Bexley City Council candidate Deneese Owen said if she's successful at the polls Nov. 5, she plans to focus on fiscal responsibility and helping the city to increase transparency so that residents have more clarity about developments that affect them.
"One of my priorities is to improve communication," Owen said. "I've spent the past three months having conversations with residents about the issues that are very important to them."
One of those issues is how to find innovative ways to broaden the city's revenue base, Owen said.
"This is a conversation that's not only happening here, but nationally," she said. "We need to have these conversations and pay attention to what other municipalities are doing and draw from best practices."
Owen will face incumbent Richard Sharp and challengers Lori Ann Feibel and Robert Kaynes Jr. in the Nov. 5 election.
Owen holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Ohio State University. She is a partner in a specialty digital print shop and has held management positions in the healthcare management and consulting fields.
Owen and her husband have a 6-year-old daughter.
Since first moving to Bexley 13 years ago, Owen has volunteered with community organizations and served on several associations and board, including the Columbus School for Girls' Parents Association Board and the Columbus Dance Theatre Board.
A year ago, she created and launched the Bexley/Berwick/Eastmoor Facebook Freecycle and For Sale Pages, which now include 1,100 and 900 members, respectively.
Owen said she believes her community experience would be an asset to council.
"I will bring my perspective as a businesswoman and a young mother to the table to complement and strengthen our city's existing leadership," she said. "I will listen to stakeholders and find creative solutions, and I will work to better connect our citizens to each other and to our local government and rally us around a unified vision of a better Bexley."