Larry McKnight and I need help.

It’s no secret that there’s a pretty stark divide among current city council. That divide is true of the candidates running for the open council and mayoral seats, too. The divide is being described as one of “experience.” I get why that could be appealing — our city is up against a lot; people are scared and looking for leaders who know the answers. That’s valid.

But the problem is, no one knows the answers.

Two incumbent candidates have joined forces to tell you that they are more experienced, that they do know the answers. Some of the issues that plague our city may be easy for incumbents to talk about, but that’s only because they’ve been talking about the same issues for decades. The fact that we’re still talking about them is proof that we haven’t yet solved them.

The campaign that I ran two years ago with Larry McKnight continues with the campaign of Jaime Kinder, Jack Harkless and Gretchen Myers. The guiding principle of our campaigns — the reason we register new voters and have dinosaurs on our signs — is because government is not only for people who know (or think they know) the answers. What we believe in — Larry, Jaime, Jack, Gretchen and I as well as the many who support us — is democracy, where the people affected can have a say in decisions and can come up with new answers together.

The issues facing our municipality — unsafe and unaffordable housing, aging infrastructure, a lack of public involvement, blight, a dwindling tax base — require all hands on deck. Finding and implementing solutions to these problems require new people with new ideas who aren’t afraid to invite in new voices.

Larry and I need help. We need to deliver on the promises we made to the residents in 2019 to make Meadville the best it can be for those living here. We need Jaime Kinder, Jack Harkless and Gretchen Myers on our council. Cast your vote on May 18.

AUTUMN VOGEL

Meadville

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