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Recent Citizen of the Year running for City Council

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Jason Snyder, who with his wife, Tammy, launched Hamilton’s Operation Pumpkin festival seven years ago, is running for Hamilton City Council.

He is one of eight candidates seeking three seats in November.

Snyder, who also operates Tamz Construction with Tammy, first visited Hamilton almost a dozen years ago as a project manager for Coon Restoration, which has rehabilitated several historic Hamilton buildings. Tamz also specializes in historic restorations, as well as other construction, such as at Butler Tech.

Jason and Tammy Snyder, founders of Operation Pumpkin, have been named Hamilton’s Citizens of the Year. MIKE RUTLEDGE / STAFF
Jason and Tammy Snyder, founders of Operation Pumpkin, have been named Hamilton’s Citizens of the Year. MIKE RUTLEDGE / STAFF

The Snyders moved to Hamilton nine years ago, starting the pumpkin festival two years later. In 2018, they were named citizens of the year.

“I’d like to continue doing what we’ve been doing,” said Snyder, 41, “which I think is helping the community, between our business and the festival.

“I just feel like our next step is to get on board with the city council.”

ExploreALSO RUNNING: Casey Hume, candidate for Hamilton City Council: ‘I’m not a politician’

He says Hamilton is “moving in a great direction. One of the big reasons I’m running is I would like to see us start to invest in ourselves again. For a decade, we’ve deferred maintenance in terms of police, fire, roads, infrastructure, etc.”

He said City Manager Joshua Smith “has done a fantastic job of generating new business and reinventing the city.” But with the construction of Spooky Nook at Champion Mill, a gigantic indoor sports complex and convention center that’s expected to create a significant economic boon when it opens in 2021, “I think it’s time that we kind of hit the pause button on some of this, and focus on ourselves, the city.”

ExploreALSO IN THE RACE: Susan Vaughn, former Miami University official, running for council

“Our police and fire are currently extremely understaffed,” he said. “You hear constantly everyone’s griping about the streets. Those are the things I’d like to focus on.”

Also in the race are council members Carla Fiehrer and Matt Von Stein, as well as challengers Danny Ivers, Casey Hume, Archie Johnson, Eric Pohlman, and Susan Vaughn. Incumbent Kathleen Klink is not running again.

ExploreANOTHER COUNCIL CANDIDATE: Businessman Eric Pohlman running for Hamilton Council

He was asked why voters should elect him?

“I think I’ve got a proven track record of getting things done,” Snyder said. “I feel like I’d do the same on city council.”

ExploreALSO RUNNING: Danny Ivers, now 20, seeks to become youngest to serve on Hamilton City Council

He also brings a different perspective, he says.

Coming from Louisville, Ohio, which is near Canton, “I didn’t even know where Hamilton, Ohio, was, but to come to town and see a beautiful river running right smack dab through the center of town, and the beautiful, historic architecture, my perspective at the time, I was completely baffled and confused as to why the city was not succeeding on those two things alone -30,000-some cars a day on High Street, the river, the historic architecture.”

“Tammy and I, and our business, and the festival, we try to hit on those features, and that’s why we wanted to stop everybody in downtown — take a look at the architecture, take a look at the river.”

ExploreRELATED: Founders of Hamilton’s Operation Pumpkin named citizens of year