one opposes are evil. Although we are a multi (really only two) party system, the Mayor is in a position to evaluate what is good for the community, not the country. In otherwords, I am going to vote for the PERSON that I believe is best for our community. Please evaluate who you vote for based upon their platform and history, and not just because of their party. In otherwords, use your brain for once.
Lou Schott June 21, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Hi Jeff, I certainly agree with your statements. Our community members need to know that Washington D.C. and Columbus OH will not save us from ourselves. We must assume that we, as community members, can make a difference. The history of civilization has never ever before seen the power of the tools that we now use in this present moment to communicate. Our people, in a place called Cuyahoga Falls, are far more powerful than any one political party. The days of a fat political party boss dictating the party line are gone. The new landscape of Cuyahoga Falls is now tilted to include cooperation over conflict and facts over political dogma. Thus, we must ask, "What are the facts? What do the facts mean? How do we know if we have fact or fiction?"
Lou Schott June 21, 2013 at 04:21 PM
To: Don Walters, Candidate for Mayor, Please help us understand the process that goes on when a Union negotiates with the City. Who are all of the players in the negotiations? Does a system of checks and balances exist to prevent undue influence by one player? How many different Unions exist as a part of the City services? Does the City hire third party people to negotiate on their behalf? Does the Union hire third party people to negotiate on their behalf?
Jack Jackson June 21, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Don Walters is exactly what we need! I can"t wait until January when he becomes our new mayor. I don"t believe he will be pro business like the mayor & his cabinet we have now. The city buys property like & sells it for 1/2 the price they paid for it. The Portage crossing what a joke! The traffic is bad now,I can only image what it will be like when it is opened,if I am still alive to see it. The city will narrow Portage trail at State rd but widen Bath & State rd. Now I haven"t done road study,but I would bet the intersection of Portage & State is much busier than Bath & State. Make sense huh??? But its like anything this administration does! I can go on & on,and I may when the time is right!The so called front street mall is like a ghost town! I know there is nothing down there I would like to go to. I have to admit I go to Rockin on River a couple of times a year,that is enough,the way the designed the seating is such a joke. I refuse to buy anything down there, lock 3 is much better setup. It has enough room you can take lawn chairs the entrainment is not as good,but much more enjoyable.
Scott Gatrell June 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM
What's wrong w pro business????? NO BUSINESS=NO TAX BASE.........In this crummy economy the city must do all it can to attract business. I'm not sure a "union guy" is right for the job, however I will say that it depends on the "guy", and "the union". Considering the fact that this gentleman has served as president of council during a time when the city has done a lot to try to attract business would seem to bode well for him on the surface, but I will need to see and hear more from him regarding his voting record as a council member, and his relationship with his union and his employer before I can make up my mind.
Adam C. Miller June 23, 2013 at 12:13 PM
I'm willing to bet that Mr. Walters is pro-business lol
wmfr June 23, 2013 at 10:58 PM
Who cares what party Walters is from! So many of the posters on here are old bitter, angry, grubby, bible thumping, stuck in the past republicans that are always rubbing their beliefs in everyone's face. Makes me sick..... Robart is okay as a mayor - There's many things I like about him and a few things that are very questionable. You would have to be a very ignorant not to consider and hear out a new candidate but of course some people already have their ear muffs on because of party lines. I glad this ignorance on the boards are the minority in the falls, I am pretty certain MOST of the people here have better decision making and common sense.
Scott Gatrell June 24, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Who's not hearing Mr Walters out? I would like to hear more detail. Since this is an election, I'm sure Mr Walters will be providing more details regarding his candidacy in the near future. I look forward to hearing what he has to say. In particular, I would like to know what Mr Walters would do to get our local roads back into atleast adequate condition. This item is of particular interest to me because I travel Graham Rd twice a day every day. As of now it should be renamed Graham Minefield, or perhaps Grahm Cow Pathway, or possibly Graham Crater........Please fix our roads City of CF!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »