This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
LWV League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area Education Fund
Hamilton County, OH November 3, 2009 Election
Smart Voter

Donna M. Laake
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Council Member; City of Norwood; Ward 3


The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

1. What are your Qualifications for Office? (50 word limit)

First woman elected to city council in 1979, I served four years during the bleakest financial times in Norwood. As health commissioner at the Health Department for over 13 years, I became very familiar with how the city functions and will continue "working for the good of the city."

2. What plans do you have to address your top three priorities? (100 word limit)

Budgets should be discussed/prepared much earlier than at present. All departments should be involved in the process and be prepared to defend their requests for funds. Council should know the financial impact of every spending request or union contract that is approved. Strategic planning is imperative for street resurfacing, waterpipe replacement and park improvements. Council must be open and honest with city employees and citizens and keep the people of Norwood informed throughout the year, not just at election time. Strategic planning for marketing Norwood opportunities should be a priority to attract and maintain businesses within the city.

3. What two actions would you promote to enhance city revenue or decrease city expenditures in order to balance the city budget, given the current economic conditions? (100 word limit)

1. Expect that all who SHOULD pay Norwood income tax are paying. This requires working closely with the Treasurer's Office to continue collecting taxes from those who fail to file. I was known in the City as "grant queen" because of receiving tens of thousands of dollars in grants. I believe that the city should take full advantage of grants: local, state and federal.

2. Begin preparing budgets much earlier to allow time for review by all departments and council members. Expect that each department will adhere to their budget by having department heads involved in process.

4. What steps should the local government take to ensure that the quality of rental property meets minimum legal standards? (100 word limit)

Norwood currently inspects rental property every two years and enforces property maintenance codes. However, we need to respond to problems/complaints in a timely manner and follow up on orders that are issued. We should assure that we keep our local court system so that offenders can be cited and dealt with quickly and firmly in Norwood. We need to make the permit system easier for those who purchase property and fix it up, and consider tax abatements for those who change rental property into owner occupied housing.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. Word limits apply for each question. Direct references to opponents are not permitted.

Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Candidate Page || Feedback to Candidate || This Contest
SmartVoter Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter

Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 1, 2009 16:57
Smart Voter <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.