Ryan Patrick Demro, a former Lakewood City Council member, is challenging incumbent Brian Larick in the race for Ward 3.
Demro, 34, is an inner-city high school teacher and captain in the U.S. Army Reserve.
He said he doesn't support the city's proposed income-tax increase on the Nov. 5 ballot.
"After wasting nearly $100,000 on the May election and the pollsters, focus groups and propaganda associated with it, I cannot support it," Demro said. "In addition to that waste, the city has saddled taxpayers with several blunders in economic development, including the purchase of 181 Granville St. and handing off valuable land in the industrial sector.
"I don't see how anyone can trust the leadership at City Hall with more money when they have demonstrated that they are incapable of making prudent decisions that enhance the financial stability of the city."
Demro said he views the cancellation of the July 4 fireworks as retribution by the mayor and his opponent for the failure of May's income-tax proposal.
"I did not support that cut and, as a councilman, would not have remained silent as my opponent did," he said. "All of the other proposed cuts, including the pool and senior center, are simply aimed at scaring citizens into voting for the income tax. Our city government should give people hope and be built on trust. City Hall is betraying the trust of taxpayers by not revisiting the bloated salaries and other unnecessary spending at City Hall instead of targeting programs and services that citizens value."
Demro said he has a strong record as a councilman when he was elected and served the city of Lakewood from 2004 to 2007.
"According to the city of Gahanna's website, my opponent has sponsored no legislation as a member of council," he said. "I have more experience in a city that was larger and had higher poverty levels.
"When I left office, Lakewood had a balanced budget that I helped create. In addition to this experience, I have worked at all levels of government and hold a bachelor's degree in political science from Capital University. In addition to serving on City Council, if elected, I will be the only veteran on City Council."
Demro said residents seeking new leadership at City Hall should vote for him.
"They are looking to elect representatives who have a demonstrated record of accomplishment," he said.