Gahanna City Council President Stephen Renner is seeking re-election to the Ward 1 council seat, facing challenger Ray Kautz.

Gahanna City Council President Stephen Renner is seeking re-election to the Ward 1 council seat, facing challenger Ray Kautz.

Renner, 47, is director for the department of sanitary engineering in Franklin County.

He said he supports the proposed income-tax increase on the November ballot.

"The decision to approve the income-tax measure is reserved to the residents of Gahanna, per our city charter," he said. "I support the proposed income-tax measure so that we may protect and provide for our core services, as well as build a sustainable city.

"A sustainable city is one in which we have the funds necessary to build a savings account without having to greatly increase our public debt," he said. "By building a public savings account, we can make the proper infrastructure repairs (i.e. repave roads, alleviate stormwater issues, etc.), as well as fund our police and public safety needs adequately."

Renner said City Council has held the line on spending, even as cuts from the state and federal levels make local budgets tighter than ever.

"The city has put together a proposal to cut, unfortunately, into quality-of-life spending and reduce infrastructure expenses," he said. "I fully support making cuts that are necessary in order to allow us to sustain the city's core services, such as police, public safety and roads and other infrastructure."

Renner said he's a very proud resident of the west side of Gahanna for 15 years with his best friend and wife of 20 years.

"We have two young children in Gahanna schools and love being a homeowner of Ward 1," he said. "I am the director of the Franklin County Department of Sanitary Engineering, a $16 million agency responsible for providing water and sewer services to the unincorporated areas of Franklin County. I served the city of Gahanna on the Civil Service Commission for four years and have been on council for nearly two years."

Renner said he's running for public office because he strongly believes in something much larger than himself.

"I am a member of a proud community on the west side of Gahanna, and we need our voice heard," he said. "Ward 1 is compromised of many mature neighborhoods that need attention from our city, in terms of police, public safety and infrastructure improvements.

"I have extensive experience working with both economic development and planning issues, as well as collaborating with business groups, developers and other Ohio officials, completing projects and business deals," he said. "I will bring professional experience in working with multimillion-dollar budgets and know how to protect the core services that a city needs to provide."