Oda, Kendall vie for Troy mayor’s seat

By Melanie Yingst - Miami Valley Today




TROY — City of Troy residents will have two candidates, Robin Oda and Tom Kendall, to choose from in the Republican Primary on Tuesday, May 7.

Registered voters can request a Republican ballot to participate in the race. For polling locations and early voting hours at the Miami County Board of Elections, visit https://miami.ohioboe.com.

To help voters make an informed choice, the candidates answered questionnaires submitted by Miami Valley Today. Below are their responses.

• Robin Oda

Website: http://robinoda.com

Family: Husband, Scott; three grown, married children; one grandson; and Max, the dog

Occupation: Housewife/at-large city council member

Position Sought: Mayor of the city of Troy

Previous Political Experience: Eight years as an at-large city council member

Qualifications: Having lived in this community for 22 years and having been on city council for almost eight years has given me quite a bit of insight on how the city works. I take the information we are given and study it, ask questions, and attend the committee meetings to hear the discussions. Sometimes it means going out into the community and/or to other communities to take a look at what we are talking about, to compare projects, to be familiar with a proposal. I listen to the opinions and thoughts offered by city residents, and then have to make a decision on how to vote based on the information we’ve been given and what is best for the community as a whole.

Reason for Seeking Office: I am running for mayor because I have something to offer this community. I bring a different perspective and personality to the table, along with my previous council experience, a city resident and taxpayer.

Goals for office if elected: I come to this race with no agenda other than honesty, common sense and good communication. My intention is to see that basic services are rendered at an above-standard satisfaction rate, that we continue upgrading our existing infrastructure at the same time we are bringing in new ideas. Residents are a part of Troy’s growth and vibrant existence in Miami County and the greater Dayton region. We have a presence and a reputation — let’s keep it strong and welcoming to residents, businesses and visitors alike!

Troy’s Greatest Need: A city government that communicates well with its citizens — one that listens well and speaks well. This includes improving our use of social media sites, use of local media, and using tools (e.g., the Ohio Online Checkbook) to put public information the taxpayers fingertips. Speaking and listening well includes two-way respectful, honest and open conversations. I don’t promise you’ll like everything we do as a city, but I do promise we will honestly communicate the how’s/why’s of decisions that are made.

• Tom Kendall

Website: http://tomkendallformayor.com

Family: My wife of 42 years, Beverly; two daughters and sons-in-law; five very active grandchildren.

Occupation: Retired aerospace executive

Position Sought: Mayor of the city of Troy

Previous Political Experience: 14 years as First Ward Troy City Council at the end of 2019.

Education: Bachelor of Science from the University of Kentucky; Masters from Central Michigan University.

Business: Forty plus years in the Aerospace Industry holding progressively higher leadership roles. Retired from Leonardo, a multi-billion dollar Italian aerospace company as president and CEO of North American operations.

Volunteerism: My family and I have volunteered in Troy and supported Troy organizations for over 40 years. This participation with community groups has only added to my qualifications, without this experience it is difficult to truly understand the needs of Troy. Besides being on several church-involved committees and lay leader of the Casstown Methodist Church, I was 1998 chair of the Troy Strawberry Festival; president of the board and campaign chair for Troy United Way; chair of the Troy Soap Box Derby; a founding member of the Troy Hometown July 4th Celebration with two other individuals spending our own funds to help make it happen; a founding member of the Great Ohio Corridor Association, a multi-community organization; brought Be the Match to Troy, a national event for blood-borne cancers with one event held in each state; was appointed as one of 50 National Ambassadors along with my daughter for Be the Match; my wife and I sponsored the first Troy River Rock with our own funds for the citizens of Troy and those riding in GOBA who were in Troy at the time.

Reason for Seeking Office: My reasons for seeking the office of mayor are several. First I believe that my educational, business and volunteerism makes me the most qualified for the position. Second, my background has prepared me to be able to identify the critical issues facing a situation and lead the efforts to define and lead to the correct solutions for the Troy community. Third, while I am an open person willing to listen to all sides of an issue, at the end of the day it is the responsibility of the elected officials to make the decision that is best for Troy. Fourth, with a strong background in sales and development, I bring this expertise to city along with the ability to work with others to establish an overall controlled plan for business growth and development. In fact, I have already worked on the outline for this and it can be found on my Facebook page.

Goals for office if elected: Goals for the first year need to establish the direction we want to go as a city and what needs to be done to move our city forward.

Re-establish the Mayor’s Advisory Council: I see this as being a cross-section of the Troy community, made up of proponents and opponents, being used as a sounding board for issues and ideas.

Establish a Mayor’s Business Council: A cross-section of Troy businesses reviewing ways to make doing business in Troy easier.

I will meet with the administration to assure everyone is on the same page as to expectations and that we are moving in the right direction.

I will meet with all employees to convey where we as a city are headed and what important roles they play in making this a success.

Troy’s Greatest Need: One of the greatest needs I see for our community is that of some sort of reliable and affordable public transportation to get those without cars or other means of transport to grocery stores and shopping. To get them to and from employment, doctors’ appointments and other required events. This effort will require the city to work with someone knowledgeable in this, but first we need to work with those in need of these services to determine exactly what would be required to meet their needs.




By Melanie Yingst

Miami Valley Today