Paul Aziz is seeking a fourth term as Lebanon mayor because there are more things he would like to help the city accomplish.
“I’m really happy that pretty much every campaign promise I made on my platform in 2012 has been fulfilled or is in progress,” Aziz said.
He cites increased police staffing, an improved local economy and the creation of the Lebanon 2040 Vision and Strategic Vision Plan as key items tied to his platform. But that doesn’t mean he is finished.
“I’ve got more stuff. Right now, I’m working on the museum,” Aziz said. “The other thing that is important to me is handicapped access downtown. It definitely needs to be improved.”
Aziz believes the community’s biggest strength is its people and the way they work together.
“The people in our community come together when someone’s house burns down, someone is down on their luck. Organizations come together to create events which are free for the community,” Aziz said.
Aziz thinks the biggest issue facing the city is the wetlands. The high cost of wetlands mitigation is making it difficult for the city to find companies willing to locate on industrial land the city has available.
“I’ve sat in several meetings with big companies. They loved us, loved our community. But they said it was too expensive and had to go with their second choice,” Aziz said.
He believes a substantial amount of land which had been designated as wetlands was improperly classified. He is hopeful that the work being done right now to re-examine the issue will result in much less land being designated as wetlands.
In addition, he says the city is looking at creating its own bank of land to use for wetlands mitigation. Other communities have found this to be a more cost-effective alternative.
Aziz grew up in California and was a police officer for the city of Glendale. He moved to Lebanon in 1997 and started his own computer repair company in 2005.
When asked to identify his primary strength as a candidate, Aziz pointed to his leadership.
“I get stuff done. It’s simple, it’s what I do. I don’t take no for an answer,” Aziz said. “I’m a troubleshooter in my real life. I like that.”
Aziz also believes he does a good job of working with people and bringing people together to work for the good of the community.
His proudest achievement as mayor is the creation of the Lebanon 2040 Vision and Strategic Vision Plan.
“That was something I was very concerned about,” Aziz said. “We didn’t know where we were going. We didn’t have a plan.”
Looking ahead, he hopes to focus on projects which improve the city’s livability.
“The previous mayor did a good job on economic development. I wanted to see livability improved,” Aziz said. “There are so many new things downtown. Walk through downtown and there are things going on and it wasn’t like that 20 years ago.”