Contested races for the 2nd and 4th wards of Delaware City Council are among races appearing on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Contested races for the 2nd and 4th wards of Delaware City Council are among races appearing on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The 2nd Ward candidates are Lisa Keller and Jim Roberts. Running in the 4th Ward are Andrew Brush and Larry Garrett. Keller and Brush are incumbents.

Keller moved to Delaware about 13 years ago to teach for the school district. Now she is a full-time council member and is the entrepreneur behind local small business, Sugar Kisses Cakery.

“I’m not a politician; I’m a mother,” Keller said. “I basically want to make sure that Delaware stays the kind of community that my kids will want to live in when they grow up.”

She said she is running to see through some of the projects she’s been involved with, including improvements at Houk Road Park and the upgrade to the city’s water treatment plant.

She believes Delaware’s most pressing need is revenue, which has suffered cuts in state funding and a decline in local taxes.

“The challenge that we have now is to maintain the same level of service that we have and do it for a lot less than we were doing it for before,” Keller said. “And rather than looking to the residents to help make up the difference, I think what we really need to do is focus on economic development to plug that gap.”

She points to the city’s recent decision to turn over management of its parks and recreation programming to the YMCA as an example of how the city can do more with less.

Roberts is a Delaware native who moved away for a few years and returned to town in 2004. He served 27 years in the Ohio State Highway Patrol and is a Century 21 Realtor and secretary of his neighborhoods homeowner’s association.

“I’ve gained a lot of experience over the years both at non-profits and for profit businesses. I have time now and I’d like to lend that experience to the citizens of Delaware,” Roberts said. “I’ve been a public servant all my life. I’m not a politician.”

“I think in these upcoming years É Delaware’s going to have a lot of hard decisions to make (about finances) and I want to be a part of that,” Roberts said. “I want the citizens of the 2nd Ward to get the service that they need and see that the money goes where the citizens really want it to go.”

He said the city must examine its budget carefully to eliminate duplication and should find ways to consolidate services with other municipalities such as the county and local townships.

“We need to do it better and cheaper. I’ll also watch the issues and make sure it’s not politics as usual,” he said.

Brush is currently completing his first term on city council. He is the cofounder of Best Light Video, a local company that produces advertising and informational web content.

Brush, a Delaware native, said his business experience has taught him the importance of a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility.

“I have worked hard to make sure that 4th Ward issues like traffic congestion at the Point (East Central Avenue and William Street) are addressed,” Brush said. “What I want to do is continue servicing my ward and my constituents for the next four years, and in order to do that, I need to run for re-election and earn their support again.”

“We’ve had some cuts in state funding, and the speculation is that those cuts will be followed by additional cuts in the next state biennial budget,” Brush said.

“We have a few hundred miles of road,” Brush said. “Part of the challenge with that is that some of the funding for roadway maintenance comes from the state. As these funding sources are drying up, the city is left holding the bag.”

“In the past we’ve used (that) for intersection improvements,” Brush said. “For the next grant cycle, we are instead going to be pursuing dollars for resurfacing and maintenance issues.”

Garrett has lived in Delaware for 20 years and owns a commercial printing and mailing company. He was a member of the Concord Township Fire Department

“I’ve always been involved in the community from back in the days when I lived out in the township,” Garrett said. “I believe that I should be involved. I’m interested in politics. It’s also an area where I know I can make a difference and improve the operations. I bring a lot of experience to the job.”

He emphasized fiscal responsibility.

“It’s improving efficiencies, pure and simple,” he said. “You have to get better at what you’re doing. We face that in the private sector. ... We have to get more efficient, more involved and come up with new ideas.”

In addition, Garrett said the city needs business development and management support.

“I do care about the city,” he said. “We want to get involved and try to make it a better place.”