Ron Oler is running for Mayor of Richmond, Indiana as a Republican candidate in the 2023 general election.

2023 Election Guide

Western Wayne News 2023 Election Guide

The Western Wayne News asked candidates in contested races for the Nov. 7 general election the same nine questions.

  1. What are two specific reasons you decided to run for this office? (100 words or less.)
  2. If elected/re-elected, what are your top three priorities for your time in office? (150 words or less.)
  3. What are two specific skills you would bring to the office to benefit constituents, if elected/re-elected? (100 words or less.)
  4. What’s one aspect of the government body you’re seeking to join or lead that you think is working well and should continue? (100 words or less.)
  5. What’s one aspect of the body you’re seeking to join or lead that you think needs to change, and what specific action(s) would you pursue to change it? (100 words or less.)
  6. Will you accept the results of the election process even if you are not elected/re-elected? (50 words or less.)
  7. Beyond encouraging attendance at public meetings, how do you plan to involve residents in decision making processes that the office you seek is a part of? (100 words or less.)
  8. If you received a $5 million grant to improve our community any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why? (150 words or less.)
  9. Any other comments you’d like to share about your candidacy? (150 words or less.)

Candidates were given a month’s time to respond with a firm deadline. We share their answers, unedited from their original form, here and in our print editions.

For full election coverage, visit the Western Wayne News 2023 Election Guide.

Ron Oler

Reasons: As a lifelong resident of Richmond and Wayne County and three-term Councilman, I am ready to enact positive changes. Our city has experienced declining population, and employment, along with increases in violent crimes and homelessness. While many factors contribute to these issues, a lack of clearly defined leadership and lack of meaningful executive policies are key. My call to action is simple. Bring experienced leadership to implement thoughtful policies and initiatives that will get our community together while increasing growth; focusing first on small businesses, while improving public safety. Government should work for the people, not against them.

Priorities: My three major priorities are public safety, leadership, and fiscal responsibility.

  • Secure our Families and Neighborhoods. Growth and prosperity as a community without public safety is not possible. I will be initiating a community policing model that will help lower our soaring crime rates to make our city safe again.
  • Secure our city’s future. Richmond does not have just one leader — it has many. I will create a community advisory board of diverse members to provide insight to city government on issues affecting our community and how city government can work with all organizations to make Richmond a place where our children want to live and work.
  • Secure our city’s Finances. For years, Richmond has faced near negative budgets. We need fiscal responsibility. Based upon my experience in finance and economics, I’ll craft budgets that are honest and balanced.

Skills: If elected, two much needed skills that I will bring are financial literacy and common sense. I have chaired the city’s Finance Committee for many years and am a certified personal financial coach, helping people get out of debt, and helping businesses improve their bottom line. The city is facing even larger financial burdens in the coming years and my experience with finances and budgets will help us thrive – not just survive. Common sense is fairly straightforward – we have to do things that will help Richmond grow even when it isn’t the popular choice.

… As Mayor, I will re-open City Hall with regularly-scheduled “Welcome Wednesdays” coffee with the Mayor where any citizen can speak about any issue.

Ron Oler

Working well: As Council’s liaison to the Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County for more than a decade, I am proud of our accomplishments. We have attracted many large corporations such as Blue Buffalo and retained and even expanded many home-grown businesses. The team at the EDC does a fantastic job.

Needs changing: Secure our Quality of Life. Government should make the lives of our residents and businesses easier – not harder. As a servant leader, I will help improve our lives and make our city flourish. Let’s restore pride in our city. Let’s reignite the spark that makes Richmond so special. This means creating a full-time beautification crew that will keep Richmond looking great. It’s time to show what a vibrant, neighborly community we are. I will bring back the downtown fall festival and parade and focus on improving our city parks.

Accepting results: If the great people of the City of Richmond choose not to elect me as their Mayor, I will honor that decision. I will, however, never stop working to make my home and community a better place to live and to work.

Involving residents: As Mayor, I will listen to all the citizens and leaders of our community. I will create a community advisory board that will give every district a voice to be heard and to play a part in our city! Additionally, I will implement a community policing model which will have heavy influence and participation with members of our community and the police force that is sworn to serve and protect them.

As Mayor, I will re-open City Hall with regularly-scheduled “Welcome Wednesdays” coffee with the Mayor where any citizen can speak about any issue.

$5 million: If I was fortunate enough to have 5 million dollars given to our city, I would restore downtown parking with a marked bike lane instead of a wide path almost nobody uses. Any leftover funds would be used to further improve the infrastructure around our city. Some neighborhood streets lack curbs, while others have sidewalks in desperate need of repair.

Another issue that I believe needs addressed is the uncontrollable pet and stray animal population. I would partner with the county to fund the construction of a local animal shelter that would be operated by a non-profit organization.

Other: I will strive to be the mayor who listens more than he speaks.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 4 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.