Kettering City Council, Ward 4
Southwest Ohio, Local
Patricia Cavanaugh, a recently retired and highly accomplished accounting and IT executive, will bring her problem-solving expertise to amplify the voice of her constituents, especially women and children. She plans to leverage her neighborhood watch experience and the effectiveness of grassroots change to build stronger partnerships with local police to ensure a safe, drug-free community. If elected, Pat will unseat a 32-year incumbent and contribute new energy to city council.
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
I have aspired to run for Kettering City Council for many years. I enrolled in the Kettering Leadership Academy to become a better-informed citizen and to position myself to run for office. Several years passed and I was asked to run for the term starting in 2020 and was unsure about running against an incumbent. My inspiration to commit to run came from learning more about the 100th anniversary of Women’s right to vote in 2020.
Women not only have the right to vote, we also have the right to be elected.
Tell our members about a friend or family member who inspired you to become a leader.
Not long after marrying, my husband and I were having a discussion about our future and the possibility of a move. I bemoaned the fact that my CPA credentials would not transfer to another state because I did not have a college degree. My husband looked at me and asked “What’s stopping you from getting a degree?” I thought a moment and replied “Me, and I can fix that”. Eighteen months later I was a proud recipient of a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Capital University. About 4 years later, I completed my MBA from the University of Dayton where I was a group leaders in each class I attended. My career was on an upward trend from that point on. I credit my husband with challenging me to succeed.
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?
Throughout my life, there have been occasions where someone needed to step up and take responsibility. That someone was often me. In my career I was the go-to person who either knew what to do or who to contact. I sat on two juries and was voted the foreperson each time. In my personal life, I had to assume responsibility for making medical decisions for my mother when she was diagnosed with brain cancer. I am now a guardian for my father who has dementia. Our weekly visits are sometimes difficult, but I know how much they mean to him. My husband and I raised two sons, one is an Army Veteran, now an EMT, and the other is a teacher in Dayton Public Schools.
Each of these experiences has given me a degree of compassion for others that is shown in my decision making.
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?
Only one woman has sat on the Kettering City Council for many years. I would like to see a 3-3 split on the council with perhaps a woman major. Marilou Smith served 8 years on the council followed by eight years as mayor. I would like to see the return of a woman major to Kettering.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top-two issues your community or our state face today?
Kettering is experiencing property issues with aging housing. A majority of Kettering homes were built in the 1950’s or before.This has led to a need to renovate, replace or rebuild these declining properties. Other properties have become a nuisance to the community, consuming an inordinate amount of police, fire and ambulance resources.
A second issue is the need for the Kettering City Council and government to have a higher degree of community involvement. Many decisions are made by the city staff and the council with little community input or community knowledge. I want to see increased emphasis on Neighborhood Watch and Town Hall Meetings where citizens can express their needs and wants and have them acted upon.The community also needs to have access to information about upcoming issues and about the decisions made by the council.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I enjoy maintaining an 1850s era kitchen garden and do interpretations of the garden in period costume for Dayton History. It has been fun learning about the various herbs and vegetables that were common in that era. I have a personal herb garden which I often use when cooking. I am a certified scuba diver and yes, I dove with sharks.I also enjoy sewing, knitting, card making and woodworking.