“So we wanted to find a way that we could help students but also address some of our local, immediate problems that we have with a shrinking tax base and an aging population,” Elkins says.
“The stipulations are, you have to purchase the home after you've graduated from a four-year accredited college; the home has to be valued at $50,000 or more -- single family, and it has to be an arm's-length transaction so it can’t be a short sale or sheriff’s sale or something like that,” said Elkins.
Elkins said it was frustrating, for example, to hear his board colleagues speak so passionately about the need for due diligence. "In this county, we have spent an insane amount of taxpayer dollars on funding for professional sports facilities," Elkins said. "If due diligence and research matter to us, we would never have done that because all of the research, right up to the Federal Reserve, says spending money on those facilities does not ever generate an economic return. Does research and data really matter to us? Only when it's convenient, it appears."
In a conversation with Scene a few days after the primaries, Elkins said that he thought the media portrayal of a centrist vs. progressive fight within the party ought to be recalibrated.
"That's just not an accurate assessment of what's going on," he said. "The fight that's occurring today is a generational fight. It's a fight between a new generation of leaders that are ready to take a different approach to authority and power and the very transactional leadership that exists."
“Because I believe Judge Connally’s steadiness, wisdom, experience, and accomplished record of service are exactly the unifying qualities our party needs, I asked her to step into the lead role for our party," Elkins said in a press release. "She and I have tremendous chemistry and we are committed to reforms intended to nurture activist energy to win elections."
He also said his coalition will strengthen, not harm, Democratic electoral chances, since one of his group's stated goals is to recruit committee members who will commit to helping increase voter turnout. It reflects activists' frustration with party stalwarts, and a desire to push the party in a more progressive direction, he said.
Trevor Elkins spoke next. He's the Mayor of Newburgh Heights and an RTA board member known for staunch leftism and a willingness to buck consensus. Though he didn't call Shontel Brown by name, Elkins affirmed that one of his opponents would indeed be a puppet if elected. He said that the same people who approached Brown to run had also approached him. They went searching for Brown one week after Elkins "had the audacity to say 'no.'"
"They wanted to dictate the direction of the party from behind the scenes," Elkins told Scene by phone Wednesday. "I told them, 'there's a difference between loyalty in working together and blind obedience."