Delaware City Council race
Shafer zeroes in on stewardship, city services
Kent Shafer said if he's elected to an at-large seat on Delaware City Council, he'll know which two areas he'll always keep in focus.
"The two things that I think everyone expects city government to do are to be a good steward of tax money and to provide the best services possible," he said. "I think we need officials who are good problem-solvers and good communicators who have a proven track record of doing those things."
As a former police commander who retired in 2012 from the Columbus Division of Police after more than 33 years of service, Shafer said he proved his skills while he led groups of as many as 250 officers, managed department budgets in excess of $200 million and worked with labor unions and various government agencies.
Shafer is one of seven candidates vying for the three open at-large seats. The others are George Hellinger, Rob Hoffman, Teri Owens, Terrie Price, Jeff Rike and incumbent Carolyn Riggle. Mayor Gary Milner and Vice Mayor Windell Wheeler are not running for their council seats.
Shafer said areas that need attention in Delaware are downtown parking and the proposed Sawmill Parkway extension.
"As our downtown continues to grow and becomes more and more vibrant, instead of us going to Columbus, people in Columbus are coming here," he said. "With all that business, we have traffic and parking issues."
To build a long-term parking plan, Shafer said he would call on city business owners, residents and safety leaders to form an advisory committee.
If he is elected Nov. 5, Shafer said he also would work to facilitate a better deal with Delaware County commissioners to ensure Sawmill Parkway's extension comes to fruition sooner rather than later.
He said he'd also spend time meeting with every city department leader to learn what they do, how they do it and what ways they would improve their department and the city.
Shafer said it's important to him that city stakeholders and residents are a part of any problem-solving process.
"When I go door to door, I hear a lot about what goes on in Washington, and the reality is most of us really can't do much about what goes on there -- but local politics is a place where you really can make a difference," he said. "People should expect to be able to get involved in issues. They should expect elected officials to be accessible to them and to take their concerns and ideas and do something about them.
"I will always make myself available for people to come see me and talk to me."
Shafer, 59, currently is a member of his neighborhood's homeowners association advisory board and has been the president of the Village Academy Athletic Boosters since 2008.
He has lived in Delaware for 10 years and has two children.
To learn more about Shafer and his campaign, visit FriendsofKentShafer.com.