Tracy Prater

Political party: 
Question 1: 

What are the major issues facing the City of Berea?

Drug abuse and addiction is a major issue that need addressed. Another is the lack of a steady entertainment and social areas within the city. There is also a large problem with the governing bodies working together, specifically between City Council, Mayor and the Chamber.

Question 2: 

What is your position on future growth and development issues as they affect Berea; including further development of historical districts, tourism, and sustainable “buy local” initiatives?

There is a great example of historical districts as shown by our Old Town district, as well as with preservation work at the college. I whole-heartedly believe to better grow a community you must stay as local as possible, which is why I would try to encourage more local businesses to start up and to grow through tax incentives primarily.

Question 3: 

Are you in favor of the development of pedestrian and bicycle pathways as safe and practical options to motorized transportation in Berea? If so, what projects of this kind would be your priority?

I am in favor of increased pedestrian and bicycle paths. Pedestrians walking on short line from one path to the other is very hazardous and that project needs to be completed as soon as practicle. I would also push for a bicycle lane established on or near chestnut st to cut down on bicyclists in heavy traffic.

Question 4: 

State and federal laws do not exist that ban discrimination against people in areas of housing, employment and public accommodation based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. Knowing that, would you be in favor of passing a fairness ordinance in Berea that would address this type of discrimination? Please explain.

There already is a fairness ordinance in place regarding housing, employment and public accommodation. I believe it should be updated to address the private sale of housing to members of the LGBT community. Discrimination on who can privately purchase a residence should not be allowed.

Question 5: 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the years of 2010-2014, 19.7% of the residents of Madison County lived below the poverty line. What policies will you support to improve the availability of safe affordable housing and increased economic opportunities for all citizens?

In Berea, there are several businesses hiring at this time. I believe that making residents more aware of the availability of jobs, as well as resources to assist them with attaining a job could help. I will support a policy that will benefit those below the poverty line to better themself through hard work and determination. I would also support policies that can help bring in low to no skill jobs for those who do not have previous training.

Question 6: 

What actions or initiatives can the city take to provide help and alternatives to families and people in Berea living with addiction?

I believe showing support for former users can help drastically. Through discussions with former users, lack of support to stay clean was their main topic of how to make a difference. I will push for more support groups and ways to provide former users with different paths they can take to improve themselves, giving them the power to overcome their addictions.

Question 7: 

What measures do you support to foster good relations between law enforcement officers and our local community?

I believe more involvement between the community and law enforcement is important. Showing residents that the news stories seen on tv are very rare incidents, and that the people protecting them are also part of our community can help to mend the tensions.

Question 8: 

Last year there was a great deal of controversy around the selling of confederate flag merchandise at the Spoonbread Festival, and Berea students reported being harassed on the basis of race while in town. Given that, what measures do you support to address racial harassment in Berea?

I feel educating the general public, and encouraging involvement within the community with people of different races, beliefs, and different backgrounds are ways to best address the issues. Prosecution on basis of harassment and violating the Berea fairness ordinance are possible, but at times properly identifying and determining guilt are hard to accomplish, resulting in very few prosecutions.

Question 9: 

Berea is in the midst of making long-term decisions about where and how it gets and manages its wholesale electric power. Beyond safety, reliability and affordability, what considerations should be made with respect to Berea's electric power choices?

Other considerations should be made on what will be decided to do when the 5 year contract with AMP-Ohio expires. Currently there is a motion tabled to decide on who will transmit the power, which will have an effect in terms of safety and reliability, so the determination of who transmits the power is a large consideration as well.