City council candidate says she has a ‘unique perspective’ about Middletown

Monica Nenni, who is running for Middletown City Council this fall, said her experience as a small business owner gives her a “unique perspective into downtown revitalization and Middletown as a whole.”

Nenni, a third-generation Middletonian, said she understands the issues facing Middletown and also feels there is a need for more transparency and communication from city government. She is one of six candidates seeking one of two seats on council.

Nenni, 33, said her experience as a small business owner has taught her how to make tough decisions while looking out for the greater good. She is co-owner of West Central Wine and the Gold Beret Boutique in downtown Middletown.

“I am dedicated to helping Middletown pull itself up because I’m younger than the average council candidate,” she said. “I opened a successful business three years ago and that’s not easy to accomplish. I took a risk in a city like Middletown but I believe in Middletown, its potential and its future success.”

After a short time living in the Over the Rhine district in Cincinnati, Nenni moved back to Middletown four years ago.

MORE: Read more on the candidates on the Journal-News Voter Guide

The North Highview Drive resident said the city’s most pressing issue is attracting new residents and businesses and retaining residents and businesses.

“I think new residents and businesses add to the tax base and allows us to make improvements by continuing that tract of growth,” she said.

Nenni said the city’s new housing and downtown master plans will also help with growing Middletown.

If elected, one of the first things she would like to do is to better understand the trajectory of the city’s economic development department so that she can better understand how it’s focusing Middletown’s efforts and identifying new opportunities. Nenni said the city has curb appeal between downtown and Interstate 75, but the city also has to hold residents and business owners accountable for property maintenance.

“I want to be a facilitator for new growth in underserved areas in Middletown,” Nenni said. “Middletown is big and we have a lot of different opportunities to grow and we need to look those different opportunities.”

Nenni said the city also needs to improve affordable housing and that local programs need the business community engagement. As for infrastructure needs, she said would be open to having citizens decide if there should be a bond issue for these capital improvements.

She said quality of life issues are important and would like to see the city’s parks and recreation program re-established and would like to see citywide celebrations that are done elsewhere.

Nenni said the city should consider developing a 24-hour day shelter facility for the homeless, similar to Shelterhouse in Cincinnati. She wants to hold other jurisdictions accountable if they are dropping people off in Middletown.

As to the disciplinary issue concerning the city manager, Nenni said it’s not easy to discipline an employee.

“We’re talking about someone’s career,” she said. “We’re human and we need to look at this with human compassion. He made an apology. We have to move forward and allow him to make up for his poor judgment.”

Nenni said she remembers watching her father, Paul Nenni, a Middletown City Commission member make some tough decisions that didn’t make everyone happy. He was a city commissioner from 1991 to 1999.

If elected to a council seat on Nov. 5, she will be a second-generation Middletown council member.

Middletown City Council members receive $5,000 per year in compensation during their four-year term of office.

Monica Nenni

Age: 33

Employment: Co-owner of West Central Wine and the Gold Beret Boutique in downtown Middletown

Family: Single

Residency: Born and raised in Middletown; lived for a short time in Cincinnati

Other: Downtown Middletown, Inc. board member and design committee chair; former board member of the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Marketing Association

Education: Miami University speech communication degree; 2004 Fenwick High School graduate


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