A week following Dan Capron’s departure from the Ontario City Council, he said that people are still asking him questions about topics that are covered in council, “which is nice,” he said.
Capron, whose term was not to conclude until 2022, had to step down from his position within the council due to a planned change of residency that would take him outside of city limits. His formal resignation occurred at the end of the council’s regularly scheduled work session on Oct. 8.
Capron was appointed by the council to fill a vacancy in 2017, and was elected by voters in 2018.
“I’m gonna find something else,” said Capron, who made mention that he has some interest in serving on the Ontario School Board if an opportunity arose.
“I have a passion to do something,” stated Capron.
When asked about what the highlights of his time on the council were and what some of those accomplishments are, Capron lists the formation of the city’s marijuana ad hoc committee, which he said he and Councilors Norm Crume and Marty Justus were instrumental in bringing about.
Capron said that paperless billing for utility payments was something that he was wanting the city to institute. He said that at the time it was being discussed one of the city’s former council members, Tessa Winebarger, was concerned about how older people would be able to pay.
Capron also highlighted the work of the city’s ordinance officers, saying that progress has been made in terms of cleaning up the city and getting residents and business owners to take responsibility for how it looks. He does have concerns that Mayor Riley Hill is not a fan of the city’s ordinances.
“I feel like he wants to ax it. He has a fine and he’s appealing. He wants to get rid of it,” stated Capron.
He said that those in leadership need to set an example for how they want the city to look.
“He does a good job – roads, going to Salem, financial stuff. I’m not saying he’s a bad guy, just clean up your crap,” Capron said.
Capron went on to state that Hill “gives a lot of money to this town” because this is his home and “everyone knows him.”
He said that other concerns he has for the city include the future of public safety, saying that the police department is “understaffed” and that this is a “huge concern.”
Capron also said that the airport is “so underfunded” but noted that there is progress being made with the infrastructure work that is being done right now.
He said that the public probably doesn’t realize just how much time that city hall staff spends working, saying that they show up early and stay late.
“They care about their jobs,” said Capron, “Staff puts in their time.”
Insights, hopes for the future
Capron wanted to remind the community that serving on the city council was a collaborative effort.
“90% of my good ideas are not my ideas, they came from the community or other councilors,” stated Capron.
As for the future, he hopes that the council “keeps the budget the way it’s going” and that the new councilors “care about the city.”