Josh Mann has lived in Summit County for 8 years. He became involved in politics in 2012 when he started filming and posting County Council meetings to YouTube, that evolved into the local news blog the Park Rag. Mann says he decided to run for council when he noticed seven unopposed country races would appear on this November’s ballot. Mann is running as a write-in for the Summit County council seat E against Democratic incumbent Glenn Wright. Mann says he wants to focus on creating what he calls a low development, low growth environment.
“Do we really want 80 units there? Likewise, do we want 600 to 1,000 apartments next to Jeremy Ranch elementary school? Those are my huge fears with development. I think we all agree affordable housing is a problem, but I don’t know that we want to take away our open space, endanger our children, to get that need. So, my number one issue is really development. Making sure, I guess what I would like to see is a low development, low growth environment.”
Mann also says he wants to focus on communication between the council and residents. He says that changes to Kilby road caught residents by surprise.
“That decision was made two years ago. People around the county, they don’t know that. People in the basin, in Pinebrook, Jeremy Ranch, Summit Park they don’t know that’s coming so it blindsides them. One of my big efforts out of this campaign and hopefully winning this election is to say as a county council person I want to provide information early. I want to get that information out to the public, so they know what’s coming down the pipe. They can get their input heard and they can affect change before the white stripes are put on the road.”
Mann hopes to provide those means of communication through social media and other channels. He also says that busses might not be the right transportation solution for the basin based on density.
“What I would like to do is two things. One, I would like to look at alternatives and expand our use of alternative means. I’m a huge fan of electric bicycles. I would like to find a way to do a group-buy for the county residents. Where we all could buy electric bicycles at cheap prices. Second, what I’d like to look at is more usage-based buses. We may or may not have a traffic problem, but definitely at times we have a traffic problem. So, what I’d like to look at are usage-based bussing where we can look at specific usages. Say a winter Saturday and Sunday where people are trying to get to (the) resorts we bring busses into the neighborhoods to take people from doors and take them to the resorts. Can we do things like encourage our resort partners to have lockers so that it’s easy for people to ride the busses.”