Chic Spotlight: Sycamore Township Trustee Candidate, Pat Stern
Cincy Chic: What office are you running for?
Pat Stern: I am running for the second time in Sycamore Township for Trustee. In the last election (2005), I was only 400 votes shy of winning and received 80 percent of the votes needed to win. In Sycamore Township, we had around 8,000 people who voted in 2005. Sycamore Township is a very diverse community of 7,000 households. Sycamore Township is where the Kenwood Mall is located and goes as far north as where I live off of Fields Ertel, abutting Deerfield Township.
Cincy Chic: What's your main platform?
Stern: My main platform is the fact elected officials make major decisions for the community behind closed doors or hold work sessions at 9 a.m. on Tuesday mornings so that the public (with traditional 9am-5pm jobs) have little say so as to what happens. Sycamore Township does not videotape their meetings, does not put their agenda on the Web site and does not publicize minutes from their meetings. If you want to see a copy of the budget, they charge .25 per page. No other community charges that fee. The community has a 20 million dollar budget, but does not have a master plan for the community. Residents have not been asked for their opinion on anything for over a decade, so I want to do a comprehensive community survey. Our parks have not been fully developed, they are very old and need equipment replacement. Our current Trustees have put two fire tax levies on the ballot, and one was successful. So, instead of being creative in curbing spending, they went straight to the taxpayers. Our Township residents are being squeezed out of their neighborhoods to accommodate retail and office development. I am not against development, but I am for controlled development. Our Township has terrible road congestion that has gone unchecked and residents are upset about that. I want to take better care of our aging population by providing more services through the sycamore senior center.
Cincy Chic: Have you ever held a public office like this before?
Stern: No, as I said before, I ran in 2005 and lost by only 400 votes. I have served on the Sycamore Township Land Use Committee and Board of Zoning appeals for six years, as well as many volunteer positions in the community, to include the Sycamore Senior board for 11 years.
Cincy Chic: What's the climate for women in politics right now? In Sycamore and nationwide in your opinion?
Stern: It's not good there are less women in local politics (city and state) than there was in my Mother's generation. Numbers are going down. It has been a good old boys network for decades. In fact, no woman has ever held a trustee position in the history of the Township. I will be the first.
Support and money is not available as much as it is for men. It is very hard for women to run for office, yet we are the most qualified and have the experience but we also are raising children and helping care for parents and we are working. Women need supportive husbands and families in order to run for office.
Cincy Chic: Any advice for other women out there interested in politics?
Stern: Go for it!