Today I announce my candidacy for re-election for Mayor of the city of Bucyrus. I have been honored to serve as your Mayor since 2014 and I thank you for your support. 2018 was a challenging year for myself and family as I battled Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I had a great team helping me. No one battles illness alone and I am grateful for your cards, emails and prayers. Thanks be to God that I am now in remission and ready to lead our fine city during a second term. Much has been accomplished but work remains to be done.
Our administration along with City Council have brought significant improvements since assuming office in 2014. Accomplishments include the opening of our new Water Treatment plant as well as putting Bucyrus on a path to see a significant reduction in sewage overflows thereby protecting our wonderful natural resource, the Sandusky River. We have made improvements to our parks and opened a downtown venue for gathering-- Schines Art Park.
Bucyrus has also seen a significant reduction in crime rates, drug use and overdoses. Neighborhoods are being cleaned up with the addition of our building inspector and, with the help of the Crawford County Land Bank, we have torn down dozens of eyesores. City Council recently invested in a housing study to improve our inventory of homes.
Job retention and expansion will continue to be emphasized in my second term. Our employers are hiring and many are expanding production. Our administration proposed investing in the Crawford County Partnership and that investment is seeing strong dividends in job creation and workforce development
The city budget has been examined for wasteful spending and our innovations in city management are saving citizens hundreds of thousands of dollars annually since 2016. We are making all of our city facilities energy efficient, saving valuable tax dollars.
Our administration was one of the original signees for State Treasurer Josh Mandel's transparency initiative, Ohiocheckbook.com. Citizens of Bucyrus are now able to see how every tax is spent. We believe in total transparency in our local government.
Fellow citizens, the best days of Bucyrus are ahead of us but we must continue to work together to build a better Bucyrus by focusing on the quality of life in our community with better parks and recreation, continued progress on our city-wide bike path and investment in our Tree program, all of which helps attract young families who will be our future citizens and leaders.
Together we approach our Bicentennial year of 2021 with optimism and hope, an unwavering hope in the spirit that has defined who we are as citizens of Bucyrus for 200 years. Every generation faces special challenges and we pledge to continue to work together, to build a better Bucyrus for all, rich and poor, young and old.
The theme of our second term will be Community Unity--working as one for the betterment of all citizens. I ask for your continued support in making Bucyrus one of America's premier small towns.
May God continue to bless Bucyrus.
Mayor Jeff Reser
The Bucyrus Bicentennial Celebration is just five years away and it’s not too early to begin planning for this important event. I ask this question, “What do we want our community to look like in five years?” I would like to begin by saying that we have much to be proud of in Bucyrus. Our downtown is one of the best around having preserved much of our historic district especially in the last generation. We have opened a new park (Millennium) and are about to complete another City park in 2017. Our downtown is clean and attractive. Washington Square is a jewel and our City is joined by a dedicated group of volunteers in keeping it beautiful.
I would like to present areas that we need to improve beginning with our parks. Since I have been Mayor I have been amazed by how good our parks look without any funding beyond general maintenance. The City has planted very few trees and currently we have nearly forty dead trees that need to be cut down and stumps removed. We then need to plant at least forty trees to take the place of the dead trees. Aumiller, Harmon and Lions Park are all on a path to be treeless simply because we haven’t kept pace with tree replacement. We must reverse this trend.
I would also like to propose new improvements at Aumiller Park. Let’s add a Splash Park to the pool as most communities have done in the last ten years. The pool also needs an attractive slide. Parking lots need to be finished with asphalt. I propose that we add another closed shelter for rentals. The tennis courts are in disrepair and need to be replaced.
Harmon Park also has many dead trees and stumps. The parking area needs asphalt. I would like to see a new bike/walking loop around the perimeter of the park with exercise stations at intervals.
The river bank is in rough shape and needs to be cleaned up. We also have plans for the area just across the river. A “friendship style” bridge would unite both sides.
I would also like to propose a new park--Bicentennial Park--just north of the bridge on Sandusky Avenue. This is a blighted, poorly maintained area but one with potential. I see a beautiful green space--a lead in to our new bike bath and to Harmon Park. The park would be dedicated to the founders of Bucyrus with a monument as well as bronze plaques to the most influential Bucyrians of our first 200 years.
North Side Improvements
Pickwick Place and Crossroads has brought excitement to the North entrance to Bucyrus. We are planning new traffic signals at the Irving/Sandusky intersection as well as new signage. But North Sandusky Avenue needs more attention. The City has a beautiful appearance as you crest the hospital hill heading south. Now we need to address our appearance from the hospital to the City limits.
