Delaware News

Seven set sights on three Delaware council seats

Mayor, vice mayor choose not to run

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Seven residents will compete Nov. 5 for three at-large seats on Delaware City Council.

George Hellinger, Robert Hoffman, Teri M. Owens, Terrie Price, Jeff Rike, Kent Shafer and Carolyn Kaye Riggle all filed petitions with the Delaware County Board of Elections before the deadline Wednesday, Aug. 7.

Riggle is seeking to retain her seat. Mayor Gary Milner and Vice Mayor Windell Wheeler chose not to seek re-election.

"I look at the way things are going and I just see average, and we have a better-than-average city," Hoffman said on why he's running for council.

"Council members need to be visible someplace other than council chambers," he added.

Hoffman, 66, who previously served three terms on City Council, challenged veteran councilman Joe DiGenova to represent Ward 3 in 2011.

The accounts receivable and credit consultant is a trustee for the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial in Sunbury.

Hoffman and his wife, Cherie, have lived in Delaware for 25 years. They have two sons.

Hellinger also has connections working within local government. Seven years ago, he was appointed to the city's planning commission, and for the last two years, he has served as its chairman. He also was a member of the 2000 city income tax levy revenue committee.

"I come from a family of politically active people, so it's kind of in my genes to want to get involved," Hellinger said.

The information technology manager for SumTotal Systems previously was considered for council in 2010, when members were required to appoint someone to fill the spot of former councilman Jim Moore, who died in a plane crash. Councilman Chris Jones eventually was appointed to the seat.

Hellinger, 54, and his wife, Brindi, have lived in Delaware for 18 years. Both their daughters are Delaware City Schools graduates.

Volunteering in local and state government offices piqued Rike's interest in politics.

He's spent time working with the treasurer's and city manager's offices and is actively involved with the county board of elections, where he is a poll worker and inspector. He's currently a member of the Secretary of State's Americans with Disabilities Act Advisory Committee.

"I was in the Navy for nine years, and while I was in, I got my master's (degree) in public administration," Rike said. "I've always wanted to put that to use and I've always been interested in government."

Rike, 46, was a plant manager until 2004, when he was in a car accident that left him disabled. Since then, he's spent most of his time volunteering and raising four children: a son and a daughter who graduated from Delaware City Schools and two daughters who currently are enrolled -- one a sophomore and the other in seventh grade.

He and his wife, Estela, have lived in Delaware for nine years.

Owens, Price, Shafer and Riggle could not be reached for comment late last week.

On Tuesday, Aug. 13, the board of elections will announce which petitions have been verified and which candidates officially will appear on the ballot.

Residents may file as write-in candidates until 4 p.m. Aug. 26.

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