Fifth-generation Middletonian running for city council

Public service is a family tradition for fifth-generation Middletonian Levi J. Cramer.

Cramer is one of six candidates seeking the two open seats on Middletown City Council this fall.

“My only agenda is to serve the people of Middletown,” he said. “I don’t own a business or have any financial ties to downtown or the (Middletown Regional) Airport.”

Cramer, 24, is the grandson of Judge Fred Cramer, Ohio’s longest-serving judge, and his father was a congressional staffer. While he is active in local and Butler County Republican politics, this is his first run for public office.

The Aberdeen Drive resident who graduated from Ohio State University in three years said he is a “budget hawk” but that Middletonians are being ignored by city government.

“Someone needs to get out there and listen to people and do what they want done,” Cramer said. “Public safety is a top priority.”

In addition to public safety, he outlined his other top priorities as roads and jobs.

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

If elected, Cramer wants to end any proposals to close the Middletown City Jail and would like to see more paving done using funds from the city budget as priority rather than taking on debt.

“It takes officers off the streets and our community wants quicker responses to calls,” he said. “We’re paying overtime but the police department is stretched too thin now.”

He said the city needs to look to state legislators to change the state jail standards so the jail can remain open because it is a priority for police. Cramer is endorsed by Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, the Middletown Fraternal Order of Police and retiring police chief Rodney Muterspaw. He would like to a portion of the budget surplus to be used to hire more officers.

Cramer said the city needs to focus its economic development efforts citywide and there needs to be more higher-paying jobs for residents.

“It’s wonderful we’ve seen growth, but we need to find ways to make things happen,” he said.

As for the homeless situation that received more awareness over the past few weeks, Cramer said the city should allow nonprofit and private organizations do their work. He also said he does not disagree with a proposal to create a day shelter. Cramer said while the police department is understaffed, the city should enforce its nuisance ordinances and policies to address the more aggressive homeless.

He said the recent incident involving the city manager’s public outburst at a downtown coffee shop and how council disciplined him in a closed session is another reason there needs to be more public accountability of city government. While council is able to have such meetings in executive session, Cramer said, “just because it’s their right doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.”

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

Levi J. Cramer

Age: 24

Employment: Professional business consultant, Reynolds and Reynolds

Family: Single

Residency: Fifth generation Middletonian-lifelong resident of city

Other: Middletown Republican Club president; Butler County Republican Central Committee member; Keep Middletown Beautiful board member; Middletown Parades Committee vice president; former senior director of governmental affairs for the Undergraduate Student Government at The Ohio State University

Education: Bachelor's of Arts degree in political science, The Ohio State University


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