Candidates compete for Piqua Commission first ward seat


By Eamon Baird


PIQUA — The city of Piqua is split into five wards, with a commissioner serving as a representative for a four-year term. On Election Day, Piqua residents will elect commissioners to serve on the Piqua City Commission in wards one, two and five. In the first ward the commissioner’s race is between incumbent James Vetter and challenger Jim Sheats.

Miami Valley Today sent questionnaires to each candidate to allow community members to get to know the individual before the election on Nov. 7. Sheats did not respond to Miami Valley Today’s request for information by the provided deadline. Below are Vetters’ responses to Miami Valley Today’s questions as submitted.

Vetter graduated from Piqua Central High School and Otterbein University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and minors in psychology and religion. Vetter, who is retired, worked 42 years in public service, including the Children’s Service Agency and Educational Services Center for Miami County.

This is Vetter’s first time running for office, as he was appointed to fill the vacancy of the first ward seat in May of 2022.

Why are you running for City Commission?

Vetter: “The First Ward of Piqua is a section of town with serious housing-related issues. It is listed as a slum and blighted neighborhood. This Ward needs strong, energetic, creative leadership and I can supply that.”

Why do you feel you’re the best candidate to serve as a commissioner?

Vetter: “I am a well-educated, energetic, long-time resident of this neighborhood who has demonstrated my commitment to the ward by my long-standing advocacy for promoting Piqua. If elected, I will continue to advocate for the needs of the community.”

How can you improve communication with residents?

Vetter: “I have answered all telephone calls, emails and personal contacts. I participate in the two neighborhood groups that are active in our ward through the Southview Neighborhood Association as President and as a member of Piqua Neighborhood Improvement Corporation. I am open to other invitations for conversations as invited.”

What is the biggest challenge the city is facing?

Vetter: “In my Ward, the biggest challenge is safe and affordable housing. I am an advocate for the First-Time Home Buyers Project and improved housing through our Rental Inspection Program. After many years of encouragement, our neighborhood is starting to show improvement from homeowners who are investing in their properties. I am also an advocate for dealing with abandoned vehicles and personal responsibility for maintaining property.”

How do you bring more funding to the city?

Vetter: “One, we need to monitor our Enterprise funds appropriately; two, the city needs to increase revenue for general fund projects.”

Any comments you’d like to add?

Vetter: “I have demonstrated through my 40+ years my dedication and advocacy for improvements for this part of Piqua.”

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