Kent's newest councilman said he was not driven by one specific issue or agenda to apply for a council seat -- but that doesn't mean he won't be looking for ways to make an impact.
Attorney Scott Flynn, who beat out 10 other candidates to earn an appointment to Kent City Council Wednesday, said he hopes to be a part of a solution to some of Kent's biggest problems, including finding funds for a new police station and road repairs during tough financial times. He said another goal is finding a ways to encourage small businesses in the city and keep talented graduates of Kent State University in Kent after they graduate.
"I think I would support any measure that would try to entice more people, especially younger people, to set up small businesses in Kent," he said.
Flynn said he would also support incentives to bring new industrial employers into the city on land left vacant by companies that have closed up shop.
Although he said keeping a close eye on the downtown redevelopment may be council's No. 1 job in the near future, Flynn said focusing on the neighborhoods is also an important task.
He said he understands the budget may not allow a large expansion in street and sidewalk work yet, but added that an investment by the city could pay dividends by fostering a newfound sense of community pride in residents.
"I think (if) you fix the sidewalks, replace some of these roads, hopefully something like that would convince the residents of those neighborhoods to take even more pride in the appearance and upkeep of their homes and surrounding areas," he said.
A lifelong resident of Kent, except for his time as an undergraduate at Miami University in Oxford and a law school student at Capital University in Bexley, Flynn said the friendly people and diversity of his hometown attracted him back to the area. He currently works at the law firm of Flynn Keith and Flynn alongside his father, John Flynn.
A political independent, Flynn said he does not see himself as a defender of the status quo or an activist looking to push through a lot of legislation. He said his focus will be on what's best for the city of Kent, not any political agenda or philosophy.
Flynn said he plans to make his decisions on council based on what he feels is best for the city after reviewing the evidence, not what's popular with a majority of residents. Still, he said he wants to hear from residents throughout the city on issues that are important to them either through phone calls, emails or in-person meetings.
"I work downtown," he said. "Business owners and residents can talk to me face-to-face about issues they see."
Flynn said he has not made a final decision on whether he will run for a full term in the November 2013 election, but he is leaning toward doing so.
Contact this reporter at 330-298-1126 or email@example.com