HUBER HEIGHTS — Don Webb is the newest Huber Heights City Council member.
Webb took his seat as the representative for Ward Two Monday night after being unanimously approved for the post by city council. Webb takes the place of Janell Smith, who was removed from office in November in a recall vote.
Webb has lived in Huber Heights for 44 years and is no stranger to city government. He has served two different stints on the city’s planning commission, one “decades ago” when development north of I-70 was just beginning and the most recent ending with his move to city council.
He said he believes that two issues stand out among the many issues that face Huber Heights.
“Safety is number one,” Webb said. “It’s known regionally that Huber Heights has great police and fire departments. I think seeing that maintained at that level is important.
“I feel we’re a safe community. It’s been a great place to raise my kids and my grandkids.”
Webb described the second issue as “a focus or drive toward development. It’s the type of development that eases the burden on our residential taxpayers.
“Planning has given me a real insight into the vision of how our community should be,” he continued. “I see from working with council and the planning commission that this council is very much aligned with that same vision. We need great economic development to keep that burden from falling back on the shoulders of the taxpayers.”
He pointed to the two new economic development positions approved by city council Monday as a part of that effort.
Webb also said there are challenges facing the second ward.
“There’s one very critical issue in my ward and it’s unique to my ward and that is we have a county line,” he said. Webb said the I-70 barrier and the Miami County line pose two different kinds of challenges to creating a more “walkable and bikeable” environment in the second ward and across the city. He said increasing the ease of access to areas such as the Rose Music Center and YMCA are important for residents on both sides of I-70.
While Interstate 70 presents physical obstacles that need to be addressed, the county line is a different kind of barrier.
He said “erasing that line, which is largely perception, that there is a difference between folks that live down here and the folks that live down there is very important. We are all residents of Huber Heights.”
Webb’s seat will be back on the ballot in November of 2019. He said he had already planned to run in that election before Smith’s recall.
“I’m not thrilled that this situation had to occur and the reason is I don’t think anyone on council or anyone in the community for that matter enjoys what we had to go through here,” he said. “But I do admire the fact that there was a citizen initiative that made it happen and after that it is up to the voters, as it will be in November. They’ll take a look at the job I’ve done over the next 11 months and they’ll say the guy’s either doing the right job or he’s not.”
Webb has lived in Huber Heights for 44 years and is retired from General Motors and Harley Davidson. He has served as a volunteer and board member for many local groups, including the Wayne Boosters Club, Huber Heights Athletic Club, Huber Heights YMCA, Pink and Chrome Ride for Breast Cancer, the Huber Heights Youth Football Club and the Wayne Swim Club. He said his civic activities have given him an idea of how well people in Huber Heights work together.
“Huber Heights has given me a lot,” he said. “I’ve been very involved with all the different organizations so during that time I’ve seen what a cohesive group of people can do together.”
Reach Dave Lindeman at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.