2023 Candidate Questionnaire on
City Council Candidate Response: Ryan Edwards
City Council Candidate Response: Ryan Edwards
What would you like Grandview residents to know about your background, as it relates to the environment, climate, and conservation? If applicable, please describe any relevant educational, career, or service experience you have.
My professional career has given me experience in city and regional planning, community development, and public policy, in the non-profit and government sectors. As a community planner, I was able to review land use and development projects. Part of those reviews took into consideration the environmental impact of the developments, largely through the lens of soil and water implications.
As a member of Grandview Height’s City Council, I was a co-sponsor of legislation to put Issue 23 on the ballot. Passage of Issue 23 will enable the City to create a Community Choice Electric Aggregation process that moves our community toward 100% renewable energy.
- Position on Climate Change
Do you believe there is a climate crisis? If yes, to what extent can and should local government take action to address it?
Yes, I believe climate change is perpetuated by human action and is a critical concern for humanity. I think real progress on climate change requires coordinated systemic cooperation at a global scale. I largely think regulations that will positively impact climate change need to be enacted at a Federal and State level because they have the enforcement mechanisms to identify non-compliance and to hold offenders accountable.
At a local level we can support upkeep and maintenance of our parks, ensure we continue a tree program, support renewal energy aggregation on behalf of residents, support the development of non-automobile transportation infrastructure, support composting, maintain a strong recycling program, and understand the city’s role to build up an electric vehicle charging infrastructure locally.
- Issue 23
For the upcoming November election, Grandview will vote on Issue 23, which, if passed, will bring 100% renewable energy to residences and businesses in our city. Do you support Issue 23?
Yes, as a member of Grandview’s City Council I was a co-sponsor of Issue 23 and enthusiastically support it’s passage.
- Reducing carbon emissions
Beyond Issue 23, what steps, if any, should Grandview Heights take to collectively reduce our carbon emissions? Some possible questions to address include: Should the City electrify its vehicle fleet? Will you commit to advocating to install solar at our municipal building and/or other City sites?
Yes, it does make sense for the City to identify ways to reduce it’s own carbon emissions. In the case of electrifying the vehicle fleet I am supportive of this approach if it meets the needs of our safety and service staff, and is able to be done cost effectively. As old vehicles move beyond their life cycle I would like to see a cost comparison between electric vehicle and non-electric vehicle options. I do think the environmental benefit of having electric vehicles in our city fleet would be worth a slight increase in price of those vehicles if our budget allows.
City staff and development partners are currently in process of exploring solar options at the new municipal building. Staff and city leaders are exploring this in good faith as a preferred option if cost effective. This is an approach that I support. I expect this to be the case at future city development sites.
Describe the importance of our community’s parks, greenspace, and tree canopy. As an elected official, what specific steps would you take, if any, to preserve and/or expand these local assets? As one example, should the city commit to planting primarily/exclusively native species of trees/plants?
Greenspace, parks, and our tree canopy are important parts of our community makeup, and I am very committed to ensuring these assets continue to be preserved and properly maintained. Our community values the parks that we have and utilizes them constantly. As a parent of active children our family can be found on most nights and weekends in one of our parks. Our family also has a garden plot at Wallace Gardens where we enjoy growing vegetables and trying to fend off the weeds. I think Wallace Gardens is a community gem and serves as a great place to build community and should be preserved for future generations.
From a regional perspective Grandview Heights is an active participant in the RAPID 5 initiative, which seeks to increase central Ohioans access to nature even as we climb to 3 Million in our metro region. I support our participation in this effort and will give very serious consideration to any recommendations for local government implementation that come from this group.
Our community has limited space for expansion of parks, a challenge we have as an inner ring land locked community. One opportunity I see for creation of new green/recreational space is conversion of the train track south of Goodale into a bike and multiuse path. This will require a multijurisdictional effort to accomplish, but one I am interested in exploring.
In terms of the city making a commitment to planting native species of trees and plants exclusively, I would need to learn more about this issue and what it would take to get to this outcome.
Describe your views and/or policy positions on transportation in Grandview. What should the City’s priorities be in this domain? Please share any specific ideas or proposals related to pedestrian and bicycle routes, public transit, and/or electric vehicle infrastructure.
Regionally, Grandview Heights is an active participant in LinkUS which seeks to provide faster, more reliable public transportation, and expand safe bike and pedestrian paths, amongst other things. I value the talent of participants in that group and will look to them for recommended best approaches to coordinate public transportation in the region.
Locally, I want to see us revisit the 2016/2017 Grandview Bike Plan and identify recommendations where implementation is possible now. A top issue I have heard from constituents is a desire for the implementation of real dedicated bike infrastructure. This is an area where I think we have an opportunity to be a regional leader. I also do think we should pursue partnerships and grant opportunities that can help establish an electric vehicle infrastructure. There is little doubt that EV ownership will expand and we should be planning now for what that will look like in Grandview Heights.
- Solid Waste
What are your positions on trash, food waste, recycling, and litter? Should we expand our composting program to include curbside pickup? What else, if anything, can Grandview do better in these domains, and what specific policies or programs will you pursue if elected?
I am a proponent of, and active participant in both our recycling and composting programs. I think that these are both important services to keep items that can be diverted out of our landfills. The city has done a great job of providing recycling bins to anyone who wants one and making composting available. I am comfortable with where this service is currently and will continue to support it in upcoming budgets when elected.
- Single-use Plastics
To what extent do you believe that single-use plastics, such as food utensils, bags, take-out containers, and straws, are harming the environment? What can Grandview Heights do, if anything, to reduce the production and distribution of these items?
Single use plastics are a waste and harm to the environment. Currently, utilization of these items is a choice that consumers and businesses that use them need to make for themselves. It’s my understanding that state law prevents municipalities from regulating these items at a local level.
- Environmental Toxins
Environmental toxins, such as lead and coal tar, pose significant threats to human health. What should Grandview’s role be, if any, in mitigating the presence of these toxins in our air, homes, businesses, and waterways?
These are issues outside my area of expertise. I am open to learning more about them, their application, and how local governments can play a role in mitigating their impacts.