Powell City Council

Voters boot Brenner, elect Bertone

Incumbent trio will return for four-year terms

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Powell voters ousted a City Council incumbent and replaced her with a political newcomer on Election Day.

Frank Bertone edged out Councilwoman Sara Marie Brenner for the fourth available council seat by garnering 868 votes (13 percent), compared to Brenner’s 813 votes (12 percent), according to unofficial results from the Delaware County Board of Elections.

Incumbents Brian Lorenz, Tom Counts and Jim Hrivnak will return to their positions, with 1,455 votes (22 percent), 1,154 votes (18 percent) and 1,118 votes (17 percent), respectively.

Newcomer Daniel Swartwout received 770 votes, or 12 percent.

“It doesn’t even feel real yet,” Bertone said just before the unofficial results were announced. He and Brenner’s vote counts stayed close throughout the night. “It’s tough to say you’ve beat out an incumbent.”

Bertone ran on a platform of bringing a new voice to City Council, and he said he’ll start working toward that goal immediately by making appearances at all city meetings and digging deeper into the inner workings of Powell.

Bertone, 43, has worked at Nationwide for 20 years and is a member of the retirement plan sales group there.

He and his wife, Julie, have lived for 10 years in the Lakes of Powell, where he serves as a trustee of the homeowners association. They have three daughters, two of whom attend Olentangy schools.

Hrivnak, who will enter his third term in January, said the re-election of nearly all the incumbents will allow the city to move forward more quickly with projects that have been a priority for the current council.

“I’m happy that the citizens have confidence in me to continue another four years,” Hrivnak said. “We’ve got a lot of exciting things going in Powell and we’re looking forward to start right back in after the first of the year.”

Hrivnak, 53, currently serves as vice president of council and president of the Powell Community Improvement Corp. He is a senior engineer at Veyance Technologies in Marysville, where he has worked for 31 years.

He and his wife, Pam, have lived in Powell for 14 years. They have two grown daughters.

Another council member who’s not new to the re-election process is Counts, who was elected to his third term.

“When the voters re-elect me, I’m just always humbled by the faith that they have in me,” he said. “ ... I look forward to working on capital improvements and working on the traffic problems, the parks and the bike paths moving forward. Those are my primary goals for the next four years.”

Counts, 52, is an attorney and serves on council’s finance and operations committees. He said he dedicates much of his free time outside of work and council to his church, All Saints Lutheran in Worthington.

He and his wife, Carolyn, have lived in Powell for 18 years. They have two daughters who attend Liberty High School.

Lorenz said he was “pumped” to be the top vote-getter in the council race. He said the momentum that his team built while campaigning and the big Election Night win are going to drive his second term on council.

“People move up here and they want to really enjoy the quality of life we have and I’m here to preserve that for them and listen to them,” he said.

“We (Lorenz and his wife, Sue) have three third-graders and a fourth-grader and we’ve just run fall marathons, and to run that kind of campaign on top of all that just speaks volumes, so I’m really excited to get back in there and I’m charged up and ready to make great things happen for the next four years.”

Lorenz, 40, manages a team of urban planners at WD Associates, an engineering and architecture firm in Dublin.

He and his wife have lived in Powell for seven years. Their four children attend Olentangy schools.

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