Ward 2 council race
Wright supports tax reform as fairer, simpler approach
Incumbent Brandon Wright is seeking to return to the Ward 2 City Council seat.
Wright, 33, a commercial loan analyst, is being challenged by Michael Schnetzer.
Wright said he supports the proposed income-tax increase.
"We were faced with the reality that in order for our city to be sustainable, we needed to shift our strategic planning from looking at yearly budgets to a longer-term approach of planning to ensure the future of Gahanna," he said. "The first reason of my support is that most of my constituents within Ward 2 work outside the city of Gahanna, and they're currently paying a higher tax rate."
He said the tax-reform measure would lower the rate for people who work outside the city and would ensure that those who work and live in Gahanna are paying a bit more for the higher services they use.
"The second reason for my support for the tax-reform measure is, it simplifies the city's tax code to make it easy for people to understand the credit that is given for taxes paid outside of Gahanna," Wright said. "I also believe that if this measure passes, the city should ensure that in exchange for reforming the tax policy that citizens will see concrete improvements in street repairs, parks, trails, swimming pools and communication of the progress that has been made."
Wright said the city overall is taking the appropriate steps to ensure that Gahanna is functional and meeting obligations.
"We are at a point now where the citizens of Gahanna must advise on the direction they would like to see the city move and the future we would like to have," he said. "If the measure does not pass, then we will need to make some very hard cuts that will make it extremely tough to maintain the high quality of service that the city provides."
Wright said he doesn't support all of the cuts that are proposed.
"It is up to the council, which is the legislative body, to determine which cuts will be taken," he said.
Wright said he's deeply passionate about Ward 2.
"I believe my highest qualification is that I am willing to learn, and I keep an open mind when looking at public policy," he said. "I am the chair of the parks/development committee, trustee of the Gahanna Parks & Recreation Foundation, OMEA adjudicator, youth mentor and former member of the Gahanna CIC (Community Improvement Corp.)."
Wright said residents should vote for him because he's a true champion of Ward 2.
"I have worked hard to ensure that citizen concerns are researched and resolved," he said. "During my first term in office, there has been progress on newly paved roads, new street signs and higher development within our ward. I have also helped to change the focus on helping small business and sole proprietors feel just as welcome as the larger companies to our city."