Delbert Price, a 30-year Hamilton resident, has filed paperwork to run for a Hamilton City Council seat. Three of the city’s six council seats, plus the position of mayor, will be contested in November.
Price, 69, was born in West Virginia and moved to Warren, Ohio, at age 10. Then he met Janis, the Hamilton woman who would become his wife. Price also ran for council in 2015.
One thing Price said he would push as a member of council is more publicity for the city-owned utilities, as a way of attracting more business.
“One thing that the city doesn’t do is, they don’t promote their utilities enough to attract new business and jobs into the area,” Price said. “We’ve got probably some of the most reliable and inexpensive utilities in the state, and I don’t think we use that enough to attract businesses into town.”
“Another big issue is, something’s got to be done about some of our streets — some of them are pitiful,” he said. “The other thing is coming up with enough money to do it, but I think it has to be a priority in the budget, at some point, to get some of them done.”
He said he came out in the 2015 campaign in favor of a streets levy. While he acknowledges the city seems to be working hard on alleviating West Side flooding, he said that also needs to be resolved.
Price also said he favors having “a fully staffed and properly trained police and fire department.”
According to the city’s public safety director, Scott Scrimizzi, the city’s police force has an authorized strength in its union contract of 104, and staffing now is at 112.
In the fire service, the authorized strength in the union contract is 96, and Hamilton approved hiring an additional 9 firefighters in 2017, raising the fire staffing to 105, Scrimizzi added.
“We have lost some folks this year through retirements, etc. and are working quickly to fill those spots. We should be at 105 in the next 30 days,” Scrimizzi said.
Price’s wife is the reason he’s been in Hamilton all these years. They have two children, seven grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
“I was a union organizer,” Price said. “We actually organized (Butler County) Jobs and Family Services over on Fair Avenue at the time. She was actually our observer on Election Day. After the election was over, I asked her out, and one thing led to another. We just celebrated 30 years.”
Price said he ran in 2015 because city firefighters encouraged him to do so. They asked him to do so again this year, he said.
Price received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Youngstown State University, and worked in maintenance for a hospital in Warren, Ohio, for 17 years, and was a local president. He took a leave of absence from the hospital position in 1984 to work for the union, “and never went back,” he said. He worked for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees more than 30 years, and retired as an international union representative in late 2014.
He now serves as acting president of AFSCME Chapter 1184, subchapter 121, covering retirees in Butler and Warren counties. He also serves on Hamilton’s Public Utilities Commission, which oversees Hamilton’s city-owned utilities.