Plymouth Street improvement will begin in 2017. I would like to see Plymouth Street as a model street for future City streets and we plan to make sure that this residential street will have a beautiful tree canopy for years to come.
We have proposed a bike path for two years and it’s time to commit to this worthwhile project. If we want to make Bucyrus attractive to young families we need to not only have great parks, schools and shopping, we also need to have other amenities. I firmly believe that the establishment of a bike path through Bucyrus and beyond is one of the most important projects of this generation--preparing us for future growth. I envision a path following from Aumiller Park along the river traversing to Lowe Volk Park. It is possible to connect the entire county in the near future.
Tree City USA
Bucyrus needs Tree City USA certification which allows us, for a nominal fee, to develop a plan to plant new trees. We have lost hundreds of trees in the last fifty years and have planted few new trees. We are heading towards a treeless City unless we reverse course. I propose that we plant 200 new trees in the City in the next five years in honor of our bicentennial celebration. Tree City USA affiliation requires input from City residents and we could easily double our tree plantings by matching plantings from our residents. Just $2 per resident allows us to develop a plan to showcase our City with beautiful trees.
Let’s complete our downtown by adding arches in honor of our 200th birthday. Charles and Mary Street are the bookends for our historic district and iron arches would be a beautiful addition to our downtown. I would like to see “Bucyrus founded 1821” on the arches.
2017--Complete Art Park, begin Plymouth Street improvements. Plant 40 trees.
2018--Pool improvement begin. Complete Plymouth Street plan. Plant 40 trees. Bike Path planning.
2019--North Sandusky Avenue project begins, Bike Path construction begins. Plant 40 trees.
2020--Bike Path continues, Bicentennial Park begins. Plant 40 trees.
2021--Complete bike path, Bicentennial Park opens. Plant 40 trees. Bicentennial Arches erected. Let’s celebrate--Bucyrus is 200 years young!
Of course, all of these improvements in the City require funding. Current taxpayers are sacrificing by paying for our new water treatment plant as well as our EPA storm separation improvements. They deserve to have good parks and amenities and it’s time that we begin funding our parks. We are the only community in our area that does not have a parks improvement budget. This is needed to make our town attractive for young families. We must stop our population decline and I believe that this plan is a strong start and I ask that you approve funding for the Bicentennial Plan.
To achieve the goals in the Bicentennial Plan requires a commitment of approximately $200,000.00 per year by the City. I am requesting that this amount be put in next year’s budget and for the four subsequent years as we move Bucyrus forward, preparing our City for future growth. The Bicentennial Beautification Plan is aggressive but achievable plan requiring cooperation from the City, private sources, foundations and state grants--but the City must take the first step and I ask that you join with me in supporting this vision for a better Bucyrus.
What Qualities should the Mayor of Bucyrus Possess?
Dear Mayor Reser:
It is with great pleasure that I offer my endorsement and support for your re-election campaign! Your leadership as Mayor and your commitment to the community is second to none. Your hard work on behalf of the families and taxpayers of Bucyrus has made a real difference!
I am always impressed by your ability to work together and build consensus, bringing unity to the community. I know that residents appreciate how you approach every challenge with a positive attitude and a can-do spirit. This is the type of leadership that is needed as Bucyrus prepares for its bicentennial.
You’ve shown a strong commitment to protecting the hard-earned dollars of your residents by being an early supporter of Ohio’s “open checkbook” transparency movement. You’ve also tackled important community issues like public safety, the opioid epidemic, economic development and infrastructure in your first term.
I encourage all Bucyrus residents to join me in supporting you for a second full term as Mayor, because I know you will continue to demonstrate the responsive leadership that has defined your first term. I wish you the best of luck, and I look forward to working with you and other city officials into the future.
Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio’s 4th District
Thursday, September 24th was a historic day for the City of Bucyrus. I met with Ohio State Treasurer, Josh Mandel for a press conference announcing that our city's finances are now open and on-line ready for your inspection. I believe in government transparency. Your tax dollars are hard earned and you have every right to see where your money is spent. I am proud to have led the effort to open our books for your inspection. Thanks to City Auditor, Joyce Schifer, for her hard work and dedication to this monumental effort.
On the same day, I signed another historic agreement with the US EPA that put our city on a path to comply with federal clean water regulations. These negotiations have been on and off for fifteen years and the city risked criminal and civil penalties in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's a good agreement for the city and our residents who now can rest assured that we will do our part in making our waterways clean and safe. Thanks to the unanimous support of our City Council and the leadership of Tina Wolff from our engineering advisors, ARCADIS.
It's been a busy time for me and I assure you that Bucyrus is moving in the right direction! I am proud to be your mayor.