Chillicothe City Council, Ward 1
Southeast Ohio, Local
Beth initially ran for council because Chillicothe was in serious trouble financially to the point that basic city services (down to garbage pick-up!) were not being accomplished. In her third term. Beth’s business background proved useful in helping Chillicothe get back on a solid footing. Additionally, Beth voted for funding that help area courts and medical providers develop programs to assist those addicted to drugs.
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
For over 20 years, I worked as the Business Manager for my family’s 17 grocery stores throughout Ohio. Many of our stores are in small rural towns. As I traveled and worked in those stores, I would see how many people were struggling to provide food and a decent life for their families. Healthy food was a struggle, transportation was a struggle, health care was unaffordable and, in some areas, not accessible. I thought we should and could do better on these issues. In our community specifically, there were so many opportunities for better leadership, better management of money and resources, opportunities to provide basic city services in a more consistent and smarter way. I decided my strength in fundamental business and financial practices would be an asset that I could use to help my community move in a better direction to help families.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
My mother and father founded our family business in 1962. My mother, Lois Janes, worked in the store, was the bookkeeper at night, all while raising a family on a farm. She was up early in the morning and worked until late at night every day. She was the strongest person I’ve ever known. She was practical, hardworking, and never met a challenge she wouldn’t attempt to conquer. She never missed an opportunity to help someone and volunteered in several school and social projects. She was opinionated! Mother never shied from sharing her view on politics or the day’s hot issues. She was a lifelong Republican but asked me to take her to the polls so she could vote for Hillary Clinton. She said she wanted to live long enough to see a woman president. Mother died of Alzheimer’s in June this year. I think of her everyday and the wonderful example she set for our family.
Some of you are military veterans, some small business owners, some professionals, some mothers and grandmothers, some homemakers. How did one of these experiences shape who you are as a person and leader?
As a business owner, some of the fundamental lessons I’ve learned and apply daily, is that it’s not enough to have a dream and a vision. You need a business plan to succeed. How will your idea be funded? How will you build support and form coalitions to move your ideas forward? Is it financially sustainable? Does the idea achieve the “most bang for the buck”? For each new endeavor, I ask the same questions that I would ask myself as a business owner.
The Matriots PAC has a goal to see 50% of all elected offices in Ohio held by women by 2028. What is your vision for Ohio in 2028?
In our city, for women in the top socio-economic tier, life is great and full of opportunities. For those without a support system, everyday life is a challenge. I want to see more access to affordable childcare. More practical job training for women. More accessible health care and mental healthcare options. Parenting classes. In addition to these practical elements, I envision our community providing more opportunities for free social events for families; concerts, movies, plays, etc. Right now, most events are too pricey for families struggling to make ends meet. Chillicothe, like a lot of the country is struggling with income disparity. The challenge for us is to lift up those living close to or below the poverty line.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
Our community has been particularly hard-hit by the opioid epidemic. We are continually working as a community to provide more treatment options, to help those recovering move back into jobs, to be good parents, to adopt healthy lifestyles.
As with most small towns, we are constantly wrestling with the issues of how to compete for industry, jobs, retaining population and providing opportunity and an appealing lifestyle. The good news is, we’re succeeding! We have a diverse economy, our downtown is attracting new businesses daily. New investors are interested in Chillicothe. The buzz around Chillicothe is exciting as we continue to work together and provide an atmosphere where businesses and people can succeed!
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I enjoy gardening, both flowers and vegetables. I have a contest with myself every summer to see how much of my own food I can raise and preserve. Friends say my kitchen looks more like a lab than a kitchen as I am constantly experimenting with new projects. Making wine, or cheese, or gathering and making maple syrup. Yesterday, I gathered chestnuts and roasted them – yum!